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Tabular Secures $26M for Independent Data Platform based on Apache Iceberg
[September 19, 2023]

Tabular Secures $26M for Independent Data Platform based on Apache Iceberg

Tabular, the provider of the only independent data platform based on Apache Iceberg, announced it has closed a $26M funding round, bringing total investment in the company to $37M. The round was led by Altimeter Capital, with participation from Andreessen Horowitz, which led the previous funding round, as well as Zetta Venture Partners.

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Tabular provides a universal storage engine based on Apache Iceberg. (Photo: Business Wire)

Tabular provides a universal storage engine based on Apache Iceberg. (Photo: Business Wire)

The funding will be used to expand Tabular's served market beyond AWS to Google Cloud, Azure, and MinIO object storage for on-premises and hybrid cloud deployment. In that vein, the company also announced a preview of Tabular on Google Cloud Platform. Tabular customers will be able to add managed Iceberg to their Google stack, with support for Google Cloud Storage and Google BigQuery.

In addition, Tabular also previewed support for the popular Amazon Athena serverless query engine, which is in use at thousands of companies. Tabular already supports Amazon EMR, Snowflake and Starburst compute engines.

Since its launch in March 2023, Tabular's SaaS offering has grown to well over a thousand subscriptions. Signed commercial customers include a leading real-estate marketplace and one of the world's largest gaming studios.

Ending data lock-in with modular storage

For decades, enterprises were forced to buy monolithic databases with tightly-coupled storage and compute, stifling their abiliy to innovate and driving up costs. In today's cloud-native world, they still face the risk of an "Oracle 2.0." Having been burned in the past, companies desire storage and compute layers that are modular. This allows them to use best-of-breed components and evolve their architecture as needs change and new technologies emerge.

Apache Iceberg, built by Tabular co-founders Ryan Blue and Dan Weeks while at Netflix, is an open source table format that provides complete database functionality on top of a cloud object store. Iceberg has broad support from leading vendors including AWS, Confluent, Cloudera, Databricks, Google, IBM, and Snowflake.

"The near-universal adoption of Apache Iceberg by top-tier cloud data platforms is a testament to the need for a common table format that allows zero-copy use of data across myriad compute engines," said Blue. "With Iceberg, businesses gain the freedom to query data however they like, and to secure their data through a single set of access controls."

Universal storage that connects to multiple compute engines and frameworks

In 2021, Blue, Weeks, and Netflix colleague Jason Reid founded Tabular to split the database in two, creating a separate, open standard storage layer that could attach to any compute engine. This approach frees customers from having their data held hostage, while maintaining high performance and ease-of-use.

"The cloud ecosystem has begun to consolidate around a small constellation of full-stack vendors, creating a real risk of rent-seeking behavior that can negatively impact customers and stifle innovation," said Martin Casado, general partner at Andreessen Horowitz. "Independent and open platforms such as Tabular offer a path to healthy competition and flexibility for enterprises."

Tabular is the only independent Iceberg vendor in the market. It does not offer its own compute layer, allowing customers to mix-and-match query engines to meet their needs.

Key attributes of the Tabular service include:

  • Compute-neutrality - query from multiple compute engines or frameworks
  • Data-layer security - centralized RBAC enforced at the database, table, or column level
  • Integrated ingestion - near-real-time loading of files, database events (CDC), and stream sources
  • Automated performance - continually optimizes storage to greatly speed queries and reduce costs
  • SaaS simplicity - deploys in minutes and auto-scales

Over the past year Tabular has received accolades that recognize the importance of its product and vision, including The Information's 50 Most Promising Startups, the Forbes Cloud 100, and the Redpoint Ventures InfraRed 100. Co-founder Ryan Blue was named a "Person to Watch" by Datanami.

"Tabular's independent approach has touched a nerve," said Jamin Ball, partner at Altimeter Capital. "Despite their short time in-market they have landed well-known companies at platform scope and scale. In essence they've built a 'headless data warehouse,' which is a game-changer for the industry."

About Tabular

Tabular is the independent data platform built by the creators of Apache Iceberg. Tabular eliminates the pain data engineers and data scientists endure fighting the shortcomings of their data infrastructure. The Tabular platform - available on AWS and GCP (preview) - is the easiest path to success with Iceberg-based storage. It is a cloud-native SaaS offering that supports a wide range of compute engines. It auto-optimizes storage for faster, cheaper queries and provides centralized RBAC, enforced down to the data table level.

Tabular was founded by Netflix alumni Ryan Blue, Dan Weeks and Jason Reid. Blue also serves as the Iceberg PMC Chair and Weeks is an Iceberg PMC member. Investors include Andreessen Horowitz, Altimeter Capital, and Zetta Venture Partners.

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