With $40M for Cloudera, how much is Hadoop worth?

Hadoop isn’t the only thing going in big data, but it’s driving the bus at this point and it seems to have a reverse Midas touch: everything that touches it turns to gold. Cloudera has raised another $40 million to further its Hadoop-based business, adding to a recent spate of funding for companies trying to commercialize the open source big-data platform.

By my count — and it’s very possible I’m missing someone — Hadoop-based startups have raised $104.5 million since May. The same set of companies has raised $159.7 million since 2009 when Cloudera closed its first round. These totals don’t include the unattributed rounds for Odiago, which launched last week, and Yahoo (s yhoo) spinoff Hortonworks, which launched in June. From what I’ve heard, the Hortonworks funding would raise both numbers significantly.

By comparison, the handful of popular NoSQL database vendors, often lumped into the big data category as well, and similar to Hadoop in their focus on unstructured data, have announced just more than $90 million in funding overall. Many analytic database vendors that play in the big data arena have been acquired over the past couple years for billions in aggregate.

The companies noted above, it should be noted, are just those whose products that are built atop Hadoop or are meant to make Hadoop easier to use. They don’t include startups such as 33Across or ipTrust that use Hadoop lower down the stack for analytics, but whose applications are actually something far more general-purpose such as ad-targeting or threat analysis.

It’s easy to criticize Hadoop (and big data, overall) as buzzwords, but they’re much more than that. Quite literally every company of any import, it appears, is either using or experimenting with Hadoop, and investors see that evolving into a mega revenue opportunity a few years down the road.