Vision, Technology, People: Why Varada Joined Starburst

By Roman Vainbrand
June 23, 2022
June 23, 2022

Co-Authored by Roman Vainbrand and Tal Ben Moshe

Starburst, the analytics anywhere company, has announced the acquisition of Varada, a data lake analytics accelerator. Here, Varada’s co-founders explain why the integration is an ideal fit.

Before we started our company, Varada, we talked to a lot of people about the main challenges in big data, and the one that most appealed to us was the interactive space. When users want to ask simple business questions and get answers from their data within seconds, they’re often forced to spend too much time on data modeling or too much compute resources. We thought we might be able to make this process easier and faster through indexing, and this set us on the path to developing our core technology, a data lake analytics accelerator.

As we got to work, we decided it wouldn’t be wise to try to build a top-to-bottom solution that managed queries and indexing and everything else. So we designed our technology to integrate with open-source Trino, which brings us to the exciting news: our acquisition by Starburst.

We did not start Varada with a goal of being acquired. We built and refined our technology to solve a big data problem. Once we began talking to Starburst, though, we realized we could accomplish everything we wanted by joining the company founded by the creators of Trino. Plus, we could do it faster. Learn more about the Starburst story and why this marriage was meant to be, from Justin Borgman, the CEO & Co-founder of Starburst, in his own blog post here.

Ultimately, we believe this is going to be a great partnership for our companies for three reasons:

1. Technology

Our proprietary and patented data lake analytics accelerator is designed to help organizations quickly, easily, and cost-effectively extract deeper insights from their data. Maybe this sounds familiar? Starburst’s query engine already leads the industry in performance and cost efficiency. The integration of our technology will only strengthen Starburst’s position. Our workload-level monitoring lessens the need to move and model data, reducing cloud compute costs by more than 40%, and our smart indexing cuts query response times by up to 7X. Starburst will accelerate the adoption of our technology and help us reach more customers, and we will improve Starburst’s already impressive data lake analytics performance. In short, we’re better together.

2. Vision

At Varada, improving performance was one of our goals from the outset, but other aims evolved as we learned more about the space. Initially, for example, we thought it would be wise to let users decide what to index. Then we found that people didn’t always know exactly what to index, what to cache, or how to do it themselves. As we started to understand the behavior and needs of our target users at a deeper level, we realized we needed to make the system adaptive, intelligent, and easy.

Once we began our conversations with Starburst, we quickly realized that it wasn’t merely our technology that was a good match. We share the same vision for the data landscape and what our customers and their users need and deserve. Performance, ease-of-use, cost savings are all critical. Plus, we’re all passionate in our belief customers should be able to own and control their data and not be subjected to vendor lock in. If we had a North Star for Varada when we first pinpointed our mission, we’re still on that trajectory. The difference now is that our ship is moving at warp speed.

3. People

In addition to the way our technologies and vision align, the people are a great match. Naturally, we were excited to have deep technical conversations with Martin, Dain, and David, the founders of Presto (now Trino), but we also connected immediately with Justin and the rest of the executive leadership group, along with the great team in Poland. This was very important to us. When we set out to build our company, we weren’t solely focused on technology. We also wanted to surround ourselves with quality people and create a great work environment and supportive culture. As we talked to more and more people at Starburst, we realized we aren’t going to lose that. We’re only going to strengthen our culture.

How Will Varada Change?

We are a remote company by design, but we will continue to operate out of Israel. For our current customers, the transition to Starburst will involve some very minor administrative adjustments. Then they’ll be able to start benefiting from all Starburst has to offer. As for Starburst customers, we’re already hard at work integrating the technology, which will be rolled out to select customers in the next 30 days. General availability is planned for fall 2022.

Finally, when you work as hard as we have to build a technology, and then you discover that your solution really does make a difference, you want as many people in the world as possible to use it and benefit from it. Starburst is positioned for tremendous success in so many ways — great technology, a respected team, strong funding and investors, a constantly expanding customer base — and we’re going to help each other reach that next level. Here at Varada, we could not be more excited about the years ahead! 

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