Formerly known as NFLabs, ZEPL announced yesterday that it has raised $4.1 million in a Series A led by Vertex Ventures, with participation from Translink Capital, Specialized Types, and Big Basin Capital.
ZEPL’s product, the open source Apache Zeppelin project, is meant to provide a universal interface for analytic workflows. The company touts Zeppelin as acting like a browser that sits on top of big data frameworks and pull analytics from them.
Enterprises are stuck in siloed analytic workflows depending on their skill sets, but they still all use the same analytics, claims Sejun Ra, ZEPL co-founder and CEO. “There is a loss of knowledge when passing tools and info from one group to another,” Ra says. “Zeppelin allows for one person to handle the entire data workflow.”
Ra says that any company is able to contribute source code, get an open source license, and call itself open source. But if you’re a part of the Apache Foundation, Ra says, “you are using once of the best licenses and you are giving the source code and license to Apache,” which means ZEPL can’t suddenly decide to make the project closed source and charge its users.
Zeppelin users range from those in the tech industry to finance markets.
The company rebranded itself as ZEPL earlier this year once its open source project, Zeppelin, was accepted into Apache. Although, NFLabs was doing similar work, Ra says that the name ZEPL better represents its new product.
The company plans to use the funding to hire many more people, continue Zeppelin’s growth, and create more production-level readiness, Ra says. In order to generate some revenue, the company will be releasing the beta program for its new commercial product, and Ra says he expects that to begin this March or April.