ClearStory Data – Helping Startups Find Enlightenment

Clearstory Data, a recently launched start-up, has all the key ingredients for success. It has new and valuable technology, it has great VC backers, and it has Sharmila Shahani-Mulligan.


The technology compiles companies’ data with existing data on the web and other databases in order to get insight into trends that may otherwise have been ignored.  For example, Starbucks could combine their sales data with weather patterns to see if hot drinks are selling in hot weather.



The company claims to, “make it easier to gather and explore big, diverse, dispersed data for faster and more intuitive insights.”


With Investors like Google Ventures, Andreessen Horowitz and Khosla Ventures behind them, the success of Clearstory Data is highly anticipated.


The founders, John Cieslewicz, Vaibhav Nivargi, and Sharmila Shahani-Mulligan, along with Chief UX Architect Douglas VanderMolen, have combined experience at Netscape, Google, AOL, IBM, NetApp, Opsware, Aster Data, HP, and Teradata.

After various research internships, John Cieslewicz became a PhD Candidate, and Research assistant and Columbia University, before working as a Software Engineer at Aster Data Systems from 2008-2011.  Co-founding ClearStory Data in September 2011 was his next big step.


Vaibhav Nivargi followed a similar career, working as a Research Assistant at Stanford University before becoming a Software Engineer at Aster Data in 2007, and then co-founding ClearStory Data last September.


Despite Cislewicz and Nivargi’s impressive backgrounds, none seem more valuable than Co-founder and CEO Sharmila Shahani-Mulliagan whose career in Data makes her seem incapable of failure.


The first start-up she worked on was Kiva Software, which she joined in July 1995.  By November 1997, it had been sold to Netscape for $180 million. A few years later, she joined Opsware which was sold to HP in 2007 for $1.6 billion.



Her next stop was Aster Systems where she worked with John Cieslewicz and Vaibhav Nivargi.  Once Aster was bought by Teradata for $263 million last year, the three began working on ClearStory Data. They wanted to create a new start-up that would solve an ever-present data problem: how do we explore diverse data easily and cost-effectively?


But will ClearStory Data solve this problem? With big names buzzing about this new start-up, it appears to be highly anticipated. The New York Times is calling it “Big Data for the Rest of Us, in One Start-Up,” and Silicon Angle is saying that it is “Greasing the Big Data integration wheels.” Fast Company has even gone so far as to call it, “Google’s Creative Destruction.”


This start-up has the potential to change the way big companies access and use big data.  With reputable venture capital and successful individuals working on it, Clearstory Data could be the next big thing in data analysis.


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