Fivetran is an Oakland, Calif. Based technology company co-founded in 2012 by CEO George Fraser and COO Taylor Brown that innovated a SaaS data integration tool to extract and load data from different sources into warehouses. of data.
The company automates the process of integrating data from various sources such as Netsuite or Salesforce into cloud-based data warehouses such as Snowflake, Amazon Redshift, Microsoft Azure, and Google BigQuery.
And while the data integration tools market is expected to grow from $ 11.6 billion in 2021 to $ 19.6 billion by 2026 according to MarketsandMarkets Research, Fivetran’s Fraser believes the market opportunity is great. more important.
Any business that has two data sources has an integration problem. “Anyone who wants to analyze data in the context of business, you have to go and get the data wherever it is and put it in one place and that’s an issue that nobody wants to work on, or at least this was not at the time we launched Fivetran, ”says Fraser
He was seen as kind of a space dog to start a business because the data engineering community believed that every integration had to be personalized and you could never really create a large, repeatable data integration product. value. “Everyone who made products in that space, there were toolboxes that you put together in whatever you wanted, and toolboxes suck in all spaces. Toolkits are not good. At some point you might as well hire a bunch of programmers and write code, which most people did back then to solve data integration issues and many still do today, ”explains Fraser.
Fraser and Taylor started Fivetran to solve their own database integration issues. “Me and Taylor Brown have known each other forever. We got to know each other growing up and at the time I was a scientist working in a biotech company. I had recently completed my PhD and he was working at a start-up that made social media apps. The original idea was to create a vertically integrated tool to connect, capture and analyze data, like “Nut Soup”. We’ve been working on iterations of this for two years. We were in YCombinator at the beginning and we released the first version and then we edited and modified and modified it. Then I finally found out that the real unresolved issue in this space was just data integration, bringing all of your data together in one place, ”says Fraser.
They didn’t know what they didn’t know at the time and went ahead against all misconceptions and built a data integration tool. The duo first found success with tech start-ups who also weren’t sure they were breaking the “rules” of how you’re supposed to do data integration. “They were like, it’s great. I just plugged in Fivetran, all my data is showing. The format in which it appears is reasonable. It’s not necessarily what I would have chosen if you had asked me, but of course it’s fine. I can work with that, ”Fraser says.
Their first customers were people they knew through the Silicon Valley YCombinator network. Then, within weeks, Looker’s BI tool discovered them and realized that their customers needed a data integration tool so Looker could better sell their tool. “So they started referring clients to us, which is a weird thing to get referrals when at this point we were only three people, but it shows how desperate people were for a solution to this problem, ”says Fraser.
With Looker as a reputable client, the company started to take off, true to its vision of making Fivetran a ‘plug and play’ data integration tool for any database, even if they passed. years of iterating the tool to make sure it works in every case.
As Fraser puts it, the name FiveTran was chosen as a data geek’s pun for what comes after Fortran. But the company’s success is no joke, with more than $ 100 million in annual revenue, according to Fraser. Their employee base is north of 850. Fivetran recently acquired HVR, a leader in enterprise data replication, alongside its latest D cycle for $ 565 million led by Andreesen Horowitz in September 2021. Au In total, the company raised $ 728.1 million in venture capital funding. Other investors include General Catalyst, Matrix Partners, CEAS Investments, and others. According to Bloomberg, the company has a valuation of $ 5.6 billion.
Fraser was born in New York, but raised in Rye, New York. He went to internship in New Jersey, then to Carnegie Mellon for college, followed by a doctorate in neuroscience at the University of Pittsburgh. “I worked on the first few years of recording for many neurons simultaneously. And what can we do with it? We can do things like prosthetics. Even though it’s very different from what I do today, I don’t regret it at all. It was like an adventure that I lived, ”says Fraser.
Fraser became disenchanted with the college system and decided he didn’t want to be a professor. Before graduating, he moved to California to work at a biotechnology company based in Menlo Park, California, and returned to Pittsburgh for his doctoral defense.
Where does his desire to be an entrepreneur come from? “I had this idea in my head when I was a kid, I don’t know why, but I read books that have entrepreneurs in them and so the idea was there. I had this split brain where there was a part of me that wanted to be a scientist and do research and there was a part of me that really liked entrepreneurship as long as I understood what it was. ‘was at the time,’ says Fraser.
At one point, he remembers wanting to buy a shark and make neighborhood children pay entry in order to earn money. “I tried to convince my father’s friend to invest in it and he liked my initiative, but he decided not to invest in it because my parents told him not to do it because they didn’t want a shark in the house. Because he’s an investment banker, years later I tried to convince him to invest in Fivetran and he didn’t either and today he says: “It was a huge mistake. I should have invested in both the shark and Fivetran. would have been a great portfolio. ”
As for the future? “It’s not a question of if, but when we go public. We need to keep running and keep growing and we have a lot of internal process maturity that we need to develop, but that’s absolutely on our mind as company leaders and on the board. We believe that Fivetran is really meant to be a long-standing independent business. We like to say that our mission is to make data access as easy and reliable as electricity and we really believe in it, ”concludes Fraser.