Our Investment in Fivetran

Making Data Flow
June 30, 2020
min read

Technologies for connecting systems and moving data have always been a critical component of enterprise infrastructure. Since the emergence of packaged enterprise apps and data warehouses in the 1990s and 2000s, a handful of important companies have been built to integrate systems and move data. SaaS and their APIs have caused an explosion in data sources and have significantly expanded the challenge of building and maintaining connectors to what are hundreds of data stores and SaaS applications, each with its own nuances.

Every company needs to be data-informed to be competitive. Fivetran has taken a novel approach to the problem of pipelining and centralizing their data by making the process transparent, self-service, and cloud native. Today, we’re excited to announce our investment in Fivetran.

Fivetran platform lets data flow freely from source to use. (Image Source: Fivetran)

The Technology
Fivetran has built a platform that allows them to create and maintain connectors with idempotence (as a generalized vs. specific solution), pushing its learnings from any one customer to all its customers, and giving it “six-sigma” level quality in its connectors. Fivetran requires zero maintenance and automatically adjusts to data source changes. The result is a product that abstracts away all the complexity of these connectors, is approachable, and delivers quick time-to-value. The product just works—it’s something we’ve heard over and over from customers.

The overarching tailwinds behind Fivetran is the huge shift in data warehousing to the cloud (which is infinitely elastic). This growth is indexed to the rise of the large cloud data warehouses like Redshift, BigQuery, and Snowflake. These have taken off because they enable companies to gather more data from a multitude of data sources and instantly and elastically scale to support virtually unlimited users and workloads compared to the previous generation of Hadoop data lakes or on-premise data warehouses.

Fivetran is in a very different place than the previous generation of data integration companies, which required configuration and customization for every customer. It is the cloud-native market leader. Because of its approach, Fivetran opens an entirely new universe of use cases to a much wider audience—from analytics to data sharing to building real-time data into production systems.

Data integration doesn’t often enjoy much fanfare, but it is hugely—and increasingly—important to helping businesses compete and operate. As the company works towards their mission of making data as simple to use as electricity from an outlet, we see tremendous market potential developing in front of them. This is an opportunity that puts Fivetran on the path to compound over many years into an important and enduring company—and why it’s such a perfect fit for us here at GC Growth.

The Team
Founders George Fraser and Taylor Brown have been friends since childhood. Beyond the incredible business they and their team are building, George and Taylor share values that resonate with General Catalyst (which happens to have been founded by two friends who met as 8 year-olds in summer camp). Our relationship with these founders is deeply personal and one we expect to last a lifetime as they build Fivetran into an enduring company.

We are thrilled to have them join the GC family and excited for what lies ahead.

— Trevor & Team GC