Tinybird turns raw data into realtime API at scale

Meet Tinybird, a new startup that helps developers build data products at scale without having to worry about infrastructure, query time and all those annoying issues that come up once you deal with huge data sets. The company ingests data at scale, lets you transform it using SQL and then exposes that data through API endpoints.

Over the past few years, analytics and business intelligence products have really changed the way we interact with data. Now, many big companies store data in a data warehouse or a data lake. They try to get insights from those data sets.

And yet, extracting and manipulating data can be costly and slow. It works great if you want to make a PowerPoint presentation for your quarterly results. But it doesn’t let you build modern web products and data products in general.

“What we do at Tinybird is we help developers build data products at any scale. And we’re really focused on the realtime aspect,” co-founder and CEO Jorge Gómez Sancha told me.

The team of co-founders originally met at Carto. They were already working on complex data issues. “Every year people would come with an order of magnitude more data,” Gómez Sancha said. That’s how they came up with the idea behind Tinybird.

Image Credits: Tinybird

The product can be divided into three parts. First, you connect your Tinybird account with your data sources. The company will then ingest data constantly from those data sources.

Second, you can transform that data through SQL queries. In addition to the command-line interface, you can also enter your SQL queries in a web interface, divide then into multiple steps and document everything. Every time you write a query, you can see your data filtered and sorted according to your query.

Third, you can create API endpoints based on those queries. After that, it works like a standard JSON-based API. You can use it to fetch data in your own application.

What makes Tinybird special is that it’s so fast that it feels like you’re querying your data in realtime. "Several of our customers are reading over 1.5 trillion rows on average per day via Tinybird and ingesting around 5 billion rows per day, others are making an average of 250 requests per second to our APIs querying several billion row datasets," Gómez Sancha wrote in an email.

Behind the scene, the startup uses ClickHouse. But you don’t have to worry about that as Tinybird manages all the infrastructure for you.

Right now, Tinybird has identified three promising use cases. Customers can use it to provide in-product analytics. For instance, if you operate a web hosting service and wants to give some analytics to your customers or if you manage online stores and want to surface purchasing data to your customers, Tinybird works well for that.

Some customers also use the product for operational intelligence, such as realtime dashboards that you can share internally within a company. Your teams can react more quickly and always know if everything is running fine.

You can also use Tinybird as the basis for some automation or complex event processing. For instance, you can leverage Tinybird to build a web application firewall that scans your traffic and reacts in realtime.

Tinybird has raised a $3 million seed round led by Crane.vc with several business angels also participating, such as Nat Friedman (GitHub CEO), Nicolas Dessaigne (Algolia co-founder), Guillermo Rauch (Vercel CEO), Jason Warner (GitHub CTO), Adam Gross (former Heroku CEO), Stijn Christiaens (co-founder and CTO of Collibra), Matias Woloski (co-founder and CTO of Auth0) and Carsten Thoma (Hybris co-founder).