Tidemark lines up $13M to keep pushing its planning software in clouds

Going up against well-heeled vendors such as IBM, (s ibm) Oracle (s orcl) and SAP with a cooler product for financial and operational projections can’t be a walk in the park. But Tidemark has been at this for three years now, and venture funding has been key to building out and bringing business for its enterprise performance management Software as a Service (SaaS).

Thursday, the company will announce $13 million in Series D funding. A new investor, Tenaya Capital, led the round. Existing investors Andreessen Horowitz, Greylock Partners and Redpoint Ventures also contributed. To date, Tidemark has raised more than $48 million to date.

The new cash comes at a time when Tidemark says it’s gaining traction fast.  Revenue for the first half of this year was up 250 percent over the same period in 2012, the company said. It also announced a few household names as new customers: Brown University, Chiquita (s cqb) and Hostess Brands.

Like other cloud-first enterprise performance management vendors, such as Anaplan and Host Analytics, Tidemark wants to add more big companies to its customer list. The new money will help the sales cause, said Christian Gheorghe, Tidemark’s founder and CEO and a former SAP executive (pictured). But it will also enable the company to improve its software. The product stands out from legacy offerings such as IBM Cognos and Oracle Hyperion because it deploys faster — typically in less than 90 days, and Gheorghe, said he wants to cut that to 60 days.

Ease of use for lots of employees is another goal. The Storylines feature for sharing and interacting with infographics is one example of functionality that can be broadly used. Tidemark also wants to add “Siri-like capability” that will allows the user to just ask a business question, Gheorghe said. “That will drive immediate analysis, instead of trying to type.” While Tidemark wouldn’t be the first company to apply voice recognition to data analysis programs — DataRPM’s business-intelligence software accepts spoken queries — the feature could make users more comfortable working with it for longer periods of time.

Tidemark often runs its software for customers from the Verizon (s vz) Terremark cloud, although the company can deploy the software on any cloud that customer data is sitting on. That’s a good bet considering that many customers are still not sure which public clouds they want to use. But it might not be enough to stand out, so neat features and quicker integration are important parts of the story, too.