Cloudera Acquires Fast Forward Labs, Machine Learning and AI R&D Company

Cloudera has acquired Fast Forward Labs, an applied research and advisory services company, that specializes in machine learning and applied AI.

The acquisition was announced in conjunction with the reporting of Cloudera's second quarter fiscal year 2018 financial results. Total revenue was $89.8 million, an increase of 39% from the second quarter fiscal 2017. Subscription revenue was $74.0 million, an increase of 46% from the year-ago period. Subscription revenue represented 82% of total revenue, up from 79% in second quarter fiscal 2017.

"Many of our customers are adopting our newest product offering for their data scientists - Cloudera Data Science Workbench. It provides them an open environment to collaborate where they can work with their favorite libraries and frameworks, from TensorFlow to Python to R, all while securely accessing their production data environment - something every security professional and IT administrator can appreciate," said Cloudera CEO Tom Reilly. "The challenge is that even with powerful tools and a clear business imperative to investigate machine learning and AI, staying on top of the latest thinking can be difficult given the fast pace of innovation."

Brooklyn-based Fast Forward Labs was founded by Hilary Mason, data scientist in residence at the venture capital firm Accel, and former chief scientist at Bitly. 

Now known as "Cloudera Fast Forward Labs," Reilly said, the Fast Forward team will concentrate on practical research into new approaches to data science and applying research to business problems that are broadly applicable to a variety of industries and applications. 

"By joining Cloudera, we will be able to bring the opportunities discovered in our research to life in new ways, at the scale of the Cloudera platform," said Mason in her statement.

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