When Databricks announced earlier this month that it crossed a $1 billion run rate was certainly a big milestone for the company, but it wasn’t a huge surprise. Data lake startup flies. Almost exactly a year ago, Databricks announced a $1.6 billion raise on an astonishing $38 billion valuation with an ARR of $600 million. That grew to $800 million ARR in February of this year.
Databricks now says it no longer counts ARR, but instead looks at quarterly earnings and calculates an annual run rate instead. However you measure it, the company is making quick money and the external economic conditions that have held back many companies’ growth don’t seem to have much of an impact on Databricks.
Databricks reports that the 80% growth rate it experienced last year has not slowed down and that it sees consistent and steady interest in its product range, especially the House by the lake, a service that combines a data warehouse with a data lake in one product, versatility that customers seem to really like. The data warehouse has traditionally been used to store structured data while the data lake was created to store growing amounts of unstructured data. Combining the two, while challenging, reduces some of the complexity of managing them separately.
“This is not the time for us to skimp. We don’t have to.” Databricks CEO Ali Ghodsi
The concept caught on with customers and translated into customer and revenue growth. Meanwhile, Databricks is aggressively hiring staff to meet the demand it sees in the market. It has plans to hire 2,500 new employees this year, a strong counterbalance to the steady stream of layoffs at tech startups we’ve been hearing about for most of this year.
Databricks, on the other hand, started 2022 with 3,000 employees, now has more than 4,000 and expects to reach 5,500 by the end of the year.
We sat down with CEO Ali Ghodsi to discuss the revenue milestone, where he sees his company heading in the coming year, and Databricks’ remarkable ability to counter the general slump in the SaaS market this year.