Snowflake’s Pathway for Aspiring Data Cloud Startups

Snowflake, the Data Cloud company, has launched the Powered by Snowflake Funding Programme, which intends to invest up to $100 million dollars toward the next generation of early-stage startups building Snowflake Native Apps.

This funding initiative is bolstered by prominent venture capital entities such as Altimeter Capital, Amplify Partners, Anthos Capital, Coatue, ICONIQ Growth, IVP, Madrona, Menlo Ventures, Redpoint Ventures, and Snowflake Ventures. Complementing the programme, Amazon Web Services (AWS) will spur further growth and ingenuity by offering startups up to $1 million in complimentary Snowflake credits on AWS across a span of four years for the development of Snowflake Native Apps.

Stefan Williams, VP of Corporate Development and Snowflake Ventures at Snowflake, described the evolving approach to enterprise application deployment, noting: “A new way to deploy enterprise applications is emerging as companies look to bring their apps and application code closer to their data. Innovative enhancements in AI enabled through Snowpark, the Snowflake Native App Framework, and Snowflake’s industry-leading data privacy, security, and governance, make it easier than ever for startups to build, deploy, and monetize enterprise apps. With our venture capital partners and AWS, the Powered by Snowflake Funding Programme will accelerate this new era of software development.”

Howard Wright, Vice President and Global Head of Startups at AWS, highlighted the resources AWS intends to provide to data and AI-driven startups: “As more startups build and scale innovative data-intensive and AI enriched apps, we want to offer them the resources they need to hit the market faster—and the Snowflake platform is a great example of that. AWS is thrilled to contribute to the Powered by Snowflake Funding Programme and make it easier for builders to connect the dots between enterprises and their customers to deliver even better products and services.”

Applications that are Powered by Snowflake stand to benefit from the rapidity, scalability, and user-friendliness of the Snowflake platform, facilitating faster market entry, enhanced operational efficiency, and a more seamless customer experience. The Snowflake Native App Framework, soon to be generally available on AWS, will allow developers to build an app, market, monetize, and distribute it to customers across the Data Cloud ecosystem via Snowflake Marketplace, all from within Snowflake’s secure and governed platform. Secure data collaboration techniques permit companies building on Snowflake to access a wider range of data to deliver enhanced insights, which can serve as a distinguishing feature.

Maxa, the recipient of this year’s Snowflake Startup Challenge, leveraged Snowflake Native Apps to revolutionize its approach to automating financial and operational (ERP) insights. Alexis Steinman, co-CEO at Maxa, shared their experience: “The ability to run Maxa within our end-customer’s Snowflake account, where their data already lives, and in a way that they maintain complete control of it, fundamentally changed our business. Launching as an enterprise-grade startup from the very beginning, we’re able to sell and securely deliver value to some of the world’s largest companies. And being able to distribute and monetize on Snowflake Marketplace has made it easy to connect with customers.”

At Snowday 2023, Snowflake also unveiled new developments that simplify the creation of ML models and full-stack apps in the Data Cloud, along with innovations that empower users to safely harness generative AI with their enterprise data. These are accompanied by advancements in Snowflake Horizon that aim to eliminate data silos and bolster Snowflake’s premier compliance and governance capabilities.

Comments from Programme Participants:

Brad Gerstner, Founder and CEO at Altimeter Capital: “Leading data and AI companies are increasingly building their entire business on the Snowflake platform. As we did with Samooha, one of the first adopters of Snowflake Native Apps, we are happy to partner with Snowflake to accelerate this incredible progress.”

Mark LaRosa, Partner at Amplify Partners - “The ability to deploy a new product offering and connect to the end-customer's data is a paradigm shift in how B2B software is sold and delivered. Historically, startups encountered a byzantine maze of security approvals, vendor reviews, and more just to get through a mere evaluation, let alone production-level access to data. Snowflake is at the forefront of streamlining this deployment and massively accelerating adoption for both companies as well as end users. We're looking forward to Snowflake Native Apps enabling a new class of startups and are excited to deepen our partnership with Snowflake to help catalyse their growth."

Sam Teden and Jeff Stapleton, Investors at Anthos Capital: “We believe Snowflake will fundamentally change how software is delivered and we are thrilled to be partnering on this funding program. Having the ability to build directly on Snowflake enables entrepreneurs and companies to go to market more quickly and eliminates common compliance hurdles faced by B2B software companies. Anthos is proud to support the effort to accelerate the shift in mobilising data."

Andy Chen, General Partner, Coatue: “The data platform is one of the most important components of the modern data stack and we expect to see a generation of new startups that will be built on top of data leaders, like Snowflake. We are thrilled to join Snowflake and fellow investors to spark this new wave of innovation.”

Matt Jacobson, General Partner, ICONIQ Growth: "One of the most difficult challenges startups face is earning the trust of their prospective customers, especially when their product requires access to their customers' data. Snowflake Native Apps are changing this dynamic by allowing startups to deploy their data-intensive and AI-infused apps entirely within the end customer's data platform - eliminating data movement and significantly strengthening trust. ICONIQ Growth is excited to continue its long-standing partnership with Snowflake and support this new era of development helping startups build apps to put data to work.”

Shravan Narayen, Partner at IVP: “As a former Snowflake PM, I’ve seen firsthand how Snowflake Native Apps can transform development and enterprise adoption for data-intensive applications. We look forward to collaborating with Snowflake and these ambitious founders as they scale.”

S. Somasegar, Managing Director, Madrona: “Every company is building Intelligent Applications leveraging the power of data and AI that they have access to. These applications want to stay close to the data, which for many enterprises is already in Snowflake,” said S. Somasegar, Managing Director, Madrona. “The Snowflake Data Cloud and the program to nurture and support startups building Snowflake Native Apps means that enterprises will have an easier on-ramp to offering Intelligent Applications and startups will have the fuel they need to build and sell enterprise grade AI-driven applications. We are excited to work with Snowflake and start-ups through this new program.”

Tim Tully, Partner, Menlo Ventures: "We're excited to partner with Snowflake to help this new generation of software companies, which have data and AI at their core, develop innovative products and scale their businesses.”

Satish Dharmaraj, Managing Director at Redpoint Ventures: "As a longtime partner of Snowflake, we continue to be excited about the pivotal role Snowflake plays in the industry for companies of all sizes, but especially those just getting started on their journey. We’re in such early innings of AI and it's incredibly impactful to see Snowflake making it easier for the next generation of Snowflake Native App builders to build and scale their businesses."