Belfast big data firm closes stg£1m funding round

26 Feb 2014

Analytics Engines, a Queen’s University Belfast spin-out specialising in accelerating applications for databases and big data, closed a funding round worth more than stg£1m today.

Analytics Engines‘ products are designed to offer significant benefits to companies that need to run faster, more accurate analytics on large volumes of data – such as those in the finance, genomics, utilities and database sectors.

Led by venture-capital fund Crescent Capital, the more than stg£1m investment will be used to speed up the production and exploitation of IP, diversify current offerings into new sectors, support the product development road map, and expand the company’s global footprint.

Winners of the Silicon Valley 2013 Best Emerging Technology Award from ITLG (Irish Technology Leadership Group), Analytics Engines said it improves business performance by enhancing the speed and efficiency of software applications up to a magnitude of 1,000 times.

The company has used its partnerships with Philips Healthcare, SAP, Credit Suisse and others to demonstrate significant performance benefits over systems in current usage.

“The Analytics Engines suite of plug-in accelerators allows increasingly complex analytics and enhanced real-time processing of big data in areas such as database analysis and transactional processing, to financial risk and medical imaging,” said Dr Stephen McKeown, CEO of Analytics Engines. “Tasks that formerly took hours to perform are now possible in minutes – this creates significant business opportunities that were unobtainable only a few years ago.”

Northern exposure

Analytics Engines’ CTO Prof Roger Woods, currently seconded to the company under an EPSRC Impact award from Queen’s University Belfast, said, “This is a QUBIS spin-out company doing remarkable things from a technology point of view. It is clear that simply adding increasing numbers of computer servers has its limits from both a scalability and cost perspective. With its disruptive accelerator technology, Analytics Engines is allowing extremely computational analytics to be efficiently run on large data volumes.”

According to Crescent Capital, this investment is further evidence that high technology firms with market-changing export potential are emerging from the indigenous entrepreneurial culture in Northern Ireland.

Deirdre Terrins, who led on the origination and completion of this investment for Crescent as investment manager, said, “This investment demonstrates our belief that Analytics Engines is building highly attractive and disruptive technology which is at the forefront of the needs of businesses now and in the foreseeable fast-paced future of big data across a number of high-growth sectors. We are looking forward to supporting the development and success of this exciting proposition.”

Queen’s University Belfast image via Shutterstock

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years