From Siloed to Contextualized Operational Data – How Cognite is Driving the Digital Transformation of the World’s Largest and Most Vital Industries

Everyone talks about the transformative power of big data, often in relation to consumer insights. Yet there is a river of information flowing just as powerfully out of industrial facilities around the world – information that could be harnessed to make our planet more sustainable, industries more efficient, and jobs safer.

Industrial companies are waking up to the power of that information, and today we’re excited to announce an investment in Cognite, a global industrial Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) leader, whose mission is to digitalize heavy-asset industries and unlock the power of their operational data.

The Industrial Leaders’ Choice

Founded in Norway in 2017 by Dr. John Markus Lervik, Geir Engdahl, and Stein Danielsen, Cognite has made huge headway in transforming the use of data across oil and gas, power and utilities, renewable energy and manufacturing, using its cloud-based Cognite Data Fusion (CDF) platform. Companies like bp, Saudi Aramco, Alfa Laval, Statnett, and Mitsubishi are already optimizing the way they operate using Cognite’s platform.

In Good Company

Cognite is an exciting addition to TCV’s portfolio and fits squarely with our thesis on the next-gen industrial software space. This dates back to our support for Seismic-Micro Technology (SMT) from 2007, which gave us early insight into how oil and gas companies value operational intelligence – and its importance from a regulatory and operational efficiency perspective.

This investment led to us finding and backing OSIsoft in 2011, which has since become a standard in the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) market due to its ability to pull data from sensors and industrial equipment at scale for the world’s largest industrial companies.

Another investment is IQMS, one of the first manufacturing software vendors to natively connect manufacturing execution systems to the ERP software of their suppliers/smaller manufacturers, so they could harness the power of the factory data to hone business decisions.

Across these investments we have seen big data and data-driven decision-making soar and drive a huge opportunity for innovation and investment.

Bridging the Gap Between Business and Operational Data Insights

Digital-first companies inherently operate in a data driven way. They produce a sea of business performance data via their IT systems and are able to collect, analyze and manage that data to plan more strategically and run more efficiently. The opportunity in the industrial space is to extend these benefits, harnessing the oceans of operational technology (OT) data generated by every asset and piece of equipment making up factories, processing plants, or broader industrial estates. To date, turning this data into business value has proved a challenge – not least because OT covers a diverse range of data sources and formats.

The sensors on a single piece of equipment may hold the key to insights about production quantities, efficiency data, motor speeds and heat readings. The challenge is how to combine all those different data points into the right context to assess and improve equipment performance. This is a problem that, until recently, no one had solved – and, frankly, few companies even understood.

A Meeting of Minds and the Missing Contextualization Layer

In 2018, not long after Cognite’s founding, Øyvind Eriksen, President & CEO of Aker, and Kjell Inge Røkke, the majority owner of Aker, came to visit our California offices along with Cognite’s CEO, John Markus – to discuss what they were building at Cognite.

It was clear to us from that first meeting that Aker’s support and industrial expertise, combined with John Markus’ product brilliance, addressed the need for this missing contextualization layer – and that Cognite’s product strategy would be aimed at solving this critical issue. That initial meeting led to a relationship which has culminated in TCV’s investment today.

Cognite uses the latest technology – in particular machine learning – to enable large amounts of information to be ingested in real time and, crucially, contextualized so it can be leveraged for a wide range of use cases. This approach, which improves data’s accessibility and governance across an entire organization, significantly shortens the time to value and scalability of high-ROI applications including predictive maintenance, production optimization, and remote work.   

Fueling Cognite’s Next Growth Chapter

Cognite is the perfect fit for TCV’s strategy of investing early in potential franchise companies of the future. We are thrilled to be part of their next growth chapter and help them scale and catalyze the full-scale digital transformation of heavy-asset industries.

The company joins Brex, Redis Labs, Revolut, Relex, Klarna, Mambu, Mollie and recent investments in Europe and around the world. Like OSIsoft, IQMS, Genesys, Netflix, Spotify and many other global leaders in our portfolio that were once young growth-stage companies, Cognite is forging ahead in a fragmented field to become the category leader.

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The views and opinions expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of TCMI, Inc. or its affiliates (“TCV”). TCV has not verified the accuracy of any statements by the author and disclaims any responsibility therefor. This blog post is not an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to purchase an interest in any private fund managed or sponsored by TCV or any of the securities of any company discussed. The TCV portfolio companies identified above are not necessarily representative of all TCV investments, and no assumption should be made that the investments identified were or will be profitable. For a complete list of TCV investments, please visit www.tcv.com/all-companies/. For additional important disclaimers regarding this interview and blog post, please see “Informational Purposes Only” in the Terms of Use for TCV’s website, available at http://www.tcv.com/terms-of-use/.


Cognite Secures $150 Million Investment from TCV to Accelerate Digitalization of Global Industries

May 19, 2021 08:50 AM Eastern Daylight Time

OSLO, Norway & AUSTIN, Texas– (BUSINESS WIRE) —Cognite, a global leader in industrial software innovation, announced today that it has signed an investment round of $150M with leading global growth equity firm TCV, valuing the company at $1.6B. This investment marks one of the largest funding rounds for a SaaS company in Europe and confirms industrial digitalization as a global megatrend. The new valuation round constitutes unicorn status for Cognite.

“Cognite is building the future by redefining modern industrial data management,” said Jake Reynolds, General Partner at TCV.

“Cognite has had a remarkable growth journey since its founding in 2017, attracting top talent from across the globe, working feverishly to develop, deploy and verify the impact from its industrial software technology. As the global growth continues across industry verticals, there is significant interest from companies to partner with Cognite. We are very pleased to welcome TCV, a top-tier growth equity firm, on board, especially given their strong track record from building and scaling enterprise software companies globally,” said Øyvind Eriksen, President and CEO of Aker. “The investment is a testament to the Cognite growth journey so far and to its future potential. Moreover, it highlights the significant value creation taking place in Aker’s industrial software portfolio.”

TCV has a broad network and expertise in successfully scaling technology companies, including Netflix, OSIsoft, Splunk, Airbnb and Spotify. This new partnership allows Cognite to harness TCV’s expertise in international expansion for industrial software companies and complements earlier funding by global venture capital firm Accel, as both are committed to backing category-defining businesses. The partnership coupled with Aker, Cognite’s majority stakeholder, will accelerate the full-scale data-driven transformation of legacy industries to help make them more sustainable and profitable through digitalization and data. As part of the transaction, Jake Reynolds, general partner at TCV with a 20-year history in venture capital and technology investing, is joining the Cognite Board of Directors.

“Cognite is building the future by redefining modern industrial data management,” said Jake Reynolds. “Cognite is emerging as a leader of the pack through their proven industrial software-as-a-service (SaaS) solutions as the world turns to digitalization to truly transform, and we look forward to partnering with them to revolutionize the industry as they grow and scale.”

Cognite’s flagship Industrial Data Ops product: Cognite Data Fusion (CDF) is currently digitalizing asset-intensive industries globally by making industrial data more accessible and meaningful to humans and machines, enabling clients to create value through AI-based applications and solutions. CDF is also a critical tool used by companies to actively participate in the energy transition through data liberation and contextualization to address transparency, accountability, and sustainability. CDF is deployed by Cognite customers worldwide including: bp, Saudi Aramco, Alfa Laval, Statnett, and Mitsubishi.

“Cognite is on a strong trajectory to help transform industry, and since our founding four years ago, we have managed to attract top global talent, and partner with top industrial companies to accelerate modern industrial data management worldwide,“ said Dr. John Markus Lervik, CEO and co-founder of Cognite. “The partnership with TCV allows us to amplify our software solutions to empower asset-intensive businesses to improve their sustainability and profitability of operations, and perfectly complements the extensive industrial knowledge brought in by our majority shareholder, Aker.”

Cognite continues rapid expansion, growing in valuation threefold since November in part due to a global collaboration with Microsoft and inclusion as a Top 200 Global Independent Software Vendor (ISV), a partnership with Accel, and post COVID demand for digitalization across industries. Cognite was founded in 2017 and is one of the fastest-growing industrial software companies in the world with over 500 employees across offices in Europe, the United States, Asia, and the Middle East.

About TCV

Founded in 1995, TCV was established with a clear vision: to capture opportunities in the technology market through a specialized and consistent focus on investing in high-growth companies. Since inception, the firm has built a track record of successfully backing public and private businesses that have developed into dominant industry players across internet, software, FinTech, and enterprise IT. TCV has invested over $14 billion to date and has helped guide CEOs through more than 125 IPOs and strategic acquisitions. TCV has invested in cutting edge technology companies including OSIsoft, Airbnb, Brex, ByteDance, Facebook, Hotmart, Netflix, Peloton, Spotify, Zillow, Clio, Redis Labs, Klarna, Mollie, Nubank, Payoneer, Revolut, Toast, Wealthsimple and WorldRemit. TCV has successfully executed over 350 investments of varying structures, including mid-stage, late stage and public company investments, and has offices in Menlo Park, New York, and London. For more information about TCV, including a complete list of TCV investments, visit https://www.tcv.com/.

About Cognite

Cognite is a global industrial software-as-a-service (SaaS) company supporting the full-scale digital data-driven transformation of asset-intensive industries around the world. Our core product, Cognite Data Fusion (CDF), is an industrial data operations and contextualization platform, putting raw data into real-world industrial context, enabling rapid application & solution creation at scale. CDF powers companies with contextualized OT/IT/ET data to develop solutions that increase safety, sustainability, efficiency and drive revenue. Visit us at www.cognite.com and follow us on Twitter @CogniteData or at LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/cognitedata

Media Contacts

Michelle Holford Global PR Lead, Cognite
+1 (512) 744-3420 (US) or +47 482 90 454 (Norway)
michelle.holford@cognite.com

Katja Gagen Head of Marketing at TCV
+1 (415) 690-6689
kgagen@tcv.com