Funding frenzy from AWS, Microsoft, Google, Salesforce pumps ex-Hadoop wrangler Databricks' value to $28bn

Oof, that's gotta hurt for Cloudera, which is sitting at a paltry $4.6bn


Databricks, the company behind open-source big data tool Apache Spark, has sucked up a $1bn investment round courtesy of AWS, Microsoft, Google, and more.

The Series G funding, led by newcomer Franklin Templeton Investments, puts the 2013-founded company at a $28bn valuation, more than four times its previous $6.2bn valuation.

Other investors include AWS, CapitalG (Google owner Alphabet's funding outfit), Salesforce Ventures, Microsoft, Andreessen Horowitz (Netscape founder Marc Andreessen's VC firm), and Alkeon Capital Management.

Databricks sells a data platform designed to support analytics and machine learning pipelines with data from a mishmash of sources. It has a data lake technology, now built on blob storage rather than Hadoop, to include the lakehouse concept, which purports to be a hybrid with data warehousing, supporting SQL queries, for example, as well as unstructured data.

triplets

When world+dog has a data platform too, Cloudera has to stand out before next new shiny distracts investors

READ MORE

The move, announced last year, partly brings Databricks into competition with Snowflake, which demonstrated investor appetite for cloud data technologies with its staggering $120bn valuation at IPO. Snowflake is built for analytics of structured data, but has recently announced support for unstructured data. Databricks said it planned to be "IPO-ready" but it had no immediate plans to make the plunge, and the current investment round was not related to any IPO plans.

In a pre-canned statement, Ali Ghodsi, CEO and co-founder of Databricks, said: "[The] lakehouse paradigm is what's fuelling our growth, and it's great to see how excited our investors are to be a part of it."

Databricks' chief technologist and co-founder is Matei Zaharia, the Romanian computer scientist who started the Spark project while studying at UC Berkeley. As it was ported to the Apache Foundation in 2013, it became a popular way to ease analytics and data management on the fiddly and time-consuming Hadoop Distributed File System (HDFS) and was used by Netflix, Yahoo, and eBay. It started off on HDFS, but has since migrated to data lakes built on object storage from AWS, GCP, and Azure.

Databricks is one of many firms now claiming to offer an enterprise-ready data platform, the idea of a place where data scientists can get all their data, clean and reliably with assured provenance.

Given its $28bn valuation, investors seem to think of it as a potential winner. By way of comparison, another data platform contender from the era of Hadoop hype, Cloudera, currently sports a market capitalisation of around $5.06bn at the time of writing, just over a fifth of Databricks' apparent value. ®

Similar topics


Other stories you might like

  • Experts: AI should be recognized as inventors in patent law
    Plus: Police release deepfake of murdered teen in cold case, and more

    In-brief Governments around the world should pass intellectual property laws that grant rights to AI systems, two academics at the University of New South Wales in Australia argued.

    Alexandra George, and Toby Walsh, professors of law and AI, respectively, believe failing to recognize machines as inventors could have long-lasting impacts on economies and societies. 

    "If courts and governments decide that AI-made inventions cannot be patented, the implications could be huge," they wrote in a comment article published in Nature. "Funders and businesses would be less incentivized to pursue useful research using AI inventors when a return on their investment could be limited. Society could miss out on the development of worthwhile and life-saving inventions."

    Continue reading
  • Declassified and released: More secret files on US govt's emergency doomsday powers
    Nuke incoming? Quick break out the plans for rationing, censorship, property seizures, and more

    More papers describing the orders and messages the US President can issue in the event of apocalyptic crises, such as a devastating nuclear attack, have been declassified and released for all to see.

    These government files are part of a larger collection of records that discuss the nature, reach, and use of secret Presidential Emergency Action Documents: these are executive orders, announcements, and statements to Congress that are all ready to sign and send out as soon as a doomsday scenario occurs. PEADs are supposed to give America's commander-in-chief immediate extraordinary powers to overcome extraordinary events.

    PEADs have never been declassified or revealed before. They remain hush-hush, and their exact details are not publicly known.

    Continue reading
  • Stolen university credentials up for sale by Russian crooks, FBI warns
    Forget dark-web souks, thousands of these are already being traded on public bazaars

    Russian crooks are selling network credentials and virtual private network access for a "multitude" of US universities and colleges on criminal marketplaces, according to the FBI.

    According to a warning issued on Thursday, these stolen credentials sell for thousands of dollars on both dark web and public internet forums, and could lead to subsequent cyberattacks against individual employees or the schools themselves.

    "The exposure of usernames and passwords can lead to brute force credential stuffing computer network attacks, whereby attackers attempt logins across various internet sites or exploit them for subsequent cyber attacks as criminal actors take advantage of users recycling the same credentials across multiple accounts, internet sites, and services," the Feds' alert [PDF] said.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022