Databricks raises data lake of cash at monstrous $38bn valuation

Databricks has raised $1.6 billion in its eighth funding round, not $1.5 billion as first reported.

The post-money valuation of the startup was $38 billion, which compares to NetApp’s market capitalisation of $19.92 billion and HPE’s $20.19 billion. Dell Technologies is higher than any of these companies, at $74.43 billion. The big beast of data analytics, Snowflake, bigger still, is capitalised at $90.13 billion. And that, we think, underpins Databricks’s massive valuation number.

Ali Ghodsi.

Ali Ghodsi, co-founder and CEO of Databricks, said in an announcement statement: “This new investment is a reflection of the rapid adoption and incredible customer demand we’re seeing for the Databricks Lakehouse Platform and underscores the industry and investor confidence in our vision — that lakehouse is the data architecture of the future. This marks a thrilling new chapter that will allow us to accelerate our pace of innovation and further invest in the success of data-driven organisations on their journey to the lakehouse.”

Databricks’s analytics technology works directly on raw data, removing the need for an extract, transform and load (ETL) process to move it into a data warehouse. It calls its data store a lakehouse and says its customers — hundreds of them — are building lakehouses on AWS, Azure and Google Cloud to support every data and analytics workload on a single platform.

Databricks announced the appointment of former Salesforce executive, Andy Kofoid, as President of Global Field Operations

The company has now raised almost $3.6 billion in total funding and claims more than 5000 customers in total.


The funding round was led by Counterpoint Global (Morgan Stanley), and other new investors including Baillie Gifford, ClearBridge Investments and UC Investments. Existing investors participating in the round include Andreessen Horowitz, funds and accounts managed by BlackRock, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPP Investments), Coatue Management, Fidelity Management & Research, Franklin Templeton, GIC, Greenoaks, Octahedron Capital, funds and accounts managed by T. Rowe Price Associates, Inc., Tiger Global Management and Whale Rock Capital Management.

Other existing and new Investors that participated in this funding round include: Alta Park Capital, a suite of BNY Mellon funds, Discovery Capital, Dragoneer Investment Group, Flucas Ventures, Gaingels, Geodesic, Green Bay Ventures, the House Fund, Insight Partners, and New Enterprise Associates.

We’d like to say Uncle Tom Cobley and all were also on the roster — but they were not.


Raising $1.6 billion you don’t need at a post-money valuation of $38 billion makes it seem as if data analytics-focussed venture capitalism is in a virtual reality — an investment bubble with ever-expanding valuations and  funding rounds. 

Some commentators think “Unicorn” is the wrong term for a $10 billion-plus valuation startup and suggest “Dragon” instead. Perhaps Databricks wants to be the Mother of Dragons in this Game of Thrones investing climate.

Can Databricks succeed in its aim of having its Lakehouse technology become, as it says, the data architecture of choice for data-driven organisations — meaning virtually every business? Snowflake is the IPO dream dazzling Databricks’s investors, and they think they have a shot at public offering glory.