CNBC Disruptor 50

34. Databricks

Founders: Ali Ghodsi (CEO), Matei Zaharia, Reynold Xin, Ion Stoica, Patrick Wendell, Andy Konwinski, Arsalan Tavakoli-Shiraji
Launched: 2013
Headquarters: San Francisco
$3.5 billion
Valuation: $38 billion
Key technologies:
Artificial intelligence, cloud computing, explainable AI, machine learning, no code/low code software
Enterprise technology
Previous appearances on Disruptor 50 List: 2 (No. 37 in 2021)

Persephone Kavallines

Companies depend on Databricks to store their data and clean it up so employees can analyze it and wrap it into applications.

The San Francisco-based company's success has been predicated on helping companies implement a version of Apache Spark, an alternative to the Hadoop technology, for storing lots of different kinds of data in massive quantities. It removes the hassle of configuring and updating third-party software and doesn't require clients to copy data into its software in order to work with it. Instead, data can stay where it already is, such as in Amazon Web Services' widely used S3 object-storage system, and Databricks can still crunch the data.

It is also increasingly helping organizations deploy artificial intelligence models. The company's cloud-native approach has been compared to Snowflake — a 2020 CNBC Disruptor 50 company that went on to become the biggest software IPO in history.

In August 2021, Databricks said that it was generating $600 million in annual recurring revenue, up 75% year over year. At the time, the company had just raised $1.6 billion in a Series H funding round that earned it a $38 billion valuation — $10 billion more than earlier in the year when it added Amazon, Google and Salesforce as investors in a separate $1 billion capital raise.

In October, the company acquired 8080 Labs, which 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 like fellow 2022 Disruptor Airtable— to Databricks' Lakehouse Platform.

While the company hasn't said when it plans to go public and the IPO market has closed for most companies in recent weeks, CEO Ali Ghodsi told CNBC earlier this year that if revenue keeps growing at its current pace, the stock price will take care of itself when the time comes.

Notable Databricks investors include Andreessen Horowitz, BlackRock, Fidelity Investments, Tiger Global, and T. Rowe Price Associates, among others.

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