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Databricks to help APJ businesses achieve AI success following $250 Million Funding Round


Databricks, the leader in unified analytics and founded by the original creators of Apache Spark™, opened new offices in Sydney, Australia, Tokyo, Japan and Bangalore, India, as the next step in the company’s strategy to help businesses in the Asia-Pacific and Japan (APJ) region overcome challenges slowing AI adoption.

The San Francisco-based company, which established its APJ headquarters in Singapore in December last year, is now valued at US$2.75 billion, following a recent US$250 million Series E funding round, led by Andreessen Horowitz with participation from Coatue Management, Microsoft, New Enterprise Associates (NEA), and others.

The rapidly growing global demand for Databricks’ Unified Analytics Platform led the company to exceed US$100 million in global annual recurring revenue last year, experiencing approximately 3x year-over-year growth in subscription revenue during the last quarter of 2018.

Since launching in Singapore just over 6 months ago, the company is already engaging customers in more than 12 markets across the APJ region, including Australia’s government-owned health service, Healthdirect; Indonesian travel giant Traveloka, fast-growing India entertainment network, Viacom 18, popular Japanese online entertainment channel Every.TV, as well as South Korean multinational electronics company, Samsung Electronics.

“There’s a healthy appetite for unified analytics in APJ from businesses keen to get ahead in the AI race,” said Jason Bissel, Managing Director and Vice President for Databricks, Asia-Pacific. “AI has far reaching implications for businesses across a wide range of sectors, from healthcare to fintech and entertainment, and this has not gone unnoticed by businesses in the region. Our new Japan, Australia and India offices will be instrumental in meeting this demand, and this is just the beginning.”

The Artificial Intelligence (AI) market in Asia-Pacific is projected to grow from US$6bn in 2017 to US$136 Billion by 2025 as businesses of all shapes and sizes turn to AI to solve business problems. The stumbling block for many enterprises, however, is their inability to harness vast streams of reliable data and retrieve meaningful actionable insight, which is the cornerstone of AI.

In Singapore, Databricks is collaborating with AI Singapore (AISG), a national AI programme tasked with boosting Singapore’s AI capabilities.

“The potential for AI in Singapore is undeniably huge however for AI to be fully realised, we still need to address the issues of talent development, recruitment and deployment. Today, AISG has the 100 Experiments (100E) and AI Apprenticeship Programmes to meet the first two needs. For deployment, the Apache Spark and Databricks platform is something my team have been working on for many years, and Databricks’ Unified Analytics is a production grade platform which many of our 100E projects will run on. Bridging the divide between big data and machine learning needs to happen for AI initiatives to be successful, and this is where Databricks’ Unified Analytics comes in,” said Laurence Liew, Director of AI Industry Innovation, AISG

Unified Analytics allows enterprises to join up the dots between data processing and machine learning in order to accelerate innovation and achieve AI success.

Developed by the original creators of Apache Spark™, the unified analytics engine for big data processing,, Databricks’ Unified Analytics Platform makes it easier for enterprises to build data pipelines across various siloed data storage systems and to prepare labelled datasets for model building – allowing organisations to perform data science on massive data sets. The single collaborative platform also eliminates the challenges of data silos and the gap between data processing and machine learning platforms, while improving communication between data scientists and engineering teams, so that faster, more efficient collaborations can take place.

“Our mission as Singapore’s national AI programme is to catalyze, synergize and boost Singapore’s AI capabilities to power our future digital economy. We hope that we can make this happen through our partnership with Databricks and we look forward to the collaboration to help Singapore’s businesses reap the full rewards of AI,” added Laurence.

Over 2,000 organisations globally, including Nielsen, Shell, Viacom Inc.HP Inc. are leveraging Databricks to unify data science and data engineering teams across the end-to-end data and machine learning lifecycle.