Tembo takes advantage of database boom and raises fresh cash for expansion

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As the demand for AI grows, so does the demand for expertise in maintaining databases – a critical part in any AI pipeline. Databases store the information used to train, run, and fine-tune AI systems, and it has been shown that good data management can smooth the path to AI adoption in an enterprise.

One of the vendors benefiting from the database boom is Temboo, which is building a platform that lets developers deploy various flavors of Postgres, the open-source database system, in cloud and on-premise environments. Temboo announced Monday that it has raised $14 million in a funding round led by GreatPoint Ventures, with participation from Venrock, Grand Ventures, Wireframe Ventures, Defined VC and Cintrifuge Capital.

“We’re harnessing the power of Postgres for everyone,” Temboo founder and CEO Rae Walker told TechCrunch. “With Temboo, enterprises can cut costs by reducing the number of databases and increase efficiency by enabling less complex data pipelines.”

Walker studied computer science at the University of Cincinnati before dropping out in the 90s to create a web agency called Sharkbytes. After selling his first company, Walker started a venture studio called Differential, which led to an open-source data engineering pipeline called Astronomer, which Walker co-founded.

Shortly after Astronomer’s launch, Walker said he realized his passion for early-stage ventures. So he founded Temboo. “After building Astronomer and working on open-source passion projects, I realized that our model at Astronomer could be applied to the database industry with even greater impact,” he said.

Temboo offers a managed, metered software-as-a-service Postgres service as well as self-hosted software for setting up and orchestrating Postgres databases. Customers can spin up databases with features like auto-scaling and, soon, auto-tuning for self-maintenance.

Recently, Temboo launched the Machine Learning Stack, which allows developers to build and deploy AI models — including the open generative AI models that Temboo provides as a service — leveraging their databases as well as workflows.

“The astronomical growth in data has led to massive data sprawl that is inefficient and extremely costly,” Walker said. “With Temboo, enterprises can cut costs by reducing the number of databases and increase efficiency by enabling less complex data pipelines.”

With $20 million in capital and a team of about 25 people, Cincinnati-based Tembo plans to focus on product development, recruiting and advertising, Walker said. The challenge will be to continue to outpace rivals, including Postgres creator Mike Stonebraker’s new startup, DBOS. But Walker says Tembo is ready for it.

“We are reaching a critical juncture to help enterprises realize their strategy by leveraging Postgres for their growing data capture and storage needs,” Walker said. “The global database market is growing 15% year-over-year, expected to be $200 billion by 2027. This is just a small part of the iceberg over the next decade. Our goal is as ambitious as the opportunity we are creating, harnessing the power of Postgres for everyone.”

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