Why we just invested in Datacoral

Today, we at Madrona are delighted to announce our investment in a $10M Series A raise by Datacoral and the beginning of our partnership with Raghotham (Raghu) Murthy, the founder/CEO of the company.

I have had the good fortune to know Raghu for a while. I first read of him back in 2013 in this Wired.com article that had profiled the “data brains behind the rise of Facebook.” Raghu was prominently featured in it, having been one of the main architects of Facebook’s data infrastructure between the crazy growth years of 2008 and 2013. He then went on to run the engineering team at Bebop, led by Diane Greene and eventually acquired by Google. Later, Raghu joined Social Capital as an EIR where he incubated Datacoral after seeing almost every portfolio company struggle with data infrastructure. This was when a common friend connected us with the sage advice for me to “find a way to work with one of the best data engineering minds out there.”

Well, it took me couple of years, but here we are, having finally found a way to work with Raghu. After brainstorming through many, many coffees at various Starbucks in San Francisco and Seattle, we have been completely blown away by Raghu’s vision for the future of enterprise infrastructure software and how closely that aligns with our own.

Here are three important trends that we both believe in and those we see Datacoral leveraging better than most.

First, both Raghu and we are absolutely convinced that there is an enormous opportunity in building truly cloud-native solutions to serve the modern company that is being born in the cloud today. Lifting and shifting current on-premise solutions to the cloud would just not cut it. The truly cloud-native solution must leverage all the goodness available on the cloud and reimagine what is possible in a given product category. With “infinite” compute available in the cloud, telemetry data coming in from all parts of the tech stack and robust machine learning techniques finally here, a truly cloud-native solution should offer unprecedented benefits (functionality, performance, cost) over what has been possible until now. Here at Madrona, we refer to this as our “cloud+ML” thesis. For an example of that, look no further than Snowflake — a Madrona portfolio company — which is doing just that to reimagine old, boring data warehouses, but on the cloud. We believe Datacoral has the potential to similarly disrupt data infrastructure — as we know it today — on the cloud.

Second, as every business becomes “data driven,” we believe that it will absolutely need best-in-class, cost-effective and 24x7 data infrastructure to extract business insights from its data. Yet, very few companies have access to the level of talent, resources and time (to market) necessary to build that kind of data infrastructure. More importantly, managing and running such a data infrastructure with enterprise-grade SLA requires huge investments in people and technology, often not possible for most enterprises. Datacoral makes this really simple for its customers by helping them put together their own custom data infrastructure (from building blocks provided by Datacoral) in a matter of hours and then taking on the task of running and scaling it autonomously.

Finally, we believe that infrastructure is going SaaS. AWS has already taught startups (and increasingly enterprises) to stop worrying about setting up servers, storage or networking. As uptake of new technologies like serverless, Kubernetes, etc. accelerate, we continue to see businesses moving further up the stack. Increasingly, such customers are looking to consume infrastructures as-a-service to benefit from the ever-evolving technology landscape and pay only for what they use, just like they do for IaaS already. Datacoral enables its customers to consume data infrastructure as-a-service and pay for only what they consume.

Raghu’s vision for Datacoral builds on all of the above three trends by providing a fully managed, truly cloud-native, end-to-end data infrastructure as-a-service. Any cloud-ready startup or enterprise that is looking for insights from its data but does not have the talent, time or more importantly, the intent to build and manage its own data infrastructure should look for a product like Datacoral’s.

And call us biased, but when it comes to building and managing best-in-class data infrastructures, we cannot think of anyone better qualified than Raghu.

So, we are thrilled to be part of the journey as Datacoral takes on its mission to help every company, big or small, become “data driven”!

Featured image via Pixabay