Snowflake, the cloud-based data warehouse service, announced an enormous investment round today, pulling in a whopping $263 million on a unicorn valuation of $1.5 billion.
The round was led by a trio of big-name Silicon Valley VC firms including existing investors Iconiq Capital and Altimeter Capital and new investor Sequoia Capital. Today’s announcement comes on top of the $100 million round last spring and brings the total raised to $473 million, according to the company.
Snowflake sells database software that runs in Amazon’s cloud and provides businesses with a high-performance, highly scalable environment to store massive amounts of information for processing by a range of applications, including machine learning algorithms.
The company was founded in 2012, and this latest round brings Snowflake’s total funding to $473 million, putting it among an elite group of startups that have taken on a massive infusion of cash over a short lifespan.
CEO Bob Muglia said that this is probably the final round before a possible IPO. As you would expect though, Muglia wasn’t making any commitments in terms of a timeline. “We have put ourselves on the path to IPO. That’s our mid- to long-term plan. This funding allows us to go directly to IPO and gives us sufficient capital, that if we choose, IPO would be our next funding step,” he said.
As for that unicorn valuation, he did say it’s something the company needs to grow into in terms of revenue, but he firmly believes it’s a reachable goal. “It’s a realistic number, one we will grow into. When we look at our revenue and ultimately generate earnings, we believe this is realistic and we will be able to grow upon this over time,” he said.
For now, the company has 330 employees, up from 175 during the $100 million round in April. He expects that to rise to 600 within the year.