Materialize, the SQL streaming database startup built on the open source Timely Dataflow project, today announced a $ 32 million Series B investment by Kleiner Perkins, with the participation of Lightspeed Ventures is directed.
Meanwhile, the company also announced a previously unannounced $ 8 million Series A from last year led by Lightspeed, bringing the grand total to $ 40 million.
These firms see a solid founding team that includes CEO Arjun Narayan, formerly Cockroach Labs, and chief scientist Frank McSherry, who created the Timely Flow project on which the company is based.
According to Narayan, the company fundamentally believes that any business must be a real-time business and it will require a streaming database to achieve this. In addition, because of its ubiquity, the company was built with SQL, and the founders wanted to make sure customers could quickly access and use this data without learning a new query language.
“Our goal is really to help any business understand streaming data and build intelligent applications without using or needing special skills. Basically, it means you have to go to standard companies with the technologies and tools they understand. This is standard SQL, ”Narayan explained.
Bucky Moore, the partner at Kleiner Perkins who leads the B-Round, sees this standard query capability as a key element of the technology. “As more companies incorporate streaming data into their decision pipelines, the inability to easily ask questions about that data becomes a non-starter. Materialize's unique ability to deliver SQL over streaming data solves this problem and lays the foundation for building the next great data platform in the industry, ”he said.
You would of course be compared to Confluent, a streaming database based on the open source Apache Kafka streaming database project, but Narayan says his company uses direct SQL for the query while Confluent uses its own variant.
The company is still working on the commercial side of the house and currently offers a typical service offering for paying customers with support and a service agreement (SLA). The startup is working on a SaaS version of the product, which is expected to be released next year.
They currently have 20 employees who plan to double that number by the end of next year as they continue to expand the product. As they grow, Narayan says the company is definitely thinking about how to build a diverse organization.
He says that he found hiring in general was challenging during the pandemic and he hopes that will change in 2021, but he says he and his co-founders are looking at the top of the hiring funnel because otherwise, As he points out, it's easy to get complacent and rely on the same network of people you've worked with before, which tend to be less diverse.
“The KPIs and metrics that we really want to use to make sure we really put extra effort into ensuring diverse sourcing in your hiring pipeline and then track them down the funnel. This is, in my opinion, the most important way to ensure you have a diverse (employee base) and I think this is true of any company, ”he said.
Now, while working remotely, he will see multiple offices with a headquarters in NYC when the pandemic finally ends. Some employees will continue to work remotely, but the majority will come to one of the offices.