CNBC Disruptor 50

36. Databricks

Founders: Ali Ghodsi (CEO), Matei Zaharia, Reynold Xin, Ion Stoica, Patrick Wendell, Andy Konwinski, Arsalan Tavakoli-Shiraji
Launched: 2013
Headquarters: San Francisco
Funding:
 $897.4 million
Valuation: $6.2 billion (PitchBook)
Key technologies:
 AI, machine learning
Industry:
 Data science and machine learning
Previous appearances on Disruptor 50 List: 0

George Kavallines

Six-year-old Databricks, a technology start-up based in San Francisco, is on a mission: to help data teams solve the world's toughest problems, from security-threat detection to cancer and Covid-19 drug development. It does this by building and running a data and AI infrastructure platform so customers — Comcast, Shell, Expedia and Regeneron, to name a few — can focus on the challenges that are central to their own missions.

View the FULL LIST: 2020 DISRUPTOR 50

Last April the company announced its open-source project, called Delta Lake. This project enables organizations to transform their existing messy data lakes — centralized repositories that can store structured and unstructured data — into clean Delta Lakes with high-quality data, thereby accelerating their data and machine learning initiatives. The company has entered into a number of partnerships. It's working with Microsoft on the open-source project, MLflow, and is partnering with Informatica to accelerate the development of intelligent data pipelines.

Ali Ghodsi, co-founder and CEO of Databricks, speaks at the company's Spark and AI Summit in San Francisco in April 2019.
Databricks was ready for the recession. Now the start-up is poised to go public next year

The same month, it added Covid-19 data sets on its platform and workbooks on how to analyze the information. This is a research hub that includes blogs and other resources to keep the data industry informed on drug development, clinical trials, patient tracking and disease modeling and detection.

Earlier this year, Databricks opened a major engineering center in Toronto. Many Canadians go south to the U.S., often for better pay or work. The company said it opened the engineering center to make sure the most talented engineers can work on cutting-edge technologies in Canada. In October the company raised another $400 million in funding, giving it a valuation of $6.2 billion. CEO and co-founder Ali Ghodsi told TechCrunch in October, after the last funding round, that an IPO is "definitely going to happen down the line in the not-too-distant future."

A look back at the CNBC Disruptor 50: 8 years, 209 companies