A Control Plane for Data, and
a New Era for Acryl


Shirshanka Das, Swaroop Jagadish

Jun 13, 2023


It’s always a bit odd to take a step away from our product and community to write a fundraising post, but we have some exciting news to share.

At Acryl Data, we are passionate about revolutionizing data management and empowering organizations to regain control of their fragmented data stacks. We do this first and foremost by driving the open source DataHub Project and collaborating with the largest metadata community in the world. And then we take it up a notch through our cloud product that builds on DataHub and adds modern data management capabilities.

Today, we are thrilled to announce that we have raised $21 million in a Series A funding round led by 8VC, with participation from new and existing investors like Data Community Fund, Abstract Ventures, Webb Investment Network and Mantis who share our vision. We are proud to have 8VC lead our Series A, as their track record of backing transformative companies and expertise will be invaluable as we navigate the challenges and seize the opportunities that lie ahead.

But before we dive into the funding details, let's talk about how far we’ve come as a data community and the new challenges ahead of us.

Innovation, Fragmentation and the need for a Control Plane

The explosion of data over the past decade has driven both opportunities and challenges for businesses. Companies embraced various technologies and platforms to store, process, and analyze their data - but now find themselves facing a fragmented data landscape. Siloed datasets, disparate tools, and a lack of unified control created inefficiencies and hindered collaboration between technical and business teams.

Some problems got easier, like data orchestration, transformation, storage, movement, and visualization. At the same time, problems that had been solved in an earlier era re-emerged as challenges, like data discovery, data quality, and data management. The industry has addressed fragmentation with more fragmentation, as governance and observability tools have been unnecessarily separated, leading to inefficient and inconsistent solutions.

At Acryl Data, we’ve recognized the need for a powerful control plane that can bring order to this chaos - a single, declarative interface for defining and managing how data is used across a decentralized stack coupled with an observability layer that provides unprecedented visibility and auditability.

Our mission is to empower central data teams to regain control of their data stack while seamlessly integrating technical and business users through a leading-edge data catalog experience. We are already building this control plane by harnessing the open-source DataHub project and its robust capabilities.

Open Source Momentum and Customer Adoption

We are proud to share that the open-source DataHub Project has gained significant momentum in the data community. The DataHub Project fosters a vibrant community of nearly 8,000 data practitioners on Slack, with close to 400 code contributors driving its growth and innovation.

DataHub is now deployed at over a thousand organizations, including industry leaders such as Stripe, Pinterest, and Optum. In parallel, Acryl Data has been making remarkable strides in customer adoption. Companies where data drives business operations, such as Notion, Zendesk, Riskified, and MYOB, have embraced Acryl as their data management solution of choice.

Introducing Acryl Observe: Real-time Data Quality Monitoring

Acryl began its product journey by advancing the data discovery and governance capabilities offered within DataHub’s open source platform. As we’ve grown, we’ve learned how trust is an integral part of data context. As always, our community has led the way here - the team at Stripe extended DataHub to integrate Airflow pipeline SLA-s and observability and gave a highly popular talk at our town hall. It’s quite clear that business and technical teams alike need to understand the current status of data health in order to communicate issues across the organization but governance and observability have traditionally been viewed as separate or loosely integrated tools.

With that insight in mind, we are excited to announce the upcoming launch of Acryl Observe, a fully-integrated observability module designed to enhance data quality management. Driven by a central metadata control plane, Acryl Observe continuously monitors and detects data quality incidents in real-time. By automating anomaly detection, we help prevent data breakages and enable faster resolutions when incidents occur. Moving from reactive to proactive, we propose data contracts for producers to review and accept, moving accountability where it should reside, leading to better governed data assets.

Acryl Observe will pave the way for a new era of data observability bringing business and technical teams closer together in ensuring that your data remains accurate, reliable, and actionable.

Harnessing the Power of Generative AI

As we look ahead, we are thoughtfully incorporating generative AI capabilities into our platform. These capabilities will not only bring intuitive discovery experiences based on natural language capabilities but also further reduce the manual labor involved in data curation.

Your data catalog should automatically suggest relevant datasets, intelligently curate metadata, and generate insights without requiring extensive manual effort. With generative AI, your organization will finally be able to leapfrog from looking for data to being able to do amazing things with it.

Looking Ahead: Building the Future of Data Management

At Acryl Data, our vision is to bring clarity to data. With an open control plane that supports a suite of integrated capabilities such as a modern data catalog, an automation-driven governance console, and an observability engine that combines reactive and proactive approaches, we’re committed to building a truly magical experience for our customers and our community.

We welcome you to be a part of our mission. And if you’d like to learn more - please be in touch!



Data Quality Should be Part of the Data Catalog - Introducing Acryl Observe

We didn’t go looking for an excuse to develop a data observability solution. There’s more than enough to keep us occupied in relentlessly improving the best data catalog on the planet! But the more experience we gained in working closely with Acryl customers, the clearer it became that data quality, data discovery, and data governance aren’t just complementary, but mutually reinforce one another. Acryl Observe provides data teams with everything they need to detect data breakages immediately, contain their downstream impact, keep stakeholders in the loop, and resolve issues fast—so that data teams can spend less time reacting and more time preventing.

John Joyce


Metadathon - Why MetaData Matters

Vaidehi Sridhar, product manager at PayPal, came up with a clever solution: a hackathon—but for documentation and metadata. The goal of Sridhar’s and PayPal’s “Metadatathon” was to crowdsource the labor involved in documenting and adding rich context to the company’s distributed data assets. “Lack of documentation was one of the major problems most of our users called out,” Sridhar explains.

Stephen Swoyer


Hack Your Way to Data Quality with a "Metadatathon"

PayPal Product Manager Vaidehi Sridhar probably wouldn’t call herself a mastermind, but she did execute on a genius idea to improve data quality across PayPal’s sprawling ecosystem. Even better, Sridhar and her team laid the groundwork for PayPal to federate data governance for its decentralized teams—as well as automate many types of tedious governance tasks. The genius idea? A metadata hackathon, or “Metadatathon.”

Stephen Swoyer


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