Data orchestration specialist Astronomer raises $213 million and acquires startup Datakin

Data orchestration startup Astronomer Inc. today announced it has raised $213 million in funding from a consortium led by prolific enterprise software investor Insight Partners.

Astronomer also revealed on the occasion that it had acquired another startup Datakin. Datakin, based in Berkeley, Calif., helps organizations ensure their business information is accurate.

Organizations use their data for a growing number of tasks, from training artificial intelligence models to forecasting customer demand. Each data processing initiative in a company can involve hundreds of steps. Organizations need to remove errors from their information, filter out duplicate items, organize information into a format that lends itself well to analysis, and perform a variety of other tasks.

Companies manage their data projects using so-called data pipelines. A data pipeline is a piece of code that orchestrates how the many individual tasks involved in processing business information are performed. Astronomer provides a managed cloud service, Astro, that promises to simplify this aspect of business technology operations.

Astro is based on Apache Airflow, a popular open source tool for building data pipelines. Data pipelines created with Airflow can be used for various tasks, such as moving records between two different systems or filtering errors in business information. The software was originally created by Airbnb Inc. in 2014 for internal use.

Airflow has become popular among developers because it simplifies many aspects of building data pipelines. According to Astronomer, the tool is used by hundreds of thousands of data teams.

Developers historically wrote data pipelines using XML syntax, which is difficult to use in some ways. Airflow, on the other hand, allows developers to write data pipelines with the Python programming language. Python is more versatile than XML, allowing information to be processed in a more sophisticated way, and some code maintenance tasks are easier to perform.

Airflow also facilitates a number of related tasks such as monitoring data pipelines to ensure they are running reliably.

Astronome’s platform, Astro, is a commercial version of Airflow that offers additional features not included in the open source edition. Astro is delivered as a managed service and eliminates the need to manually maintain infrastructure. There’s also a tool that makes it easy to install software updates, as well as cybersecurity features designed to help companies protect their data pipelines from hackers.

“As the modern data stack has come to scale, we now need an orchestration experience to support today’s sophisticated, high-speed data pipelines,” said George Mathew, CEO of Insight Partners. “Apache Airflow, driven by the Astronomer team, has become the generational platform for modern orchestration.”

Astronomer says Astro is used by organizations in more than 35 countries, including several Fortune 500 companies. The startup today detailed having increased its workforce tenfold since 2020 to meet strong customer demand. Astronomer will use the recently announced $213 million funding round to further grow its workforce with a focus on accelerating product development and go-to-market initiatives.

Alongside the funding round, Astronomer revealed that it had acquired Datakin, another data management startup. Datakin provides a software tool that helps companies detect changes in business information over time. The information provided by the tool allows developers to detect if errors appear in their organization’s data and to perform troubleshooting.

“As companies of all sizes struggle to make sense of their data, data orchestration has become a competitive necessity,” said Joe Otto, CEO of Astronome. “At the same time, data teams need to be able to trust their data to effectively extract value. By integrating Datakin’s intuitive data lineage capabilities into Astronomer, our customers are able to build faster, run with confidence, and reduce operational risk.

Image: Astronomer

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Steven L. Nielsen