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October 22, 2019

Databricks Snags $400M, Now Valued at $6.2B

Alex Woodie

Databricks, the commercial venture behind Apache Spark, has just completed a Series F round of funding worth $400 million. That brings the cloud analytics vendor’s valuation to more than $6 billion, more than twice what it was in January.

In the wake of the implosion of the Hadoop market, Databricks and its multi-function analytics cloud platform has emerged as one of the new darlings of the next stage of big data. Its optimized Spark environment in the cloud delivers SQL analytics, streaming analytics, and machine learning capabilities, while open source projects like MLFlow and Delta Lake — not to mention Apache Spark itself — raise its profile even further.

All those dynamics have come together to generate huge demand for a piece of the San Francisco company. We saw that at play earlier this year, when the company completed a $250 million funding round that included a large investment from Microsoft. At that time, the company was valued at $2.75 billion, which means the company has doubled in value in less than a year. In the past 12 months, Databricks’ revenues have increased by 250%, and revenues in the third quarter hit a $200-million per year run-rate, the company says.

In a press release, Databricks co-founder and CEO Ali Ghodsi said thousands of organizations are now using Unified Data Analytics Platform, and he told Bloomberg that there are more than 400 paying customers.

“Our bets on massive data processing, machine learning, open source, and the shift to the cloud are all playing out in the market and resulting in enormous and rapidly growing global customer demand,” Ghodsi said in a press release. “As a result, Databricks is among the fastest growing enterprise software cloud companies on record.”

The company plans to use the new round of funding to bolster its business in several ways, including €100 million for the recently announced European Development Center in Amsterdam; create dedicated engineering teams for specific projects, like Delta Lake, MLflow, and Koalas; and to continue expansion in other parts of the world, including Asia-Pacific and Latin America.

Databricks massive funding round is another proof point that the status quo in analytics is changing quickly. As opposed to building large on-prem clusters, customers increasingly are turning to the cloud to build big data lakes to run large-scale analytics and machine learning. We see those dynamics in the growth reported by AWS, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud, as well as with Snowflake’s $450 million funding round last November.

The funding round caught the eye of Amir Orad, CEO of analytics firm Sisense, which acquired data catalog vendor Periscope Data earlier this year.

“It seems like every week a data analytics company is being purchased or valued with a price tag in the billions,” Orad tells Datanami. “I am not surprised by Databricks’ valuation, and I’m confident this won’t be the last large number we see associated with the data analytics market.”

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How Databricks Keeps Data Quality High with Delta

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