Ascend Raises $19M in Series A Funding

ascendAscend, a Palo Alto, Calif. – based provider of an autonomous dataflow service, emerged from stealth with $19M in Series A funding.

The round was led by Accel with participation from Sequoia Capital, Lightspeed Venture Partners, and 8VC.

Led by Sean Knapp, Founder and CEO, Ascend provides the Autonomous Dataflow Service, an AI-enabled software platform in the cloud enabling data engineers to build, scale, and operate continuously optimized, Apache Spark-based pipelines. Running natively in Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services, and Google Cloud Platform, Ascend combines declarative configurations and automation to manage the underlying cloud infrastructure, optimize pipelines, and eliminate maintenance across the entire data lifecycle.

Prior to founding Ascend, Sean Knapp was co-founder, CTO, and Chief Product Officer at Ooyala where he played key roles in raising $120M, scaling the company to 500 employees, and leading it to a $410M acquisition. Before founding Ooyala, Knapp was the technical lead for Google’s Web Search Frontend team, helping to increase Google’s revenues by over $1 billion.
Chief Customer Officer Tom Weeks has held similar SVP and GM roles at SAP, ThoughtSpot, and Apigee.
Anupama Kirpekar, SVP of Engineering, and Steven Parkes, Chief Technology Officer, round out the leadership team and previously held executive positions at HPE, Nimble Storage, NetApp, Twitter, and Square.

Advisors include:

  • Kevin Scott, CTO of Microsoft;
  • Scott McNealy, former Sun Microsystems CEO;
  • Maynard Webb, Board Member, Salesforce and Visa; and
  • Deep Nishar, Senior Managing Partner of Softbank Vision Fund.



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