Databricks opens new European headquarters to capitalise on AI and machine learning market opportunities
Databricks, provider of the Unified Analytics Platform and founded by the team who created Apache Spark™, announced the opening of its new EMEA headquarters in London to support the company’s international growth. As part of this, Databricks has appointed David Wyatt, who built MuleSoft’s EMEA Business over the last four and a half years, as vice president and general manager of Databricks EMEA.
With a strong history in leading cloud and open source businesses in the region, Wyatt will oversee the company’s customer success programmes, recruitment, sales and business development efforts in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
Companies are looking to artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning as technologies to support their strategies around reducing cost, improving customer experience and delivering better results back to the business. However, the lack of data science, machine learning and AI skills is holding back many organisations from investing in these areas today and it is often hard for data science and data engineering teams to collaborate closely with others in the lines of business.
More than half the respondents to Gartner‘s 2017 AI development strategies survey indicated that the lack of necessary staff skills was the top challenge to adopting AI in their organisation.
Databricks’ Unified Analytics Platform provides a simplified approach for data science teams to collaborate with business teams to meet their needs around analytics and AI, bridging the gaps that exist around automating analysis of data and deploying this to suit the business. By reducing the issues around AI adoption and deployment, Databricks aims to make this technology suitable for all businesses.
The company’s cloud-based platform is powered by Spark, the most popular open source technology for Big Data processing and analytic workloads and an invention of the six co-founders of Databricks.
Wyatt brings more than twenty years’ experience in building enterprise software companies to Databricks, covering market development, consulting and pre-sales operations. His experience includes developing new market strategies and managing teams for cloud, open source and proprietary software companies including MuleSoft, PKWare, Oracle and IBM.
“We are seeing huge and rapidly growing demand within enterprises for help with their machine learning and AI strategies and specifically their Spark deployments,” commented Ali Ghodsi, CEO at Databricks. “The demand is particularly strong in Europe and as such, it is our top priority for global expansion. With the opening of our London office, we will have a stronger springboard to drive growth and better serve our customers in EMEA. David brings a tremendous amount of relevant enterprise software and Cloud experience to spearhead our business and his appointment will help us scale up and fulfill our mission in Europe.”
“Databricks has demonstrated unmatched vision and leadership by building a high-growth global business around its Unified Analytics Platform, building off its roots and credibility as the team that created Apache Spark. Its cloud-based platform is making it more achievable for enterprises to adopt AI and derive value from their big data,” said Wyatt.
“I am thrilled to be joining the company and leading the company’s EMEA business as there’s a wealth of talent in London and an enormous opportunity for Databricks to solve problems facing data science and data engineering teams across the continent.”
“Working with Databricks to unlock the power of big data insights across our business created operational efficiencies in our supply chain that resulted in immediate business value. The local office opening complements existing relationships we have with the company and will help us in our own global growth using analytics to make better decisions,” said Daniel Jeavons, general manager – Advanced Analytics Centre of Excellence, at Shell.
Deputy Mayor for Business, Rajesh Agrawal, said: “We are delighted to welcome Databricks to London. Our city is a fertile breeding ground for companies developing the disruptive technologies which are changing the way we live and work – particularly in the field of artificial intelligence, for which London is a global hub. For an innovative company like Databricks to choose the capital as its European headquarters shows that London is open to talent and open to helping companies grow. This investment is yet more proof that London is the tech capital of Europe.”
As the company formed by the team responsible for creating Apache Spark, Databricks is leading the development of the AI, analytics and machine learning markets internationally. This year, the company has raised more than $140 million (€119.28 million) in venture funding from the likes of Andreessen Horowitz, New Enterprise Associates and Battery Ventures, bringing its total funding to more than $247 million (€210.44 million). The office in London is, therefore, the first element of the company’s investment in international growth and business development.