A Q&A with Junar co-founder and CEO Diego May. The Palo Alto–based company was founded in 2010 and recently raised $1.2 million in its first round of funding.
SUB: Please describe what Junar is, and the value proposition you bring to data management.
May: Our objective is to deliver the easiest-to-use, cloud-based Open Data Platform. Think of it as a next-generation data management system for sharing information.
SUB: Who are your target users?
May: The Junar SaaS (software-as-a-service) platform focuses on the enterprise and enables businesses, government, NGOs and academia to free their data. For innovative organizations, Junar is the fastest way to publish data.
SUB: Who do you consider to be your competition?
May: This is an exciting place. The real competition is organizations putting their data in spreadsheets. Our objective is helping them open their data.
SUB: What differentiates Junar from the competition?
May: Junar provides everything you need to easily and quickly open data with confidence. It’s built for massive scale and supports hundreds of organizations and serves millions of end users today. Easily choose what data to collect, how to best present it, and when it should be made available. You can also determine which datasets are made available to the public and which datasets are available only for your internal end users.
SUB: When was the company founded and what were the first steps you took in establishing it?
May: 2010—we’ve always had a two-step approach. The first phase was to release the Junar Community, which was part of our Early Access Program. More than two million visitors have interacted with our opened data, over 70,000 data views have been published, and 200-plus organizations have participated in the program.
We were pleasantly surprised with the overwhelming feedback we received during the Early Access Program and it has helped us build a workflow that turns the difficult task of opening data into an easy and controlled process transforming data into readable, searchable and usable insights that everyone can share. This is part of our second phase, which we just announced.
SUB: What was the inspiration behind the idea for Junar? Was there an ‘aha’ moment, or was the idea more gradual in developing?
May: When Junar was born, CTO Javier Pajaro and I envisioned a world where data is freed and global innovation surges. Our mission has since been to enable organizations to open and unlock the value of their data. We understood that information plays a central role in any relationship.
SUB: What have the most significant obstacles been so far to building the company?
May: The real challenge, indeed the real value, is that most organizations want to figure out how to quickly and easily open data to collaborate, measure impact and promote innovation through sharing its data with others—and that’s where Junar can help.
SUB: You recently raised $1.2 million in initial funding. What are your plans for the funds?
May: We will use the funding to expand and will have more exciting news to share soon.
SUB: Do you plan to raise more outside funding in the near future?
May: We’re a startup and startups are always raising money. We’re in an interesting space and we’re always open to speaking with investors.
SUB: What are your goals for Junar over the next year or so?
May: We have a comprehensive go-to-market strategy and a series of innovative new products and services in the pipeline.
Junar – www.junar.com