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February 10, 2020

Snowflake Cashes In on Shift to Cloud Data Warehousing

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If the amount of Snowflake’s latest funding round is any indication, the migration of analytics workloads to the cloud is an increasingly safe bet.

The cloud data warehouse pioneer announced a huge $479 million funding round this week led by San Francisco-based Dragoneer Investment Group. Salesforce Investors is Snowflake’s newest funder, along with early backers Altimeter Capital, ICONIQ Capital, Madrona Venture Group, Redpoint Ventures, Sequoia, and Sutter Hill Ventures.

Snowflake, San Mateo, Calif., also claimed a company valuation of $12.4 billion as it adds new customers for its cloud data warehouse, including the Accor (OTCMKTS: ACCYY) hotel chain and JetBlue (NASDAQ: JBLU). The company’s valuation ranks it among the top 20 private technologies companies, according to an industry survey.

Since the release of its platform in mid-2015 built around a redesigned SQL analytics database running natively in the cloud, Snowflake counts more than 3,400 customers. According to the web site, Snowflake has so far more than $1.3 billion in eight funding rounds.

Lead investor Dragoneer has also backed startups ranging from Airbnb and Datadog to Spotify and Uber (NYSE: UBER).

Snowflake also announced as strategic partnership with Salesforce (NYSE: CRM) that includes product development and marketing collaboration. The cloud partners said Monday (Feb. 10) that would release details of their collaboration during Snowflakes annual summit from June 1 to 4.

Snowflake CEO Frank Slootman said the partnership would help extend the company’s cloud data management platform to a broader market.

Snowflake announced a data exchange marketplace last June available via public cloud leaders Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud. Rather than using APIs or extracting data to cloud storage, the marketplace allows users to browse a data catalog to access real-time data that can be added to existing data sets. The framework is promoted as eliminating data storage fees associated with accessing data from a provider.

The data can then be shared across organizations.

The company’s emphasis on cloud simplicity has gained traction as deployment of Hadoop clusters used to analyze data grows more complex. Hence, more users are turning to cloud data warehouses like Snowflake’s.

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