The Israeli startup that competes head-to-head with Amazon has completed a massive hiring process

אלדד פרקש, מנכ"ל פיירבולט וסער ביטנר, ממייסדי פיירבולט / צילום: פיירבולט

There are not many of the eight Israeli startups on the list of direct competitors, such as Google, Amazon and Snowflake. One neighbor is the startup Firebolt, which is developing a data warehouse in the cloud. Firebolt announced today (Thursday) that it has raised $127 million as part of its B round, which comes more than two years after its inception.

Firebolt began operating in early 2019 and has raised $37 million in the current round. The current round of funding comes from new investors such as Dawn Capital and K5 Global, along with the company’s existing investors – Basmer Funds, TLV Partners, Zeev Ventures and Angular Ventures.

Firebolt was founded by three Israeli unicorns from Business Science – Eldad Farkash, one of the founders of Science, and Sar Bitner and Ariel Yaroschwitz, who were part of the founding team for Science. Farkash is Firebolt’s CEO and Buettner is Firebolt’s VP of Operations, with Jarosić retiring from the project since then.

Compete in the giants

Data warehouses are essential databases for the worlds of business intelligence. Data warehouses organize information from different sources in such a way that the information can be analyzed and insights generated efficiently and quickly. Firebolt competes in this world with very big names such as solutions from major cloud service providers, such as Athena from Amazon and Bigquery from Google. Another important competitor is Snowflake, which completed a massive initial public offering last year and is currently valued at $73 billion.

Firebolt was built on the expertise of its founders in the field of science, faced with the fact that cloud data warehouses do not deliver good enough results in operating tools that require rapid analytics or instead require an expensive consumption of cloud resources. According to Firebolt, the technology developed by the company provides improvement in information analysis speed and device efficiency, allowing companies to analyze larger amounts of data using less computing power in the cloud and thus lower costs.

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According to Fracch and Bitner, Firebolt’s strategy is not to require customers to abandon existing data warehouses of the giants, but to gradually move some uses to them, especially for speed-demanding uses such as real-time analysis retrieval or complex queries. “It’s more realistic and easier because the big customers won’t leave everything, but within a couple of clicks they can pass on one of their uses to us,” Bitner says. Firebolt does not disclose the number of customers of the company and only mentions a few examples such as ApplePlayer, LikeWeb and the Israeli Explorium.

“For him, Snowflake is a legacy product (legacy system – ED). Snowflake was built to replace Oracle and move the data warehouse to the cloud. We are a system built for the cloud (Cloud Native) and we really deal with issues that Snowflake can’t handle,” As Farkash says, “Snowflake, on the other hand, is a model for us and shows the huge potential that the company has in our field.”

Firebolt currently employs about 100 people, 45 of them in Israel and the rest in offices in Munich, Zurich, London, Dublin, Kiev and Cluj. The company is building its US headquarters in San Francisco.

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