Cloud-based data warehousing startup, Snowflake Computing has closed $479 million in G-series funding round with Salesforce as the co-lead investor. The gigantic valuation of $12.4 billion is three times bigger than Snowflake’s last funding which took place in October 2018.
According to Frank Slootman, Snowflake CEO, the company’s revenue climbed up by 174% last year, nearing $1 billion. Salesforce’s corporate venture arm joined Dragoneer Investment Group in co-leading this $479 million funding round.
Earlier, the company raised $263 million at a $1.5 billion valuation in a round led by Sequoia Capital, including ICONIQ Capital and Altimeter Capital. Nine months later, Snowflake raised an extra $450 million led by Sequoia Capital and other investors. With the latest funding, Snowflake is estimated to have raised more than $1.4 billion to date.
“We recently closed off our last fiscal year, which ended this Friday, and the revenue grew at 174%. For the scale which we are, this by far the fastest-growing company out there,” the CEO said. According to the company, it has 3400 active customers out of which 500 new customers were added just in the last quarter.
What Does The Startup Do ?
San Mateo, California-based Snowflake is a cloud-based data-warehousing startup which was formed in 2012 by Benoit Dageville, Thierry Cruanes and Marcin Zukowski, and was rolled out publicly in 2014 after being in stealth mode for two years. Dageville and Cruanes had prior work experience as data architects at Oracle Corporation, however, Zukowski, earlier, was a co-founder of the Netherland-based startup Vectorwise.
The startup provides cloud-based data storage and analytics service, which experts call as “data warehouse-as-a-service”, which enables enterprise users to store and analyse data using cloud-based hardware and software.
Functioning as a virtual data lake, it gives an easy to search and analytical capability across different cloud vendors as well as private networks, meaning users can securely access data and apps regardless of the platform. It’s cloud-neutral and virtual that makes it highly convenient and functional for large enterprise users.
Snowflake could be a perfect choice for companies that host their systems on AWS, but the data warehouse and data management functions are scattered in various places. Now, to access so many servers, Snowflake has a GUI tool for SSH, file browser, terminal emulator, disk space analyser, text editor, and much more. Alongside, users can perform different functions like running data queries, visualisation dashboards or building AI models each with their data warehouse.
Snowflake was made available on Amazon S3 in 2014, Azure in 2018, and Google Cloud Platform in 2019 even though it competes with products provided by these cloud platforms. Snowflake’s Data Exchange helps users to discover, exchange and securely share data. Reports have also suggested customers moving away from AWS RedShift to Snowflake, including Instacart, Adobe, Deliveroo, etc.
A Mutually Beneficial Relationship For Salesforce & Snowflake?
Salesforce can take advantage of the partnership to position itself as the largest enterprise data warehousing provider, adding some value to its assets — MuleSoft’s data management along with Einstein and Tableau analytics capabilities by riding on the cloud-neutral nature of Snowflake.
As a result of the collaboration with Salesforce, data from that company’s cloud services will not need even a single click for customers who are starting to use Snowflake. Snowflake’s software also makes it convenient for companies to share data with partners and other enterprises through virtual ops that keep potentially sensitive data from physically leaving the customer’s hold.
According to Slootman, “We need to prepare the company for a trajectory whereby we have investors that can own multibillion-dollar positions and own them for ten years and longer and sign on to a journey.”
Snowflake CEO even said that the company did not need additional funds at the moment but could not say no to a relationship-building opportunity with Salesforce and thus went with the funding. This way, it seems the two companies will benefit from one another.
“At a high level, the relationship is about allowing Salesforce data to be easily accessed inside Snowflake. Not that it’s impossible to do that, currently as there are many tools already available which will help you do that, but this relationship is about making the process smooth and frictionless, which we think is important,” concluded Slootman.
Also Read: Why Salesforce Acquired Tableau?
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