CNBC Disruptor 50

$38 billion software start-up Databricks makes acquisition to leave code behind

Key Points
  • The data analysis and AI software start-up is making its second acquisition, of German no-code company 8080 Labs, as it extends focus on data applications for non-computer scientists.
  • Some of Databricks biggest investors, including Google, Amazon and Salesforce, have been pushing into the low-code/no-code space in recent years, technology which enables non-coders to develop enterprise apps across business functions, also referred to as the rise of the "citizen developer."
  • Databricks was recently valued at $38 billion by investors.

Databricks, which was recently valued at $38 billion by investors, is putting some of that money to work in its second-ever acquisition, of German no-code start-up 8080 Labs.

8080 Labs makes bamboolib, a data exploration tool that does not require coding to use, bringing what has become one of the most-popular trends in enterprise development — the rise of low-code/no-code solutions — to Databricks' Lakehouse Platform.

The company said in a release that 8080 Labs' software works on "clicks, not code."

Deal terms were not disclosed.

In June 2020, Databricks acquired Redash, an Israeli open-source tech company focused on data visualization.

"Bringing simple capabilities to Databricks is a critical step in empowering more people within an organization to easily analyze and explore large sets of data, regardless of expertise," Ali Ghodsi, co-founder and CEO of Databricks, said in a release on Wednesday.   

Ali Ghodsi, co-founder and chief executive officer of Databricks Inc., speaks during a Bloomberg Technology television interview in San Francisco, California, U.S., on Tuesday, Oct. 22, 2019.
David Paul Morris | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Databricks, which ranked No. 37 on the 2021 CNBC Disruptor 50 list, recently raised $1.6 billion at the $38 billion valuation. A previous round included Amazon, Google and Salesforce as investors.

Databricks originally caught on with enterprise clients — it is on pace to generate $1 billion or more in 2022 revenue, a growth rate of over 75% — with a version of big data tool Apache Spark, an alternative to the Hadoop technology for storing lots of different kinds of data in massive quantities.

Its cloud-native approach has been compared to Snowflake, which was the biggest software IPO in history.

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Recent Databricks' investors Amazon and Google are among the tech giants that have been increasing their own focus on low-code and no-code solutions, with Google acquiring AppSheet in 2020 and Amazon launching its Honeycode later that year. Microsoft, which offers its Power Apps and has claimed it is the fastest-growing business app ever for the company, also sees low-code/no-code solutions as a key source of revenue growth, expecting 500 million new apps to be built in the next half-decade, which is more than all the apps built in the last 40 years.

"If that's true, 450 million have to be built with a low-code tool," Charles Lamanna, corporate vice president of the citizen applications platform at Microsoft, told CNBC last year. "There are not enough humans to code fast enough to build that many."

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