Microsoft rival Collibra doubles valuation to $5.25 billion as investors chase next cloud winner

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  • Colibra, which helps firms manage and analyze data, has raised $250 million in a new round of funding.
  • Investors now value the start-up at $5.25 billion, more than double last year’s $2.3 billion.
  • Investors are looking for the next winner in cloud computing after a solid market debut from the likes of Snowflake and GitLab.

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LONDON – Software start-up Colibra said on Tuesday it has raised $250 million in a round of funding that values ​​the firm at $5.25 billion.

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Colibra raised fresh funds in a late investment led by Sequoia Capital and Belgium-based holding company Sofina, in which Tiger Global was also investing. The firm also counts Alphabet’s venture units CapitalG, ICONIQ Capital and Index Ventures as investors.

At a valuation of $5.25 billion, Colibra is now more than twice as many investors who valued the company as last year at $2.3 billion. Colibra plans to use the new funding to double its workforce by 2023. It currently has 953 employees according to LinkedIn.

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Founded in 2008, Collibra helps firms manage and analyze data distributed across multiple countries. The New York and Brussels-based company competes with cloud giants such as Microsoft, Snowflake and Informatica in the data management and governance space.

“What we’ve seen over the years is a lot of data,” Felix Van de Mele, Colibra CEO and co-founder, told Businesshala. “It’s moved to the cloud, there’s a lot of innovation.”

“This leads to greater use of data, whether it is through AI, machine learning, this whole digital transformation,” he said. “The result is that there’s a lot of complexity, there’s a lot of fragmentation.”

Businesses have to navigate a plethora of data privacy regulations, such as California’s Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) and the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). The head of Collibra said his firm helps solve that problem.

money is raining in the cloud

The deal reflects increasing investment in cloud companies at a time when digital adoption has boomed in the coronavirus pandemic. In August, Databricks raised $1.6 billion at a valuation of $38 billion, while Celonis raised $1 billion in a round of valuations of the firm at $11 billion.

After solid stock market debuts from the likes of Snowflake and GitLab, investors are looking for the next winner in cloud computing. Last week, HashiCorp became the latest high-growth venture tech firm to file for an initial public offering.

Asked if an IPO is a possibility for Colibra, de Mele said that was the goal – though there’s no specific time frame on its plans yet.

“There’s a massive market opportunity there,” he said. “We have a strong position, we are reaching the right scale and we are building the company such that we can become a public company.”

The enterprise software market has seen a lot of consolidation in recent years, with Microsoft buying speech recognition company Nuance in a $16 billion deal and Intuit buying email marketing firm Mailchimp for $12 billion.

D Mele denied the acquisition had taken place, saying his firm was more likely to make a purchase. After buying a firm called SQLdep in 2019 and a company called OwlDQ earlier this year, Collibra has become more active in corporate deal making.

“We believe that we can be a large, independent company,” said the head of Colibra. “There’s a lot of really interesting technology, great teams, and we had a scale that we can do some of that M&A ourselves, which we plan to continue.”


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