Airbyte announces $26M Series A for open-source data connector platform

One of the major issues facing companies these days isn’t finding relevant data so much as moving it to where it’s needed. Enter Airbyte, an early-stage startup that is building an open-source data integration platform to help solve that problem. Today the company announced a $26 million Series A, just a couple of months after announcing its $5.2 million seed round.

Benchmark led the investment with help from 8VC, Accel, SV Angel, Y Combinator and multiple tech industry luminaries. The company has raised more than $31 million, all of it coming this year.

“What we’re building is an open-source data integration platform to bring data wherever it is, whether it’s a database, a file or an API into the destination of your choice, whether it is a data warehouse or a data lake,” company co-founder and CEO Michel Tricot told TechCrunch. This involves building connectors to various data types. The company is providing the open-source platform and an SDK to build connectors, and inviting the community to add their own connectors, while building some too.

Things are moving quickly for the startup. In addition to the funding, it released its Connected Development Kit or CDK earlier this month. “It’s a local framework that enables you to build a custom connector within two hours instead of two or three days,” company co-founder John Lafleur explained. To this point, the community has contributed approximately 20% of the platform’s 70 connectors, but the two founders expect that percentage to increase as the CDK has time to spread in the community.

Airbyte was founded just last year and the company plans to spend this year trying to expand the rapidly growing community, which is up to 1,200 members and 500 active users to this point. The long-term plan is to build a hosted version, which they will charge for, while continuing to work on the open-source project.

Chetan Puttagunta, general partner at Benchmark, who is leading today’s investment, says that Benchmark has a long history of investing in open-source startups, including being an early investor in Red Hat, as well as Elastic, MongoDB, Acquia and many others.

He says that his firm approached Airbyte after seeing a lot of developer activity in the community in a short time. “We reached out to them just based on our involvement in the developer community. We started seeing Airbyte spike everywhere, and it started to become very quickly the de facto standard for how folks wanted to integrate data. And that was a remarkable achievement for a company that has been around for just several months.”

The rapid growth has led to the number of employees doubling to 14 in a short time. When it comes to diversity and inclusion, the founders have actually written a company handbook that includes a detailed section with definitions and goals around diversity and inclusion, not something you often see from an early-stage company.

“We try to constantly improve on diversity inclusion and belonging, which is a continuous [thing]. [We] never would think it was done, We always have room to improve,” Tricot said.