Databricks raises $1B (at a $28B valuation!) to build ‘data lakehouses’

Founded by Berkeley academics, Databricks just raised $1B at a $28B valuation to build data lakehouses.


February 3, 2021

In what’s beginning to feel like a daily ritual, another tech company — this time, Databricks — announced $1B in Series G funding at a $28B valuation.

The company’s investor roster sounds like the VC equivalent of the 1992 US men’s basketball Dream Team: T. Rowe Price, Tiger Global, BlackRock, a16z, Franklin Templeton, Coatue, Fidelity, Amazon, Alphabet, Salesforce, and Microsoft, among others.

Databricks builds ‘data lakehouses’

These are a new form of cloud storage systems that companies can use to store structured and unstructured data while layering business intelligence (BI) and machine learning (ML) tools on top.

Built by gangster Berkeley academics, Databricks closed 2020 with $425m in ARR — up 75% YoY — and has 5k+ customers.

The new funding — which values Databricks at a casual ~65x multiple — will be spent on expanding Databricks’ global footprint, hiring talent, and R&D.

But Databricks has some competition

You might remember this other data lake company, Snowflake, which had the largest software IPO ever in September. Snowflake’s revenue grew 119% YoY in Q3 2020.

The Databricks-Snowflake rivalry could get awkward as some investors (ahem, Salesforce) have stakes in both companies.

Still, Databricks already exceeded Snowflake’s pre-IPO valuation. And with cloud behemoths AWS, Google, and Microsoft all backing, Databricks has a strategic edge as it plans to go public later this year.

Unfortunately, we’ll probably forget about it tomorrow when some other company raises $3B at a $500B valuation.

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