10 Hot Big Data Companies You Should Watch In 2022
Here’s a roundup of 10 companies developing big data technologies and big data solutions to keep an eye on in 2022—some well-known, some likely to break out this year and some just starting to appear on industry observers’ radar screens.
The “global datasphere”—the total amount of data created and replicated in a given year—reached 64.2 zettabytes in 2020 and will continue to grow at a 23 percent compound annual growth rate through 2025, according to market research firm IDC.
Businesses and organizations are increasingly challenged to manage and govern all that data and find ways to collect and prepare it for initiatives in big data analytics, machine learning and digital transformation.
To address those challenges businesses today can turn to a wide range of big data technologies and big data solutions—from early stage startups to well-established companies.
Here’s a look at 10 big data companies that we will be keeping our eyes on through 2022.
Top Executive: Spencer Kimball, Co-Founder, CEO
The wave of companies developing next-generation database software has continued to grow in recent years. More established developers such as Couchbase, MariaDB, MongoDB and SingleStore, along with a growing number of young startups like Yugabyte, are competing to break from the pack and position themselves as the alternative to deeply entrenched database products from Oracle and Microsoft.
Cockroach Labs has attracted a lot of attention—and a lot of funding—with its CockroachDB distributed SQL database that’s designed to handle workloads with huge volumes of transactional data. The database is also the foundation for Cockroach Cloud, the company’s popular Database as a Service that launched in 2019.
Having raised a total of $633 million since its 2015 founding, the startup’s market valuation now stands at $5 billion.
Top Executive: Jay Kreps, Co-Founder, CEO
After Snowflake’s blockbuster initial public stock offering in 2020, expectations have been high for other big data company IPOs. Confluent, a developer of real-time data/event streaming software, went public in June 2021 with a successful IPO that raised $828 million for the company and put its market valuation around $10 billion.
(The company’s shares, which began trading around $46, are now trading close to $74 – down from a Nov. 1 peak of nearly $94 – putting the company’s current market cap at more than $19 billion.)
With its IPO behind it, Confluent now faces the challenge of maintaining its momentum with its “data in motion” software, including the Confluent Platform and Confluent Cloud service, both targeted toward real-time data processing tasks.
In September Confluent debuted its Stream Governance suite of software for data governance management of streaming data. And in November the company said its Cluster Linking technology, for streaming data across hybrid and multi-cloud environments, was available on Confluent Platform 7.0.
Top Executive: Clint Sharp, Co-Founder, CEO
Data observability has become a hot segment of the big data space, spawning a number of startup companies offering tools and technologies that address various data observability challenges.
Cribl is one such company with its observability data engineering software, including its flagship LogStream system, for building pipelines that rout high volumes of telemetry data (including machine log, instrumentation, application and metric data) between operational, storage, analytical and security systems. In October 2021 Cribl launched LogStream Cloud Enterprise Edition, a cloud service for securely managing globally distributed observability data pipelines.
Founded in 2017, Cribl raised $200 million in a Series C round of funding in August 2021.
Top Executive: Ali Ghodsi, Co-Founder, CEO
Many observers anticipated a 2021 IPO from Databricks. But the high-flying data analytics platform and data lakehouse technology developer instead raised impressive amounts of venture capital, including $1 billion and $1.6 billion in funding rounds in February and August, respectively, that put the company’s market valuation at $38 billion.
(In December the company announced its own venture investment vehicle, Databricks Ventures, to invest in startups developing what the company called “the next generation of innovation and technology harnessing the power of data and AI.”)
Could 2022 be the year Databricks goes public? Following Snowflake’s blockbuster IPO in September 2020, expectations for a Databricks initial public offering will be sky-high.
On the technology side, Databricks has been the most visible proponent of the data lakehouse architecture as an alternative to traditional data warehouse systems. (The Lakehouse Fund, the first Databricks Ventures fund, was launched to invest in early stage companies developing lakehouse-related technology.) While there has been much discussion of the advantages of data lakehouses, developments in 2022 should provide a clearer picture on how widely the lakehouse concept is catching on. In January Databricks launched a data lakehouse system specifically for retailers—the company’s first for a vertical industry.
Top Executive: Eldad Farkash, Co-Founder, CEO
Firebolt, which officially launched in December 2020, has developed a cloud data warehouse system with which the startup is boldly competing head-to-head with industry giants like Amazon Web Services, Snowflake and Google.
The company emphasizes the high performance of its system as a competitive advantage. And while AWS and Snowflake market their data cloud platforms for a wide range of tasks, Firebolt is specifically targeting developers and data engineers who are building data-intensive applications and interactive analytical systems in the cloud—for both internal and external users—that tap into huge volumes of data.
In June 2021 Firebolt raised an impressive $127 million in Series B funding to fuel its development efforts.
Top Executive: Amit Walia, CEO
Informatica, founded in 1993, was a pioneer in the data integration/ETL (extract, transform and load) space and in some respects was Silicon Valley’s original “big data” company. Today Informatica is a leading provider of software tools for data management, integration, governance, quality and other tasks running on the company’s flagship Intelligent Data Management Cloud platform.
Like Qlik, Informatica was once a publicly traded company, was taken private and then went public again in 2021.
In an interview with CRN in November, CEO Amit Walia said Informatica had completed its transition to a subscription sales model and doubled its annual recurring revenue. The CEO also said that the portion of its sales from cloud services was growing rapidly.
In the last six months the company has established strategic alliances with some heavy hitters including a cloud integration pact with Databricks, the launch of a cloud analytics service on Microsoft Azure, and a joint cloud data migration initiative with Google Cloud.
Top Executive: Mike Capone, CEO
On Jan. 6 business analytics and data integration software vendor Qlik said that it had confidentially submitted a draft registration with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for a proposed IPO of common stock. While the IPO is likely to happen this year, the exact timing, along with such details as the number of shares to be sold and the price range for the proposed offering, have yet to be determined.
Qlik, which was once a publicly traded company, was taken private by Thoma Bravo in 2016. The company is competing in the crowded data analytics space with Tableau, ThoughtSpot, MicroStrategy, Tibco and dozens more.
Qlik has expanded beyond its core business analytics offerings into data management and data integration through acquisitions including the purchase of Podium Data in 2018 and the $560 million acquisition of Attunity in 2019.
Last year Qlik bought Big Squid, a developer of automated machine learning technology, in a move to provide more augmented analytics capabilities and build on its “active intelligence” moniker. Qlik also acquired Blendr.io and its embedded integration and automation platform. The new year will see how Qlik makes use of those latest acquisitions.
Top Executive: James Goodnight, CEO
SAS is one of the leading players in the big data analytics space and—founded in 1976—has been around longer than most. But being privately held and based in North Carolina far from Silicon Valley, SAS (formally SAS Institute) doesn’t always get the same amount of attention as other big data companies.
That changed in 2021 when reports said SAS, which is still owned by its founders including CEO James Goodnight, was in discussions to be acquired by IT infrastructure giant Broadcom. Those talks reportedly ended. But shortly after, on July 29, SAS announced that the company would begin preparing for an initial public offering by 2024.
While SAS doesn’t disclose details about its financial performance, the IPO announcement said the company generated approximately $3 billion in revenue in 2020 and achieved its 45th consecutive year of profitability.
Industry observers—and potential investors—will be closely watching the company’s business and technology moves in 2022 and beyond. As SAS begins making more of its financial data public leading up to the IPO, potential investors will be looking for the company to maintain and accelerate its momentum.
Top Executive: Frank Slootman, CEO
Data cloud service provider Snowflake has probably been the most watched big data company in recent years—certainly since its blockbuster IPO in September 2020. The company has been reporting triple-digit revenue growth, expanding its platform’s services and capabilities, and is now ramping up its offerings for vertical industries.
The high-flying company has also been expanding its Snowflake Partner Network program and broadening the types of partners it works with.
Expectations remain high, even though the company’s stock is down around $290 per share from a high of $401.89 on Nov. 16, 2021.
Top Executive: Mike Del Balso, Co-Founder and CEO
Machine learning projects require huge amounts of data when in development and in production. That’s given rise to a wave of startups offering tools and technology to help solve the data challenges that can be the biggest impediment to deploying machine learning in the enterprise.
Tecton.ai, which exited stealth in 2020, is one such company that many are watching. Tecton.ai said it has developed a new kind of data platform to meet the unique needs of machine learning. The technology is designed to enable data scientists to turn raw data into the predictive signals that power machine learning models.
Founders CEO Mike Del Balso, CTO Kevin Stumpf Engineering Vice President Jeremy Hermann worked together at Uber when the ride sharing giant was building and deploy new machine learning models. They created Uber’s Michelangelo machine learning platform and then went on to found Tecton.ai to develop technology to help other companies meet their operational machine learning data challenges.