Starburst Data announces $42 million series B funding round

The Boston-based company, focused on the open source distributed SQL query engine Presto, has now raised a total of $64 million in less than seven months.
Written by Andrew Brust, Contributor

Presto-focused Starburst Data today announced a $42M Series B funding round that follows hot on the heels of its $22M Series A round, announced less than 7 months ago. The Series B round was led by Coatue Management, which has served as a growth equity investor in Databricks and Confluent. Coatue's General Partner and former Facebook exec, Caryn Marooney, will join Starburst's board. Previous investor Index Ventures also participated.

Also read: Starburst Data's road to providing the gateway to cloud storage

Presto, created at Facebook in 2012, sits at the intersection of data lake and data virtualization. With the original creators of Presto -- Martin Traverso, Dain Sundstrom and David Phillips -- now in Starburst's employ, the company is the major commercial entity supporting the open source project.

Presto change-o?

Notably, though, Presto is really two open source projects, not one. The PrestoSQL project, backed by Starburst, and managed by the Starburst-led Presto Software Foundation, is in some competition with PrestoDB, backed by Facebook and governed by the Presto Foundation, itself a subsidiary project to the Linux Foundation. Two weeks ago, on June 2nd, a new company, PrestoDB-focused Ahana, came out of stealth and announced its $2M seed funding round. 

Also read: Ahana gets seed funding, and a tale of two Prestos

Ahana's kickoff and its involvement on the Presto Foundation board might have presaged an heightened adversarial relationship between the two Presto projects, and indeed the two companies. However, Starburst announced on June 1st that it was joining the Presto Foundation, easing the open source tribal rivalry. And with today's Series B announcement, Starburst has now raised $64M in its Series A and B rounds, compared to Ahana's $2M seed funding, making that corporate rivalry less pitched, as well, at least for now.

Lakes, warehouses and peacemaker Presto

Cloud data lakes and data warehouses are each big right now, and companies yearn for a way to query them together. Presto does this, and the the recent funding activity for Presto-focused companies corroborates the importance of that to the market. Add in adoption of Presto on both Amazon Web Services' Athena and Elastic MapReduce (EMR) services; and availability of Presto on Google Cloud Dataproc, and it's clear that Presto's hot, as is the agnostic/federated data query construct on which it's premised.

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