Snowflake Computing, the Silicon Valley-based cloud data warehouse startup that just announced a new engineering center in the Seattle region, has closed a $100 million funding round led by ICONIQ Capital, with Seattle-based Madrona Venture Group coming on board as a new investor.
The additional funding will be used to expand Snowflake’s data warehouse-as-a-service internationally, further develop its technology, and grow its engineering team with a “special focus” on building its new operations in Bellevue, Wash., the company said in announcing the funding this morning.
“We’re growing like crazy,” said Snowflake CEO Bob Muglia in an interview this week. “It’s a big world we’re in, and it’s time for us to expand and grow.”
The additional funding underscores the strong investor interest in new enterprise technologies built natively for the cloud. The additional $100 million brings the San Mateo, Calif., company’s total funding to $205 million. Previous investors Altimeter Capital, Redpoint Ventures, Sutter Hill Ventures and Wing Ventures also participating in the new Series D funding round.
Madrona’s participation as a new investor also represents a reunion for Muglia and S. “Soma” Somasegar, a Madrona managing director who worked with Muglia for many years at Microsoft. Somasegar led Microsoft’s Developer Division, while Muglia was president of the company’s Server & Tools Business.
Although this is a later-stage investment than Madrona typically makes, a variety of factors made it a compelling deal for the firm, Somasegar said in an interview.
“We get excited about people who are doing great things in the cloud, and this is one of the great companies in terms of what they are doing in the cloud and for the cloud, right from day one,” Somasegar said. “It’s a huge market that’s only growing every day as there’s more data in the world.”
Confidence in Muglia and the Snowflake leadership team also played a significant role in Madrona’s decision, Somasegar said. Snowflake was founded in 2012 by database architects and Oracle veterans Benoit Dageville and Thierry Cruanes. Its third co-founder, Marcin Zukowski, is credited with inventing vectorized query execution in databases. Its head of engineering, Sameet Agrawal, spent many years at Microsoft, heading the SQL Server Relational Database Engine.
“I have a tremendous amount of respect, admiration and appreciation for Bob,” Somasegar said. “Having that deep database background with a seasoned business leader like Bob makes for a great team. The team is awesome.”
Snowflake’s new engineering office in Bellevue also positions Madrona to provide additional value to the company given the venture capital firm’s presence in the Seattle region, he noted.
Even though Snowflake’s cloud data warehouse runs on AWS, it competes with Amazon’s own Redshift data warehouse — not an uncommon situation in the modern world of cloud technology. In a post about its participation in the round, Madrona cites a recent GigaOm analyst report that ranks Snowflake as the top cloud analytics database over Google BigQuery, Teradata, Azure Data Warehouse and AWS Redshift.
Muglia said the new funding will allow the company to expand its sales reach, hiring more people in the U.S., while also covering geographies such as Europe and ultimately Asia. Snowflake currently has salespeople in London and plans to expand into other parts of Europe this year.
At its Bellevue engineering office, the company is starting with team of four engineers and one product manager, but it’s targeting at least 10 to 15 engineers this year and could eventually have as many as 50 to 100 engineers in the office, Muglia said previously.
Snowflake declined to disclose the valuation placed on the company as part of the new investment round.