Alibaba buys start-up Data Artisans
Alibaba paid $130 million to take over Berlin-based data and stream processing startup Data Artisans. Founded in 2014 from Greek start upper Kostas Tzoumas, Data Artisans has built an open source framework for enterprise-scale data processing. The startup claims that its framework, Apache Flink, is one of the fastest growing communities within the Apache Software Foundation and has hundreds of contributors. Data Artisans uses Apache Flink to power its dA platform. The platform, which also has an application manager, helps enterprises build, operate, and run streaming applications using stream processing.
Aside from Alibaba, customers of Data Artisans and Apache Flink include Ericsson, CapitalOne, Uber, Comcast, Bouygues Telecom, eBay, and Huawei. Data Artisans CEO Kostas Tzoumas said Alibaba would also invest an undisclosed sum in the company to develop Apache Flink, its open-source software that can process large data volumes, and to expand into new business areas.
But how did a company that emerged from the German startup ecosystem in 2014 boom Alibaba’s interest? Speaking of the company, Mr. Tzoumas explains to the “K” that Data Artisans, founded by himself and Stefan Evan, has developed Apache Flink, an open data acquisition and processing platform for large businesses that is made in real time . “Some of the technology users are some of the world’s largest technology companies such as Netflix, ING, Uber, and Alibaba itself.” He adds that “with Alibaba we have and continue to have extensive collaboration on the open data processing platform Apache Flink, which we started with the other Data Artisans partners in 2014″. Mr. Tzoumas also points out that through this collaboration, “we have discovered that we have common views both in technology and in terms of vision regarding data processing technology.”
Kostas Tzoumas’ entry into the world of business started by studying first at the School of Electrical Engineering of the NTUA, where he graduated in 2007. He then completed his Ph.D. at the Aalborg University in Denmark, while Berlin was the travel destination he eventually played a key role in his career. “I came to Berlin to work as a researcher at the Berlin Polytechnic in my postdoctoral.” Here was the idea of Artisans data. “Through research work, we developed together with other PhD students ideas that eventually evolved into Apache Flink.” Although he can not accurately assess the Greek eco-system of startups, due to his long-term stay abroad, Mr. Tzoumas is quick to point out that “good teams with the right ideas can succeed anywhere.”