Carto raises $61 million to help you visualize data on maps
Spatial analysis platform Carto has raised a $61 million Series C round. Many companies collect a ton of data with some location element tied to it. Carto lets you display that data on interactive maps so that you can more easily compare, optimize, balance and take decisions.
Insight Partners is leading today’s round. The European Investment Found is also participating as well as some of the company’s existing investors, such as Accel, Salesforce Ventures, Hearst Ventures, Earlybird and Kibo.
A lot of companies have been working on their data strategy to gain some insights. First, they adopt a data warehouse to centralize all current and historical data under the same roof. Companies use products like Amazon Redshift, Google BigQuery or Snowflake.
After that, there are different business intelligence, reporting and data visualization tools that help you take advantage of the data that you have stored in your warehouse. This is where Carto comes along with a product specialized on spatial analytics.
Carto can ingest data from multiple sources. You can upload local files for historical data, but you can also connect to live data directly. Carto provides connectors with databases (PostgreSQL, MySQL or Microsoft SQL Server), cloud storage services (Dropbox, Box or Google Drive) or data warehouses (Amazon Redshift, Google BigQuery or Snowflake).
“In the last three years, we have seen the rise of the data warehouse and we have gone from almost no architecture being based on a data warehouse to becoming the dominant implementation,” Carto CEO Luis Sanz told me. “That’s why we have focused on building Carto as a spatial extension on top of all the major data warehouses, because we see that the trend is just accelerating.”
After that, you can go through your data using SQL queries and enrich your data. In particular, you can take advantage of Carto’s own data catalog. The company has compiled around 10,000 datasets from both open data sources and private providers — around 3,600 data sets are open data.
When everything is set up, you get an interactive dashboard. You can move around a map, select and unselect layers and see the real numbers. Essentially, it should feel like playing Cities Skylines.
Customers use Carto to find out where they should open their next store, to prioritize some areas for their out-of-home advertising budget, to optimize their supply chain or to deploy cell towers in the right areas.
That’s why Carto has managed to convince a wide variety of clients, such as local governments, banks, consumer packaged goods companies, credit card networks, or infrastructure companies working in transport, utilities or telecommunications.
“The rise of the data warehouse has allowed organizations to unify and connect all their data in a single location, and geospatial data is no exception,” Luis Sanz said in a statement. “Now, thanks to our cloud native offering, they can also perform spatial analytics on top of them. Our Spatial Extension runs on top of all the major data warehouses and takes full advantage of all their benefits, giving our users a complete suite for geospatial analysis that is highly performant, scalable and secure.”
Essentially, Carto is benefiting from the move to data warehouses and digital transformation in general. As more companies move to the cloud, those companies become potential Carto customers.