Capital One Invests $5M in Data Warehousing Startup Snowflake

Company's latest release tailored to highly-regulated verticals

Christine Hall

September 8, 2017

3 Min Read
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Snowflake Computing, the cloud-based data warehousing company behind Snowflake Elastic Data Warehouse, which stores and analyzes data using cloud-based hardware and software, says it's upped its game.

This week it announced new investment by Capital One, and the latest edition of its product, designed specifically for financial services, the medical field, and other highly regulated verticals that require a high level of security. They're calling the new service Virtual Private Snowflake, or VPS. Evidently, they didn't get the memo explaining that those initials are already in use by the tech sector.

The new product is essentially the same as Snowflake's legacy offering, but hardened, tightened down, expanded, and dedicated.

You might call it your own private Snowflake. Instead of using the product in a multi-tenant cloud with shared resources, here each customer gets a managed version of Snowflake inside a dedicated AWS Virtual Private Cloud. It comes with end-to-end encryption (both at rest and in transit) that combines a customer-provided encryption key with a Snowflake-provided key and user credentials. Also included are industry-specific compliance validations, such as PCI DSS for credit card processors and HIPAA for the healthcare folks.

"Similar to other industries, data analysis in financial services is hindered by costly and inflexible tools available on-premises or in the cloud," Snowflake’s CEO, Bob Muglia, said in a statement. "A built-for-the-cloud data warehouse is a game changer, providing the flexibility and scale to meet the needs of the large financial services enterprises. Virtual Private Snowflake is the only data warehouse that takes full advantage of the cloud while delivering the security financial services require."

That's easy to say, but it's one thing to claim a product is just what the doctor ordered, or the cat's meow, for a demanding industry with deep requirements and another to prove that it works as advertised. As the Brits used to say: the proof of the pudding is in how it leaves the board.

Evidently done. No less that Capital One, the what's-in-your-wallet folks who also develop (and give away) a lot of their own software, have tried it and liked it.

"We are an early adopter of VPS because it gives us the ability to process data at lightning-fast speed and deliver automated, intelligent solutions to our customers in real-time," said Linda Apsley, Capital One's VP of data engineering. "In addition, it provides the administrative capabilities we need as a large enterprise."

In July Capital One became the first customer to use Virtual Private Snowflake and were impressed enough that their venture investing arm Capital One Growth Ventures this week threw $5 million into Snowflake’s Series D funding kitty. This brings Snowflake's Series D funding round, announced in April and led by ICONIQ Capital, to $105 million. Since its founding in 2012, Snowflake has raised a total of $210 million in funding.

The company has gone through something of a growth spurt since it began its latest funding round. According to TechChrunch, the company currently has 270 employees, which is up from 175 when the round started.

About the Author(s)

Christine Hall

Freelance author

Christine Hall has been a journalist since 1971. In 2001 she began writing a weekly consumer computer column and began covering IT full time in 2002, focusing on Linux and open source software. Since 2010 she's published and edited the website FOSS Force. Follow her on Twitter: @BrideOfLinux.

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