Startup Spotlight: Yugabyte’s cloud databases
San Francisco, California-based Yugabyte offers a distributed SQL database known as YugabyteDB.
The company says its offerings are cloud-neutral and 100% open-source, with two main products. Yugabyte Platform, a self-managed private database on public, private or hybrid cloud and Yugabyte Cloud, a fully managed database service available on AWS and Google Cloud.
Customers include the likes of Kroger, Narvar, Plume, Admiral and Xignite.
The company has raised $55mn since its foundation in 2016, with its latest Series B round announced yesterday at $30mn. Led by 8VC, the round also featured the participation of Wipro Ventures, Lightspeed Venture Partners and Dell Technologies Capital.
Kannan Muthukkaruppan, co-founder and President, Yugabyte, said in a press release: “We built YugabyteDB from the ground up to meet the untapped cloud native database demand from small and large enterprises alike. This round of funding from 8VC, Wipro Ventures, and others validates our approach,” said. “Bhaskar Ghosh, Partner & CTO at 8VC who led the investment and will join the Yugabyte board, is no stranger to enterprise data infrastructure; he worked at the core of Oracle and Informix databases and later helped fuel LinkedIn's growth as its Head of Data Engineering. We are thrilled to be working with Bhaskar and 8VC's dynamic team of investors with entrepreneurial roots that take a long-term view on disruptive technologies like ours."
Yugabyte said it would use the latest financing to assist in the adoption of its products by enterprise, as well as support its open source nature.
“Legacy source-of-truth databases form the beating heart of enterprises, and their movement to the cloud has just begun. This massive market deserves a product as beautifully architected and operable as the Yugabyte platform,” said Bhaskar Ghosh. “I cannot think of anybody better positioned to be a leader in this space than Yugabyte and the 8VC team is excited to be part of its journey to transform the enterprise.”
SAS: Improving the British Army’s decision making with data
SAS’ long-standing relationship with the British Army is built on mutual respect and grounded by a reciprocal understanding of each others’ capabilities, strengths, and weaknesses. Roderick Crawford, VP and Country GM for SAS UKI, states that the company’s thorough grasp of the defence sector makes it an ideal partner for the Army as it undergoes its own digital transformation.
“Major General Jon Cole told us that he wanted to enable better, faster decision-making in order to improve operational efficiency,” he explains. Therefore, SAS’ task was to help the British Army realise the “significant potential” of data through the use of artificial intelligence (AI) to automate tasks and conduct complex analysis.
In 2020, the Army invested in the SAS ‘Viya platform’ as an overture to embarking on its new digital roadmap. The goal was to deliver a new way of working that enabled agility, flexibility, faster deployment, and reduced risk and cost: “SAS put a commercial framework in place to free the Army of limits in terms of their access to our tech capabilities.”
Doing so was important not just in terms of facilitating faster innovation but also, in Crawford’s words, to “connect the unconnected.” This means structuring data in a simultaneously secure and accessible manner for all skill levels, from analysts to data engineers and military commanders. The result is that analytics and decision-making that drives innovation and increases collaboration.
Crawford also highlights the importance of the SAS platform’s open nature, “General Cole was very clear that the Army wanted a way to work with other data and analytics tools such as Python. We allow them to do that, but with improved governance and faster delivery capabilities.”
SAS realises that collaboration is at the heart of a strong partnership and has been closely developing a long-term roadmap with the Army. “Although we're separate organisations, we come together to work effectively as one,” says Crawford. “Companies usually find it very easy to partner with SAS because we're a very open, honest, and people-based business by nature.”
With digital technology itself changing with great regularity, it’s safe to imagine that SAS’ own relationship with the Army will become even closer and more diverse. As SAS assists it in enhancing its operational readiness and providing its commanders with a secure view of key data points, Crawford is certain that the company will have a continually valuable role to play.
“As warfare moves into what we might call ‘the grey-zone’, the need to understand, decide, and act on complex information streams and diverse sources has never been more important. AI, computer vision and natural language processing are technologies that we hope to exploit over the next three to five years in conjunction with the Army.”
Fundamentally, data analytics is a tool for gaining valuable insights and expediting the delivery of outcomes. The goal of the two parties’ partnership, concludes Crawford, will be to reach the point where both access to data and decision-making can be performed qualitatively and in real-time.
“SAS is absolutely delighted to have this relationship with the British Army, and across the MOD. It’s a great privilege to be part of the armed forces covenant.”