Snowflake Computing, the company that built a Data Warehouse as a Service cloud solution, announced a $100 million Series D investment led by Iconiq Capital with help from Madrona Venture Group.
Early investors Altimeter Capital, Redpoint Ventures, Sutter Hill Ventures and Wing Ventures also participated. Snowflake last raised $45 million in June, 2015. Today’s investment brings the total raised to $205 million, according to the company.
The company is led by Bob Muglia, who went from managing thousands of people at Juniper and Microsoft to being employee #34 at a startup. He made the move because he believed in what Snowflake was doing — building a SQL data warehouse service from the ground up for the cloud.
Matt Jacobson, general partner at lead investor Iconiq, says they saw a company that has positioned itself for the data requirements of modern customers. “Everything that makes a company great now centers on data, the speed to assemble and organize data, and the ability to extract value and insight from that data,” Jacobsen said in a statement.
What they’re offering is a classic cloud play, a database that can do the job Oracle traditionally handled in-house without any of the management headaches associated with running a data warehouse. You get the ability to scale to whatever size you require, while only paying for usage.
Interestingly enough, even though this is a SaaS product, the company decided to forego subscription pricing. Instead it’s going with a usage-based pricing model where you pay based on the amount of data processed. This presented some challenges for Muglia as an executive as there weren’t a lot of companies taking this approach. He points to Twilio and Stripe as companies they could look to, but says overall, “We are helping define how this type of business is put together and run.”
When he came on board, Muglia had been an executive at Juniper for a couple of years after running a huge division at Microsoft previously. He admits that moving to a startup with less than 35 people was a huge transition for him at first.
“The company was just two years old when I started in 2014. The product was still in Alpha. We had done zero deals. The fundamentals of the product were there, but there was still a lot of work to do,” Muglia said. He found himself using hands-on management skills he hadn’t had to use in years. Now, as the company grows, he’s taking on the more typical higher level management role.
The company, which launched in 2012, currently has 450 customers and Muglia says it’s growing fast. Today’s investment will help continue that trajectory and move into more worldwide markets, and expand its engineering efforts. It recently opened a new engineering office right in Microsoft’s backyard in Bellevue, Washington.
Snowflake currently has 175 employees. Muglia could see that going up to 250 by early next year. He didn’t want to discuss valuation at this point, but he said the new money puts the company in a strong financial situation with plenty of cash to grow moving forward.
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