I first took real notice of ClickHouse in early 2017, not too long after its Open Source release. In the three-and-a-half years since, the world conspired to have me invest in Altinity.
More on that in a bit, but first a brief digression.
I moved out to Silicon Valley in 2009. I worked on data analytics and visualization and became involved in the data community here. It was an exciting time for data infrastructure. Legacy data architectures were succumbing to a combination of demanding new applications, commodity hardware, open source software, and new data models. On the OLTP side, there were new entrants in Mongo, Couchbase (CouchDB & Membase), Cassandra, etc. and older players like MySQL and PostgreSQL that had new life. In the Big Data space, the Hadoop ecosystem blossomed. In the low-latency OLAP space you had players like Vertica, Netezza, Aster, Greenplum, and ParAccel. I played with all of them, but spent a lot of my time building products on top of the low-latency OLAP players, particularly Vertica and Greenplum. In particular, I loved Vertica, but always wished it was Open Source. Then, all of a sudden, every player in the low latency OLAP space got bought and innovation slowed.
Ever since, I have been waiting for the next-gen low-latency OLAP database. I dreamt about a database that was lightning fast, scaled extraordinarily well, was Open Source, and was easy to get started with a la Mongo…
Back to 2017. After ~5 years of looking, I’d essentially given up. I was chatting with the Founder of Sentry one day, we’d been planning a big infrastructure project, and he was incredibly excited about a new database called ClickHouse. Over the next year or so, it felt like ClickHouse was stalking me. After Sentry, it was a founder at Mux. Then a friend at Cloudflare. I met with the founder of Instana, Mirko. A colleague asked how Instana could be so great and Mirko modestly attributed it to a new database they were using. Without missing a beat, I asked, “ClickHouse?” I don’t think I’ve ever gotten more credibility from a founder with a one-word question before. People didn’t just like ClickHouse they LOVED it. People LOVED a low-latency OLAP database, so I decided I needed to invest in ClickHouse!
The only problem was that it was difficult to find a company to invest in. So I waited some more…
Slowly but surely, a company called Altinity began to distinguish itself in the ClickHouse community. The company was sparked by Alexander Zaitsev, an early adopter of ClickHouse, who connected with two distinguished early employees of MySQL and later founders of Percona, Peter Zaitsev and Vadim Tkachenko. They had taken up the mantle of organizing and hosting meetups, their team began offering services and support around ClickHouse, and they started committing to the ClickHouse codebase.
I first started bothering Altinity in late 2018, more than 2 years ago. Unfortunately, they didn’t need my money! They had a healthy business that was growing nicely. Over the course of those two years we spent a bunch of time together talking about how big the opportunity for Altinity and ClickHouse is. We finally found a way to work together. They claim to be excited about it, but I think they mostly figured I’d bother them less if I was an investor in the company :D.
I’m thrilled to be backing such a transformational technology and you should really check out ClickHouse and Altinity.Cloud