MIT Spinoff Data Management Company TileDB Closes $15 Million

By Noah Long ● July 17, 2020
  • TileDB has secured $15 million in Series A funding led by Two Bear Capital with participation by Uncorrelated Ventures and all existing investors

TileDB has secured $15 million in Series A funding led by Two Bear Capital with participation by Uncorrelated Ventures and all existing investors: Nexus Venture Partners, Intel Capital, and Big Pi Ventures. This round of funding will enable the company to expand go-to-market and product development for its “universal data engine.”

How does TileDB work? TileDB helps analytics professionals and data scientists with a universal data engine so they can access, analyze, and share complex data sets with any tool at planet scale. And TileDB overcomes the constraints of columnar tables, flat files, and SQL-only tools thus handling all data with a multi-dimensional array engine and extreme interoperability across the data science ecosystem.

With a totally serverless infrastructure, TileDB delivers access control and enables distributed computing at extreme scale, eliminating all cluster management and minimizing TCO.

The universal data engine is a novel database that goes beyond tables for managing any complex data and beyond SQL to analyze the data with any tool all serverless and at planet scale. And Two Bear Capital Managing Partner Mike Goguen will join TileDB’s Board of Directors.

This round of funding comes after TileDB was selected by customers who experienced two key pains: 1.) scalability for complex data and 2.) deployment.

Whole-genome population data, single-cell gene data, spatio-temporal satellite imagery, and asset-trading data have multi-dimensional structures that are poorly handled by monolithic databases, tables, and legacy file formats. And newer computational frameworks evolved to offer “pluggable storage,” but that forces another part of the stack to deal with data management.

This causes organizations to waste resources on managing a sea of files and optimizing storage performance, which are tasks traditionally done by the database. And developers and data scientists are spending excessive time in data engineering and deployment rather than actual analysis and collaboration.

TileDB was originally a spinoff of MIT and Intel Labs in May 2017.

Key Quotes:

“We flipped the data management model. We invented a database that focuses on universal storage and data management rather than the compute layer, which we’ve instead made `pluggable.` We cleared the path for analytics professionals and data scientists by taking over the messiest parts of data management, such as optimized storage for all data types on numerous backends, data versioning, metadata, access control within or outside organizational boundaries, and logging. On top, we developed numerous APIs for fast direct data access and efficient integrations with a growing set of popular tools such as Spark, Dask, MariaDB and PrestoDB. Finally, we built a serverless infrastructure for easy, secure cross-organizational sharing and scalable compute, called TileDB Cloud.”

— Dr. Stavros Papadopoulos, CEO and original creator of TileDB

“The partnership with TileDB gelled perfectly with our desire to deliver a new level of innovation in open data programs aimed at the geospatial community. Open data alone isn’t enough. It’s also about easy access to compute resources and versatility of analytics. TileDB Cloud removes multiple manual steps in data access for the geospatial developer community and offers intuitive self-service and interactive analytics.”

— Scott Soenen, VP of Product Engineering at Capella Space

“We have chosen TileDB as the storage engine to power our cellxgene project at CZI, which is an interactive data explorer for single-cell transcriptomics datasets. TileDB provides an easy and powerful way to manage our huge array data on various backends, including cloud object stores. The serverless infrastructure of TileDB Cloud opens the door to extreme scale with very low engineering efforts on our part, allowing us to focus more on scientific discoveries instead.”

— Bruce Martin, Director of Engineering, Chan Zuckerberg Initiative

“The synergy between our two companies has enabled us to take an innovative approach to storing and analyzing genomic data at population-scale. We were excited to find TileDB after extensive diligence of potential solutions that could meet Helix’s needs and advance our vision to revolutionize population health via the power of genomics.”

— Magnus Isaksson, Director of Bioinformatics at Helix

“Many of the world’s most urgent problems – from COVID to climate change – require the analysis of large volumes of data in order to find solutions. TileDB’s technology addresses the infrastructure deficit that adds friction, delay, and cost to generating the key insights and discoveries needed from this data. We are excited to partner with Stavros and TileDB to build an enduring company delivering massive value for the developers and enterprise customers working to solve these and other critically important problems.”

— Michael Goguen, Managing Partner at Two Bear Capital and lead investor