ThoughtSpot, whose technology is used by automaker Daimler to improve its procurement of supplies and by Walmart to plan merchandise sales, reached a value of nearly $2 billion.

ThoughtSpot Inc., a Silicon Valley analytics startup, raised $248 million at a valuation of almost $2 billion, underscoring the fast-rising demand for new ways to analyze digital data. Its customers include automaker Daimler AG, which uses its analytics technology to improve its procurement of supplies, and Walmart Inc., which uses it to make merchandising decisions.

The Sunnyvale, California-based company, founded seven years ago by three engineers of Indian origin, raised the money from investors including Lightspeed Venture Partners, Silver Lake Waterman, and Sapphire Ventures. The funding will help expand sales teams in its primary market, North America, as well as Europe and Asia Pacific, and expand its research efforts, the company said in a statement.

The co-founders include Ajeet Singh, who helped start enterprise cloud services company Nutanix; Sudheesh Nair, a former president at Nutanix; and Amit Prakash, who worked in analytics for Google and engineering for Microsoft Corp.’s Bing. The startup’s valuation has doubled in the span of five quarters as companies use its search and artificial intelligence-powered analytics.

“We’ve built the Google for numbers,” said Nair, ThoughtSpot’s CEO, in a phone interview from Sunnyvale. “We’ve devised a set of capabilities in algorithms that can work on large-scale systems and we’ve incorporated design thinking. We believe this is unique to ThoughtSpot.”

ThoughtSpot employs 500 workers, and expects that half of its global R&D will happen out of its operation in India’s technology hub of Bangalore in the next 12 months. It plans to recruit from the country’s top engineering schools to grow its product, design and customer teams in the city.

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Data analytics is one of the hottest areas in the technology industry, said DD Mishra, senior director analyst at Gartner Inc. “Investors too see the technology as a game-changer,” he said. The analytics and business intelligence software market grew by 11.7% to $21.6 billion in 2018, Gartner said in an April report.

Customers include Walmart, De Beers Plc, Hulu and Daimler. Walmart, for instance, uses ThoughtSpot’s services to make merchandizing decisions every hour and improve sales by analyzing sales trends for thousands of merchants. Daimler uses them to improve its procurement process where even 1% to 2% improvements in costs can make an impact on the bottom line.

“This is a race and there’s so much to be done,” said Nair. The startup will look to make acquisitions and eventually plans an initial public offering. “An IPO is something we aspire to do as our customers are all large global companies that like the transparency of public markets.”

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