After more than 4,000 votes were cast, the final Big Data startup rankings are in. Keep in mind that while voting was weighted heavily, it was not the be-all-and-end-all consideration. Other criteria included big-name end users, VC funding, the pedigree of the management team and market positioning.
Here are the final rankings, along with why they finished where they did:
1. ParStream actually finished second in the voting, but customers turned out to comment on Startup50, expressing support, and there was even an end user who emailed us directly with a lengthy explanation of why ParStream is the top Big Data startup today. Fanatical end user support and unique positioning as a "Fast Data" company pushes ParStream to No. 1.
2. MapR Technologies finished third in voting, has raised $59 million in VC funding and has a strong management team. Customers include Ancestry.com, Rubicon and comScore.
3. Cloudera actually finished sixth in voting, but with $140 million in funding and an impressive customer list, it's hard not to push them up a few slots. Customers include CBS Interactive, eBay, Expedia, Monsanto and Samsung.
4. ScaleArc finished fifth in voting, has raised $18 million in funding and has a Big Data solution that focuses on optimizing SQL query traffic, whereas most Big Data companies have set their sights on NoSQL, Hadoop, etc. Existing customers include Demand Media and Disney UTV.
5. LucidWorks did well in the voting, has solid funding ($16 million) and is uniquely positioned in this roundup with their focus on Big Data search. However, they'll need to get more on-the-record customers on the books to climb higher than this.
6. SiSense actually finished lower than 6 in voting, but they offer a fast, flexible, coding-free Big Data solution that even smaller companies on tight budgets can take advantage of. At the same time, major enterprises have bought into SiSense's approach, as well. SiSense has attracted an impressive list of top-tier customers, including NASA, ESPN and eBay. The company is also backed by $14 million in funding.
7. Cloudant's Database-as-a-Service has attracted more than 12,000 multi-tenant customers, including Samsung, DHL, Monsanto, Salesforce.com (Heroku), SourceFire, Hot Head Games, Flurry, AppAdvice, and LiveMocha. The company closed a $12 million second round of funding in May, bringing total funding to $16 million.
8. If we didn't take voting into account, Skytree would probably rank in the top 5. We like their machine-learning approach to Big Data analytics, and they raked in $18 million in their Series A funding round (closed in April 2013). Despite being such a newcomer to this space (founded in 2012), they can already claim eHarmony, SETI, USGA and Adconion Media as customers.
9. SumAll is positioned in one of the more competitive Big Data sub-sectors: social media, sales and marketing analytics. They're backed by $7.5 million in two rounds from Battery Ventures, Wellington Partners, Matrix and General Catalyst. Customers include Siemens, Diamond Candles and Urbio.
10. Somebody had to finish tenth, and Xplenty is probably disappointed by that. They shouldn't be. This list of 10 Big Data Startups to Watch was culled from more than 100 recommendations. Then, after posting a list of 42 nominees on Startup50, they had to beat out not just the 32 startups that didn't make the final cut, but also the numerous Big Data startups that we overlooked and had to consider when putting the final list together.
Xplenty should be proud. Now, they should probably set their sights on fundraising and getting customers on the record.
Jeff Vance is a Los Angeles-based freelance writer who focuses on next-generation technology trends. Follow him on Twitter @ JWVance