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AI startup Databricks valued at $28 bn, tech giants join funding

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A new funding round for AI startup Databricks highlights surging interest in tech startups in the cloud computing segment./AFP
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Feb 02, 2021 - 09:52 AM

SAN FRANCISCO — Artificial intelligence startup Databricks said Monday it raised fresh capital at a $28 billion valuation, with investments coming from Microsoft, Google and Amazon.

The startup, which develops technology that delivers improved analytics to cloud computing platforms, has some 5,000 customers, including 40 percent of Fortune 500 companies, which use the service for data engineering.

The latest funding round of $1 billion was led by the investment firm Franklin Templeton and includes Amazon Web Services, the Google investment arm Capital G and Microsoft, a previous investor.

Also joining were new investors Salesforce, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, Fidelity Management & Research LLC and Whale Rock, along with existing investors Andreessen Horowitz, Alkeon Capital Management and other financial firms.

“We see this investment and our continued rapid growth as further validation of our vision for a simple, open and unified data platform that can support all data-driven use cases, from BI (business intelligence) to AI,” said Ali Ghodsi, Databricks chief executive and co-founder.

“Databricks helps organizations eliminate the cost and complexity that is inherent in legacy data architectures so that data teams can collaborate and innovate faster.”

The funding will enable Databricks to expand its “lakehouse” architecture, which draws data from various sources to help improve analytics.

The move comes amid heightened investor interest in cloud computing firms and follows a public offering from Snowflake, a cloud storage computing firm that has surged in value to some $80 billion.

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