Fivetran Data Unification, Blue Orange Digital

Fivetran Data Unification

Josh Miramant

Posted On:
August 31, 2022

Guess who made it to the Forbes Cloud 100 list for the third time? Fivetran. The modern data integration giant persists in growing and maintaining a reliable reputation in the market. This time, they moved four spots up compared to the previous year (from #31 in 2021 to #27 in 2022). 

Today, we’ll make sense of all the buzz that’s been around and uncover some of the most prominent milestones of the company. The ranking, which was accompanied by a breakthrough thanks to the recent acquisition of Fivetran, was quite surprising. These remain to be discussed below as we explore the story of these ‘internet plumbers’.


The Journey of Fivetran 

They say that childhood friendships last a lifetime, and George Fraser and Taylor Brown have surely done well so far. Since ten years ago (2012), when they launched Fivetran, the company has had its ups and downs, but they’ve paved the way for massive fundraising. 

Fivetran was based on the straightforward premise of helping companies gather data from separate sources and then manage it through other analytical services concerning big data, such as Databricks or SnowflakeThey even managed to raise around $160 million and went through the Y Combinator. But even after these milestones, the company still didn’t have a proper product suitable for large enterprises, all this climbing had led them to a plateau. 

“For years it was always the big problem we needed to solve. We were looking at a multiyear journey,” says George Fraser. 

After falling under the pressure of his board members and the circumstances, Fraser thought of a classic solution to this problem. Even though it was executed in an urgent manner, the solution did spring them to their well-deserved spot. But first, what does Fivetran actually do? 

How Does Fivetran Work?

Fivetran is a tool that took the market by surprise by providing a solution to data unification. Companies working with data scattered in different sources had to find a way to bring it together. The traditional way of doing it required time and effort from more than one data engineer. That’s where Fivetran entered the scene. 

As a competitive ELT tool, Fivetran simplified the work needed to unify all this data and move it into other tools used for marketing, analytics, or data warehousing. It significantly lowers the cost of hiring new staff to handle the workload of manually organizing data, and it has been successfully employed by large companies like Square, Lionsgate, and Strava. 

Fivetran allows reliable, fast, and accurate access to data by providing ready-to-use connectors, automated in-warehouse transformations, and continuous synchronization of data access applications. But after this journey, where is Fivetran now? 

Fivetran in 2022 

So what was the solution to the scaling problem Fivetran was facing? What was the path to landing more deals with bigger clients? What about building suitable products for the enterprise market? The solution was a bit old-school but effective: acquire one of the biggest competitors

George Fraser concluded this to be the right decision to lift Fivetran to the next stage. HVR, the company that had landed most of the enterprises as clients, had a product they could improve and additional revenue to bring to the table. The purchase took the company to an evaluation of $5.6 billion and gave it access to a broader market. 


Final Thoughts

Fraser is truly determined to take the company further. In his own words: “The unexpected consequence of starting this com­pany was that all these people knew about it. Now we really have to make this work, or we’ll never live it down.

At Blue Orange Digital we specialize in data integration and visualization, data transformation, data science, and advanced analytics. Even though we still can’t compare to Fivetran in size, we’ve helped clients from a wide range of industries, and we can definitely help you too. Schedule a short call today to find out how.