Our Investment in Shakudo: Building the Modern Data Stack

Jamie Rosenblatt
Golden Ventures
Published in
4 min readJul 5, 2023

TL;DR: Shakudo grew 6x last year and today is announcing its US$7.2M Series A led by Great Point Ventures (shout out to DJ Patil on his first investment with GPV!). Golden Ventures led the Seed round and participated in the Series A. Why this matters:

  • Data and AI have never been more important.
  • Making data valuable requires infrastructure.
  • The current approaches to data infrastructure are full of compromises.
  • Shakudo is building the world’s first antifragile data stack: fast, easy to deploy, scalable, and built to evolve.
  • Shakudo is hiring & if your company wants a truly modern OS for its data infrastructure book a demo now.

AI needs data. Data needs infrastructure. You need a plan.

Everyone loves to talk about the promise of data. It’s why companies are investing more resources than ever into building and maintaining a data stack. Nearly 70% of enterprises view AI as critical or highly critical to their business over the next 3 years. 72% of enterprises are looking to increase investment in data and AI adoption. This last point is particularly compelling when you consider that 88% of tech executives are seeing an increased demand for cost rationalization for their purchasing decisions.

Source: Scale 2023 AI Readiness Report

But while the promise of data is well documented, few like to talk about the pain of transforming it into a value creating asset for your organization. Setting up a data stack for your organization is a frustrating web of complexity, cost, time and compromise (and that’s assuming you have the talent in house to do it). If I were to oversimplify the current state of the world, you have two approaches to building and maintaining a data stack:

  1. DIY: Invest a ton of resources to cobble together a set of point solutions into a data stack that make sense for your company today. Pray it works, and that whoever architected it never leaves the company. A new tool (LangChain, ChromaDB) or framework (Superset, DBT, Ray, etc.) entered the market and you want to use it? Too bad, your infrastructure is more fragile than a Gen-Z on a performance improvement plan, don’t mess with it.
  2. Proprietary All-In-One: Databricks is an amazing platform, but it also imposes serious tradeoffs and constraints on an organization. It’s expensive, inflexible, and locks you into its ecosystem. All-in-one solutions force you to evolve at the speed of your vendor, and pay a premium to do so.

Shakudo’s mission is a direct response to the limits of these approaches. Shakudo transforms data stacks into living, ever-evolving systems that can rapidly adapt to changes in the industry. Imagine data infrastructure that is purpose built for your organization, with the turnkey reliability and maintenance of an all-in-one solution, all while rationalizing costs and avoiding lock-in:

Enter Shakudo: All steak, so you can get your sizzle.

Shakudo is the fastest and easiest way to build, deploy and manage a best-in-class enterprise caliber data stack. With 95 integrations and counting, Shakudo ensures the compatibility of tooling by standardizing your environment configuration and automating its enforcement. As a result, you can seamlessly blend the best of open source and commercial solutions without imposing an enormous cost on DevOps or sacrificing reliability or ease of use. In short, scalability, compatibility and robustness without an army of data engineers.

In today’s world, thousands of data and AI tools compete for the time and attention of data engineers and data scientists. It was necessary to build an operating layer that makes it easy for any team to start or stop using these tools with ease and low risk. That’s why we built Shakudo — to transform data stacks from fragile and monolithic objects to living and evolving systems that adapt to the industry

- Yevgeniy Vahlis, Co-Founder and CEO of Shakudo.

So while enterprises trip over themselves to figure out how to integrate LLM’s into their roadmap and convince folks Generative AI is in their DNA, Shakudo quietly marches forward, giving you all the tools you need to go from hype to results on your P&L.

Announcing the Series A
Shakudo is on a mission to build something big. That’s why I’m thrilled that DJ Patil, Managing Partner at GreatPoint Ventures and former U.S. Chief Data Scientist, has decided to lead Shakudo’s Series A and join the board. GPV is joined by a group of other great investors, including RTP and Parade. The whole team at Golden is excited to continue the journey with Yevgeniy, Stella, Christine, and the entire Shakudo team. The best is yet to come.

With the new funding, Shakudo will be expanding its engineering, sales, marketing, and operations teams and has already onboarded new team members from companies like Google, AWS, and others. For a full list of openings, check out their hiring page.

And if you are a company looking to implement GenAI or upgrade your data infrastructure, make sure to book a demo of Shakudo today!