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How Our Journey with Snowflake Began

The debate about partnering with Snowflake went back and forth during the investment committee meeting. It was March 2014. My partners, Satish and John, had met the company and were proposing to lead the Series B. The company was about two years away from launch and heading straight into a dance with elephants.

Google and Amazon both offered competing products and were already in market. Here was a plucky group of founders with deep technical expertise seeking to take on the incumbents with a novel architecture. And that was the bet the deal team advocated: Snowflake’s superior architecture will triumph in the end when users begin to query petabytes of data.

You can read more about the investment memo and diligence that supported the investment in the post my partner Satish wrote about the experience from his vantage point. Snowflake was part of the same focus on next generation data technologies that led to our investment in Looker, another enduring company, that Google acquired last year.

Today, Snowflake is announcing a major milestone: a funding round that values the business at $12.4B. It’s a far cry from 20 people and sub-$100M valuation in 2014. Snowflake is the fastest growing enterprise software company we’ve seen, and we’ve analyzed many. It grew 174% year on year at scale. Okta also reported it’s the fastest growing software across their customer base, growing about 275%.

The story is far from written. The journey has had it’s share of ups and downs, with many, many highlights. It’s remarkable to look back and remember how our journey with Snowflake began: with a debate over a 7 page memo and a deal team that was passionate about the size of the market and the uniqueness of the team.