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We Raised a $26M Series-A to Change How Data Is Moved

Michel Tricot
We Raised a $26M Series-A to Change How Data Is Moved

The Airbyte team, John and I, are very proud to announce that we just raised a $26M Series-A round, led by Benchmark. It wasn’t so long ago that we announced our Seed round and so many things have changed over the past 2.5 months. 

First of all the world is re-opening, and although our hearts are with the countries that are still fighting against COVID, humanity is now seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. We are winning!

Second, this one is about Airbyte, we became the most active Slack data integration community -- over 1,300 users today and growing!

And last, the number of users who replicated data with Airbyte since the seed round went from 600 to 2,000. The bet we’ve made when we started Airbyte is proving to be true every passing day: the modernization of the data stack needs an open-source solution for data integration, and Airbyte is on its way to become this solution. 

Where We Come From

John and I started Airbyte in January 2020 with a problem space we wanted to address: data. 

At that time, there was some sparse news coming from China about a virus, nobody in the world really took it seriously. At the same time we were building a product geared toward marketing data. We were closing contracts, getting traction and a lot of production usage.

Within a week the whole world changed. Like many other companies, it hit us hard. We were putting our time, savings, and families on this journey, and the product we were building stopped selling. What were the odds of starting a company the same year as a global pandemic?

At that point we realized that we were building the wrong product, marketing data was not a priority anymore. So we made the hard decision to pivot from the original idea (and gain some white hair in the process). We all went back to the drawing board and back to square one. 

We used everything we had learned during the first few months of 2020, and at the end of July, after going through an intense problem-solution discovery process (we talked with over 50 companies), we all dove into Airbyte as people know it today. We decided to release an MVP at the end of September and the whole team put all their energy into it. 

Who would have thought that 9 months after our MVP release in September, we would have raised a $26M Series-A? This wouldn’t have been possible without our amazing community and supporters.

Where We Are 

When I look back at what Airbyte was when we released the first version of the project last September (6 connectors & only full refresh...), I just couldn’t imagine that we would be where we are today. 

The saying is that to build a startup your ability to execute well and fast is your edge. None of what we’ve accomplished would have been possible without our team. Every day I feel blessed to be working with amazing individuals and I am looking forward to the many years to come.

Of course, we are not just building a product for the sake of building. We are building it for our community to solve the deep pain of data integration. Our members have been our best source of feedback and the best advocates for Airbyte. Thank you!

The list of things that we’ve done since the last fundraising is long but here are some highlights. 

We published our open (and open-source) company handbook which outlines how we are building Airbyte as an open, diverse and distributed company.

We grew the team from 7 to 14, and are now working with 12 full-time contractors. We now have people in Brazil, France, India, Russia, UK, Ukraine, the US, Singapore and also on a small island in the middle of the Pacific: New Caledonia. This gives us 24/6 support for our community. Amongst our newest hire, we have our most active community member (who built the Airflow operator and the Oracle database), and one of our very first contributors.

We released Change Data Capture (CDC) for Postgres which was one of the most asked features. It now allows our users to replicate any single change happening on Postgres to the destination of their choice. Watch out for the support of other databases!

We released our Connector Development Toolkit (CDK). It enables our community to develop connectors in a matter of hours, not days, and it makes the maintenance of connectors a breeze. Today, around 20% of the Airbyte connectors have been contributed by the community and since we released the CDK (2 weeks ago), we have seen a major adoption. The 20% ratio might soon represent the connectors built by Airbyte!

We now support over 70 connectors and we have more coming. Don't forget, our goal is to have at least 200 by the end of the year.

I could continue but there are a lot of other topics that we want to talk about!

Why We Raised Again Now

As I mentioned in the intro, the past few months have confirmed the bet that the Airbyte team did in July 2020. The adoption (600 to 2,000 in 2.5 months) has been explosive and we now have to scale ourselves to accommodate this growth.

One of our goals for 2021 is to give access to a fast, modern and open platform to our community. We are continuously pushing more features and connectors to improve the time to value to our users. 

Today we are seeing some limits in our current model. Many companies can allocate time to install and operate Airbyte but a long tail of companies can’t. This goes against our truth, "It just works", and it also goes against our mission to commoditize data integration. To address this limit, we are starting a new internal initiative to create Airbyte Cloud, a hosted version of Airbyte. With Airbyte Cloud, we intend to completely disrupt the current ELT industry. Expect some news on that point in the next few months. 

With Benchmark and Chetan Puttagunta, we’ve found an ideal partner to accompany us in this journey. This new capital and their experience will help us in two ways. First it will support us in building a top notch team. Our goal is to reach 50 people working full-time (including contractors) on Airbyte by the end of the year. Second, the learning from their successes with Mongo, Elastic, MuleSoft and their advice will support us in building an amazing product, for both our open-source edition and the future Airbyte Cloud.

Along with Benchmark, we are honored to have the participation from additional investors including Accel, SV Angel, YCombinator, and 8VC, as well as Shay Bannon, co-founder and CEO of Elastic, and Dev Ittycheria, CEO of MongoDB. 

Thank you for your trust and support!

Where We Are Going

We are continuing our efforts to commoditize data integration with an open and modern solution that provides value in a matter of minutes. 

We will double down on our community by continuously providing relevant content, supporting our users and building the right tools to make Airbyte faster and simpler to adopt. 

We have several flagship projects that we are going to release over the next few months.

We will have full compatibility with Kubernetes. Many users in our community have been asking for it. It will help improve the time to value by making the deployment to production faster and more reliable. It will also help scale Airbyte to start addressing more parallel data replication jobs and larger volumes.

We will release CDC across all the main databases and we will support all the cloud storage destinations (S3, GCS, Azure Blob Storage…)

We will continue to improve the experience building and maintaining connectors. We want to address more use cases, and make Airbyte the open solution with the most high quality connectors available so it can become anyone's data hub.

And of course, we will work to release Airbyte Cloud (yes there will be beta users - you can join the waitlist here :D) by the end of the year.

Some Last Words

Although we’ve made a lot of progress since we released Airbyte last September, we still have a long journey ahead of us. 

Today, we have the team, the partners and the capital to fulfill our mission. Let's continue to focus, execute and build a platform that data and engineering teams love!

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