Databricks to buy data management firm Tabular for over $1 billion

(Reuters) -Databricks said on Tuesday it would buy data-management startup Tabular for more than $1 billion, as the privately held analytics platform looks to attract customers by helping them develop custom artificial intelligence (AI) applications.

The announcement comes at a time when companies are doubling down efforts to build an ecosystem for clients to use open-source AI models, in a bid to gain market share from rivals such as Snowflake and Cloudera, among others, in a highly competitive market.

Tabular, founded by Ryan Blue, Daniel Weeks and Jason Reid in 2021, provides an independent and universal storage platform to its customers.

San Francisco, California-based Databricks said Tabular's team of about 40 members will join it after the transaction is completed in its second quarter ending July 31.

The frenzy around AI has sparked the need for robust infrastructure to store and manage corporate data, as companies create their own large language models after the launch of OpenAI's viral chatbot ChatGPT.

Databricks' primary product is a technology for holding huge troves of corporate data in a way that makes it easy to access and analyze. But doing so still typically requires a data scientist to write computer code that finds and manipulates the data.

The company had agreed to acquire AI startup MosaicML in a deal valued at $1.3 billion in June last year.

Databricks counts AT&T, Warner Bros Discovery and Rivian Automotive, among others, as its customers.

Last year, Databricks had secured more than $500 million in a funding round that valued it at $43 billion, marking one of the biggest funding events for private tech companies in 2023 amid AI-fueled optimism.

(Reporting by Jaspreet Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Shilpi Majumdar)