Startups

dbt Labs just raised a $222M Series D for a $4.2B valuation as it builds the ‘modern data stack’

As the analytics engineering company has grown to 200 people, founder and CEO Tristan Handy envisions the future applications of its open-source tool.

dbt Labs CEO Tristan Handy.

(Courtesy photo)

Update: Comment from CEO Tristan Handy about a potential IPO for dbt Labs has been added. (2/24/22, 4:27 p.m.)
Less than a year after dbt Labs raised a Series C and rebranded, the analytics engineering company announced Thursday it had raised a $222 million Series D.

The round brings the Spring Garden-headquartered company’s valuation to $4.2 billion, after it reached unicorn status with its July 2021 raise. Existing investor, Altimeter, with participation from existing investors Amplify Partners, Andreessen Horowitz and Sequoia led this round, and are joined by new investors Coatue, Tiger Global, ICONIQ Growth, GV and GIC. Three strategic investors from Databricks, Salesforce Ventures and Snowflake also participated.

At the start of 2022, dbt said it had 9,000 companies using its open source, SQL-based data analytics tool, and that this round of funding will allow it to build the “next layer in the modern data stack.”

“As dbt has become accepted as the industry standard for data transformation, our most forward-thinking community members have begun musing publicly about the future of the modern data stack and about dbt’s role in it,” founder and CEO Tristan Handy said in a statement. “As a data practitioner, I could not be more excited about our product roadmap: an open layer to define an organization’s single source of truth, accessible via every BI and analytics tool.”

The dbt team now stands around 200 people, including about 60 engineers, Handy wrote in a blog post today. It’s been a sharp growth trajectory for a company that just a few years ago was small enough to take office space within 76 Forward’s coworking hub at the Curtis Center. dbt Labs also raised a $29.5 million Series B in fall 2020.

When asked for comment about whether dbt Labs plans to go public in the future, Handy told Technical.ly: “What I can say is that we intend to remain independent. We believe that independence will be critical as we look towards the future of dbt, the dbt Community and the practice of analytics engineering.”

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dbt Labs team members. (Courtesy photo)

The round is expected to help dbt Labs achieve a couple of goals. It will help grow its community of data professionals and dbt meetups, as well as the number of companies using dbt. It will also allow dbt to continue growing its revenue, which climbed six-fold in 2021, the company said. And the funding will help deepen industry partnerships: The company had integrations with the likes of Firebolt, Materialize, Microsoft, Rockset, Starburst and Teradata, in addition to existing integrations with AWS, Google Cloud, Databricks and Snowflake products in 2021.

Funds will also go toward growing its user conference, Coalesce, which hosted about 7,000 people in 2021, and plans to return in October 2022. It also brings potential for new use cases for dbt Labs’ product, which powers 25-plus enterprise applications delivering solutions across categories of business intelligence, operational analytics, data discovery, data quality and data governance.

“The data industry is converging around unified cloud data architectures supporting machine learning, data science and business intelligence use cases,” said Jamin Ball, partner at Altimeter, in a statement. “dbt is uniquely well-positioned for this future. dbt provides a transformation framework suited for the needs of data engineers, data scientists, and business analysts — multiple users with multiple use cases working from a single knowledge layer.”

In the blog post published today, Handy reflects on the last six years of the company’s growth, saying he still believes his most central question is “what does the community need from us?” as the company, product and landscape evolves.

The company will continue to evolve its use cases, Handy said, as his team heard from clients and community members about the future of the modern data stack throughout 2021.

“I would read newsletters with sophisticated takes on what folks believed our product roadmap should look like and then would get a series of Slack DMs after-the-fact from curious practitioners expressing excitement and enthusiasm,” he wrote. “It was surreal; I felt like there was this industry-wide conversation about what dbt should become and I just got to listen in.”

Want to do the same? Handy and cofounder Drew Banin, along with CPO Margaret Francis, will host a dbt community AMA on March 4 on the future of dbt.

Register here
Companies: dbt Labs
People: Tristan Handy
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