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January 6, 2022

Alteryx to Acquire Data Wrangler Trifacta for $400 Million

Data analytics software developer Alteryx today announced its intent to acquire Trifacta, a provider of data wrangling solutions. The deal, which has not yet closed, will see Alteryx paying Trifacta $400 million in cash, as well as putting up $75 million in equity-based retention incentives for Trifacta employees.

Trifacta was founded in 2012, at the beginning of the big data revolution, by a group of computer science professors and grad students at UC Berkeley and Stanford University, including Joe Hellerstein, Sean Kandel, and Jefrey Heer. The trio recognized that, as more companies ramped up big data initiatives, they would need better tools for ensuring the quality of data.

The San Francisco company brought to market an enterprise version of Data Wrangler, a joint research project at Stanford that used machine learning algorithms and an intuitive GUI to rapidly accelerate data cleansing and preparation, which was mostly a manual process at the time. Aided by algorithms, analysts sitting at the Trifacta UI could ensure the accuracy of various data values, and deploy the solution into big data platforms, such as Hadoop, Spark, and data warehouses.

In early 2015, Trifacta brought in new CEO Adam Wilson, who has overseen the company over the past six years. The company realized early on the impact the cloud would have on big data analytics, and under Wilson’s leadership, it inked an OEM deal with Google Cloud to offer a version of the Trifacta offering that was pre-integrated with the cloud giant’s solutions. Over time, the company parlayed its position in data quality to help automate adjacent data engineering and ETL/ELT processes, including data discovery, data pipelining, data enrichment, and validation.

Meanwhile, Alteryx has built upon its early start in analytics to develop what is today a full stack of solutions that includes analytics and visualization tools aimed at business users and analysts to include AutoML and AI (computer vision and NLP) offerings useful for data scientists too. The company sees Trifacta and its cloud-based solutions as a good fit for its analytics plans going forward.

“Trifacta brings highly skilled cloud-first engineering, product and go-to-market teams with decades of combined experience building and bringing to market mission-critical, cloud native analytics solutions,” said Alteryx CEO Mark Anderson, who succeeded co-founder Dean Stoeker in October 2020, in a press release.

Alteryx sees Trifacta bolstering its data engineering offerings (Image source: Alteryx)

The acquisition (when it goes through) will double the size of Alteryx’s cloud engineering team, according to a document Alteryx shared on its website. Alteryx cites Trifacta’s solutions for Google Cloud’s BigQuery, AWS’s Redshift, and Microsoft Azure Synapse, as well as its integration with Databricks Delta Lake and Snowflake’s cloud data warehouse. Trifacta offers more than 180 connectors for various data sources, the company says.

“We’re incredibly excited to join forces with Alteryx to create the industry’s leading independent cloud analytics provider,” Trifacta’s Wilson said in a press release. “Together, we have the opportunity to enable thousands of customers globally to unlock powerful business insights with the combination of Trifacta’s Data Engineering Cloud and Alteryx’s Analytics Automation platform.”

The long-term integration plans call for Trifacta to become the new cloud-based backend for the combined Alteryx solutions, according to Alteryx’s document. In the near-term, the company’s products will be sold separately.

Trifacta has raised $224.3 million over five rounds of funding, and had more than 200 employees. Alteryx, which had $495 million in revenue in 2020, said the acquisition of Trifacta would contribute about $20 million in yearly revenue to the company in 2022.  The company is expected to report fourth quarter 2021 and full year results on February 8.

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