Maana recently won GCV’s inaugural award for energy-tech corporate venture capital (CVC) investment of the year, presented during its Venture Houston conference in November. Now, Maana has gone one-stage further and won the Sub-$50m Investment of the Year award across all industries.
Marketing itself as a platform that accelerates knowledge discovery to increase profitability for industrial oil and gas companies, US-based Maana recently won GCV’s inaugural award for energy–tech corporate venturing investment of the year, presented during its Venture Houston conference in November. Now Maana has gone one stage further and won the Sub-$50m Investment of the Year award across all industries.
This award celebrates the role of corporate venturing in furthering three crucial energy trends – widening the group of industries participating in the transformation of energy, extending the geographic reach of new energy-relevant technology, and accelerating the uptake of new energy–relevant technology by large corporations.
Founded in 2012, Maana rapidly became a household name among large industrial companies for the provision of big data analytics services. Nominated as a technology pioneer by the World Economic Forum in 2017, the company, which has built an advanced analytics platform collating data for businesses on their internal operations and processes, describes its mission as follows: “Maana enables subject-matter experts to mathematically model their knowledge and combine that with data from across silos to create artificial intelligence (AI) applications that help employees make better and faster decisions.”
Using tools such as semantic search and deep learning, the company’s technology has been identified as a key enabler of digital transformation for international corporations worldwide.
Speaking to tech-focused publication the Innovator in Davos early in 2018, Babur Ozden, CEO and co-founder at Maana, said: “More and more large companies are starting to speak the same language. They want to know ‘Can I use my data to influence all the decisions I make?’ What digitisation means is that can they use that data in a uniquely different way, and the number-one thing they would look at is what kind of impact it can have on their top or bottom lines.”
In December 2017, Maana raised $28m of series C funding co-led by investment banking firm China International Corporation and investment group Eight Square Capital, which brought the firm’s total raised funding to date to $68m. The deal included Maana’s existing investors Intel Capital, GE Ventures, Chevron Technology Ventures, Saudi Aramco Energy Ventures and Shell Technology Ventures, as well as new investors Sino Capital, a private equity firm, and Accenture Ventures, the venturing unit of management consulting firm Accenture. According to GCV, the final value of the round reached $33.3m in February last year.
Saudi Aramco Energy Ventures, the venture arm of oil and gas supplier Saudi Aramco, had previously led the company’s $26m series B round, investing alongside Shell, Chevron, General Electric, Intel and VC firm Frost Data Capital.
Chevron, General Electric, Intel and Frost had also contributed to Maana’s $14m first round of funding when the group emerged from stealth in 2015 – a series A that was also joined by energy company ConocoPhillips’s investment unit ConocoPhillips Technology Ventures.
On closing the series C round, Ozden said the new capital would be used to scale the business globally and support its growing Fortune Global 500 customer base. “This funding, combined with the strategic alliance Maana has established with Accenture, demonstrates the demand for Maana’s cutting-edge AI-driven knowledge technology as a key enabler of digital transformation at the world’s largest industrial companies,” he said.