The story of our company, Coalesce.io, is not one of friends who had a eureka moment, dropped out of college, and built software out of their parents’ garage. Rather, our story is about passionate people who “grew up” in the enterprise data warehouse space together at a time when people said “the data warehouse is dead.”
My co-founder, Satish Jayanthi, and I met at WhereScape, a company that pioneered the concept of data warehouse automation. We were responsible for solving the most complex data warehouse problems for the world’s largest organizations, over and over again.
This was our training ground, where we were regularly tasked with building solutions for high-stakes enterprises—at a very high volume. Through working with more than 1,000 companies, we gained a deep understanding of the issues that hamstrung our partners as they undertook data migrations and new data architectures. The problems they faced were tricky and pervasive, underlining the need for something new.
Over time, our suspicions grew and were confirmed; there was a gap in the market, specifically in the field of data transformations, which involves taking raw data that’s been landed on Snowflake and making it consumable, with proper governance, lineage, and architectural standards.
At the time, data architects and engineers had ETL tools, while business users had BI tools. There was no solution enabling organizations to transform data at scale that was flexible enough to support the most complex use cases, but also easy to use and automated to the extent where a less technical person could benefit from it as well, in a fully governed way.
After spending more than six years selling to new markets, developing partner-seller relationships, and fully immersing ourselves in the data warehouse landscape, we set out on a mission to evolve data transformations.
Our combined learnings in architecture and usability enabled us to build a new breed of data transformation tool—one with a column-aware architecture, enhanced lineage, and the benefits of a code-first, GUI-driven approach.
More importantly, the people from our past who were formative to our upbringing in the data space have also advanced in their own right, becoming brilliant industry SMEs, reseller partners, and regional founding members.
We went straight into stealth mode to move our vision closer to reality. When COVID-19 hit, amid lockdowns and stay-at-home orders, we saw an opportunity. With no trade shows and fewer outside demands on our time, Satish and I hunkered down in our homes and worked hard to accelerate the creation of our product. For an entire year, all we focused on was pure research and development to build our MVP. Thanks to our time in the data warehouse space, we knew what our audience wanted, which let us skip some of the typical startup phases of defining product-market fit.
We soon recruited new software engineers. During this process, Satish and I defined not just aspects of our product, but who we wanted to be as a business in terms of culture.
Eighteen months ago, we set our core values—radical honesty, trust, empathy, continuous learning, and fun—and they continue to inform our growth.
Launching during a global pandemic also meant that we became a remote-first business, and this is baked into our ethos. We don’t hire people who need to be managed. Instead, we give them the liberty and flexibility to direct themselves, trusting them to make meaningful contributions to our team without sacrificing their autonomy. We prioritize hiring proactive, ambitious people and don’t believe they need to be closely managed to step into their true genius. It’s the only way to be successful in a remote culture.
With momentum behind the product and our growing team, we emerged from stealth in January, 2022, and officially launched Coalesce Automation. We raised nearly $6 million in seed funding and quickly gained new partners and customers who continue to champion us.
In June, we attended the Snowflake Summit in Las Vegas, where we got the opportunity to demo our product widely for the first time. It felt like a coming-out party, and the feedback we received validated our conviction that this solution to data transformations was a long time coming. From the “Where have you been all our lives?” reactions to the “Sign me up!” crowd, the Summit galvanized us and paved the way to more foundational partnerships—an aspect of our growth of which we are extremely proud.
We strongly believe that everything we achieve is possible through collaboration with others in our field. We have forged partnerships with key industry players, including Snowflake and Fivetran. We also have dozens of implementation partners—organizations we have worked with closely and trust to refer our customers. While we continue to grow our ecosystem, we’ve grown our team to more than 40 and have attracted top industry talent for our Europe, Middle East, and Africa team, as well as here in the U.S.
After the better part of a decade spent understanding the need for a flexible data transformation solution and two years of intense work, we’re now taking the next step in Coalesce’s evolution. We have closed our Series A funding, which will enable us to continue raising awareness for Coalesce and charting a roadmap for a data-driven future.
Perhaps what is most exciting is seeing our customers move into production and watching large organizations with complex use cases simplify, automate, and accelerate their projects with Coalesce. We’re solving real problems, and our product is having a positive impact on users’ day-to-day lives. That means the world to us. In fact, it was part of our inspiration from the moment we decided to start this company and picked our name, in 2019.
Coalesce means “to come together to form a whole.” Through our partnerships, we are bringing together thinkers and doers to transform the data landscape. But there’s a second definition of Coalesce, too, from the original Latin: “to grow together.”
We invite our customers, partners, and competitors to grow together with us.