Hydra aims to be an open cloud storage alternative to Snowflake.

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hydramember of Y Combinator class winter 2022has broad ambitions. It is building an open source cloud data warehouse and hopes to eventually compete with Snowflake. The concept of a data warehouse has been around since the 80s as a large structured data warehouse.

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Snowflake took this concept to the cloud when it was founded in 2012. raised over $2 billion before going public in 2020. The founders of Hydra wanted to take a different approach by creating a less expensive open source alternative. Their solution was to build a cloud data warehouse on top of a popular open source data warehouse. postgres database.

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Co-founder and CEO Joseph Sciarrino is a longtime Postgres user. He and his co-founder and CTO Jonathan “JD” Dance believe that because the data warehouse contains such information that is important to the organization, it should be built on an open source basis, and Postgres offers a familiar environment.

“I’ve been with Postgres for a long time, so I’m a bit allergic to the idea that an organization’s source of truth should be behind the vendor’s proprietary software. So what we’re doing is turning Postgres into that category of data stores,” Sciarrino told TechCrunch.

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He acknowledges that Postgres was designed as a transactional database and up to this point was not necessarily suitable for use as an analytics engine, but he and his co-founders set out to modify it. They got around this problem by separating the Postgres query, compute, and storage layer to build a datastore on top of it.

“What we are doing is turning Postgres into this category of data stores. Postgres has always been good at transactional workloads, but due to design choices, it’s not particularly good for big analytics. So we’re modifying Postgres… to put it in a new context where it can actually do proper analytics at scale with columnar storage and vectorized execution and all the other things traditional data stores do today,” he said.

While some modifications were required, using Postgres was a deliberate and conscious choice by the founders because it is already so popular among developers. “The great thing about Hydra is that it’s 100% Postgres, you can continue to use the entire existing Postgres ecosystem and tools, and it already works with Hydra. So that’s great because we don’t have to go out and build a million different custom tools and integrations,” said Sciarrino.

The company offers customers the option to download the open source version and manage it themselves, or take advantage of a paid managed service where the startup manages all the underlying complexity for them.

He said being on Y Combinator allowed him to test the business model with a group of partners who saw just about everything and could give the right advice or push when needed. But he said being part of a group of founders who were mostly in the same place also helped him.

“It was such a wonderful experience to be surrounded by people who have a certain personality. You have to have a certain degree of optimism to want to build a business, and it’s always great to meet people like that,” he said.

He said that the founders felt a special support for their idea when they saw one of the creators of Postgres, Michael Stonebreakerspeaking recently at Postgres concept conferencewhere he gave a presentation on the four key missing elements of the ecosystem and datastore was one of them.

The now four-person company raised a $3.1 million seed investment immediately after Demo day Last spring, it was led by the Pioneer Fund with the participation of Y Combinator and several business angels. In addition to the open source offering, the company has a managed offering and paying customers in the early access program, so it’s already generating revenue.


Credit: techcrunch.com /

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