Thursday, March 12, 2009

General Catalyst Invests in the Cloud

The ink is almost dry on General Catalyst's latest investment: what they're calling a "seed preferred" round of several million dollars for Good Data, a SaaS/cloud computing-oriented company focused on business intelligence and analytics. Larry Bohn is the GC partner on the deal, and angel investor John Landry is also putting in some dough.

Good Data founder and CEO Roman Stanek earlier started NetBeans (acquired by Sun) and Systinet (acquired by Mercury Interactive and HP.) The company's engineering will take place in Prague, but the business HQ will be in San Francisco.

Around the time that Good collected $2 million last year (in an earlier seed round), the company was described as being based in Cambridge (they had space at the Cambridge Innovation Center), but alas... Good Data marketing veep Sam Boonin told me that "our business model is primarily going to be working together with other SaaS companies, so we wanted to be in the Bay area." (Systinet, an earlier Stanek start-up, had a presence in Cambridge.)

Good Data was founded in mid-2007, but they acquired another Czech company that provided the core analytics engine they're using. They're building atop Amazon's EC2 cloud infrastructure. "We've got about 500 people in our [free] beta program right now," says Boonin. A commercial version should be available around May.

With regard to investing related to cloud computing, Bohn said from Prague, "You try to be early, bet on the right people, and try to get a head start." He said he'd been seeing lots of potential investments in the cloud space, but most were apps that "may not be defensible enough."

This is the second cloud-connected deal I've seen in 2009 from Boston venture capitalists. The first was CloudSwitch, which involved Atlas Venture and Matrix Partners.

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