In The Battle Between Databricks & Snowflake, Is Singlestore The Real Winner

Given the circumstances, it would take SingleStore a lot of time to replace giants like Snowflake and Databricks, but it sure benefits from their intense rivalry.
Singlestore

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In September this year, California-based SingleStore raised $80 million in primary capital funding in the Series F round. With this funding, the reported valuation of the company climbed to $940 million. Some of the high profile investors include Insight Partners, HPE, Khosla Ventures, Dell Technologies Capital, Rev IV, and GV (previously Google Ventures).

The last two years have been a very significant chapter in SingleStore’s growth story. The company had its Series E funding in 2020, where it managed to raise $80 million. This funding came at the heels of rebranding from MemSQL. SingleStore has clocked some impressive numbers too — over 300 per cent new customer acquisition for its cloud services and more than 150 per cent year-on-year growth.

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Founded in 2011, SingleStore offers a unified database to enable fast-paced analytics for organisations to accelerate their innovation. For the longest time, Databricks and Snowflake have held a duopoly in the data analytics platform industry. Has SingleStore’s recent progress managed to disrupt this status quo?

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Understanding SingleStore’s Appeal

SingleStore was co-founded by Nikita Shamgonov as MemSQL. The aim of the company then was to build a modern database for companies that want to scale. The Mem in MemSQL stood for in-memory transactional rowstore. The first product from the then MemSQL was focused on transactional concurrency. In the coming years, the company emerged as a leading force in NewSQL, a relational database approach that combined atomicity, consistency, isolation, and durability (ACID).

A few more years and a host of newer releases later, MemSQL had moved beyond its initial goal. With added capabilities like columnstore, JSON, time-series, and data science and machine learning model integration, the company stepped into the world of operational analytics. This comprised a new set of database requirements for the modern enterprise to achieve a competitive advantage.

This transition from just an in-memory database solution provider to leveraging a more advanced and sophisticated storage approach using modern cloud and hardware innovations called for a complete rebranding. This is when MemSQL was rechristened to SingleStore — a name that reflects the company’s goal of operationalising all the data through one platform and helping businesses embrace digital innovation.

Does Databricks vs Snowflake Benefit SingleStore

In 2020, Snowflake made history by debuting on the New York Stock Exchange and becoming the largest software company to IPO in the US. While the initial estimates for its share’s price were between $75 and $85, the company went public at a staggering $120 and catapulted up to $300 on the first day of trading. Snowflake also became the largest company to double value on an opening day by reaching a market cap of about $75 billion. Snowflake’s competitor Databrick, which is another heavyweight in the field, is looking at an IPO shortly. In an interview in August, Ali Ghodsi, the CEO of Databricks, said that the company will go public within six months. The company has also recently raised funding of $1.6 billion in Series H round, taking company valuation to $38 billion.

Snowflake offers several features like data pipelining; it recently added support for Java and Python to make it more appealing to data scientists. However, Snowflake’s tools are better suited for data analysts. On the other hand, Databricks offers more tools and abilities for leveraging operational AI. Databricks is backed by Salesforce, AWS, Microsoft, among others, most of which have their own AI engine. This backing indicates how suited Databricks’ platform is. 

Both the companies are fighting hard to remain at the top, be it through valuation, IPO offering or plain power of their platform. However, between this dog war, SingleStore, an unlikely entrant, might be benefitting and even thriving.

“We think SingleStore is one of the best-kept secrets in the database market,” said CEO Raj Verma in an interview. He added that the company now wants to aggressively endeavour to be the option for people looking for a platform to consolidate databases to even repositories. “We are where the world is going: real-time insights,” he added. Verma also wants SingleStore to be a verb, meaning, if anyone wants to know what large enterprises do with their data, the answer should be ‘SingleStore it’. SingleStore holds the designation of being the world’s fastest unified database for data-intensive applications. As per the company’s management, the true north star of the company is to deal with all kinds of data without workload segmentation.

Given the circumstances, it would take SingleStore a lot of time to replace giants like Snowflake and Databricks, but it sure benefits from their intense rivalry.

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Shraddha Goled
I am a technology journalist with AIM. I write stories focused on the AI landscape in India and around the world with a special interest in analysing its long term impact on individuals and societies. Reach out to me at shraddha.goled@analyticsindiamag.com.

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