Competing against huge cloud platform companies isn't necessarily impossible.

Case in point: Snowflake Computing, one of the fastest-growing cloud database startups over the past few years, has secured another enormous funding round.

  • It raised $479 million from new investors Dragoneer Investment Group and Salesforce's venture arm, valuing the company at an eye-popping $12.4 billion. That makes Snowflake one of the most valuable privately held companies in tech.
  • Snowflake's flagship product is a cloud data warehouse that runs on top of AWS, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud. Data warehouses are special types of databases that are designed to make analytical queries faster and easier across multiple clouds, and demand for Snowflake's product has exploded over the last few years.
  • The company has now raised over $1.4 billion, and its new valuation is three times what it was after a $450 million funding round in October 2018.
  • Former Snowflake CEO Bob Muglia said in early 2018 that the company's next funding event would probably involve an IPO, but the company has raised two mega-rounds since then. Muglia, who ran a variety of enterprise tech business lines for Microsoft, has since departed, and Frank Slootman, who led ServiceNow through the IPO process, is now in charge.
  • Databases remain one of the most important and valuable tools in the cloud, and Snowflake is poised to become an enterprise tech powerhouse if it continues to see this level of demand.
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