Just six months after raising its first significant round, four-year-old SaaS company Fishtown Analytics closed on a $29.5 million Series B this month, the company announced Wednesday.
The round will go toward continuing to build dbt (data build tool), an open-source, SQL-based data analytics tool that has robust community surrounding it. It currently stands at about 8,000 members in its Slack community, and about 3,000 companies (including locals goPuff and Crossbeam) are using dbt as part of their regular analytics engineering workflow; of those, 490 are paying customers, the company said.
“dbt has been an open source product with a vibrant community since day one, we’ve not been surprised with the growth in the last six months, but it’s been meaningful nonetheless,” CEO Tristan Handy told Technical.ly.
Handy and fellow cofounders Drew Banin and Connor McArthur are all RJMetrics alumni, where work on dbt began back in 2016. The trio wanted to see where the product could go, so they rolled it out into Fishtown Analytics and bootstrapped the company with mostly consulting services until earlier this year, when the company raised $12.9 million.
Existing investors Silicon Valley VC firms Andreessen Horowitz and Amplify Partners participated in this most recent round, but it was led by Sequoia Capital. The firm’s partner, Matt Miller, will join Fishtown Analytics’ board.
“The Fishtown Analytics team is capitalizing on a market opening created by the cloud data warehouses and dared to imagine a new way to transform data with the elegance of code, which they call analytics engineering,” Miller said in a statement. “We were taken aback by the strength of the community and the effusive user evangelism — across more than a dozen user interviews, the average net promoter score was greater than 10 out of 10, which is unheard of.”
Handy said the team wasn’t expecting to fundraise again so quickly — a standard VC round likely lasts a company around 18 months or so. But on an expected check-in call with Miller, he presented a 40-page internal memo showing the company’s growth and wanted to make a move then.
Also growing this year is Fishtown Analytics’ team: When we checked in in April, they were aiming to expand from 15 to about 50, and in early November, were standing at 49 employees with a few offer letters out, Director of Marketing Janessa Lantz said. That number could easily double next year, Handy said.
“I think out of all the lessons we’ve learned, it’s showed that if you build a product people find useful and like, the other stuff people often focus on about entrepreneurial journey kind of follows suit,” Handy said.
And in doubling down on their dbt community, a planned in-person user conference has shifted to be totally virtual next month. Coalesce, a five-day community event will use different session types like user talks, workshops, Slack chats and VIP sessions to bring the dbt community together the second week of December.
The team is excited about an eventual live meetup of community members, Handy said, but in the tech community, it’s easy to see the benefits of accessibility that remote events bring. It’s a similar outlook they’re bringing to their hiring and office culture: It’s exciting to have a company that’s not totally Philly or San Francisco based, but he does see future team meetings and events happening in person or in the company’s office at Ninth and Spring Garden streets.
“Philly continues to be a place where we love hiring from,” Handy said.
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