Posted on March 18, 2019 by staff

$2.75bn AI company unveils new London base


Artificial intelligence company Databricks has opened its new EMEA headquarters in London following $250m investment from the likes of Andreesen Horowitz and Microsoft last month.

The firm, headquartered in San Francisco, California, plans to double its workforce in the UK capital after unveiling the new base in the former House of Fraser offices on Baker Street.

It signals the first move with the new funding – which takes Databricks’ investment to date to $500m – as it seeks to expand in Europe.

Founded by the original creators of Apache Spark, an open-source analytics engine for data processing, Databricks says the new space will include a customer briefing and training centre that will host Big Data meetups, machine learning workshops and introductions to unified analytics every month.

Ali Ghodsi, co-founder and CEO of Databricks, said: “We opted to make London our EMEA base in August 2017 and have grown from a few desks in a shared workspace to an iconic building in the West End.

“We are proud to be playing a part in ensuring London maintains its position at the epicentre of Europe’s tech scene, through enabling Unified Analytics.”

Valued at $2.75bn, Databricks exceeded $100m in annual recurring revenue in 2018 as it approximately tripled year-over-year growth in subscription revenue during the last quarter of 2018.

Databricks helps companies implement ‘boring AI’ – artificial intelligence to deal with problems in companies around everyday tasks. Its platform services data science and data engineering teams at more than 2,000 organisations globally including, Shell and HP.

Its London staff has grown tenfold in the last 12 months while it also has offices around the United States and Europe and in Australia, Singapore and India.

David Wyatt, vice president and general manager of EMEA, commented: “We have grown in London despite the uncertainties of Brexit. We have hired a multinational, highly skilled workforce that has excelled at bringing companies further in their journey to achieve productive AI.

“We look forward to continued growth.”

London’s Deputy Mayor for Business, Rajesh Agrawal, said: “It’s exciting to see an innovative and ambitious global company like Databricks choose London as its European base.

“With access to policymakers, growth capital, infrastructure, world-class universities and talent, London has everything you need to grow, nurture and scale a business.

“Technology and innovation are driving forces behind the city’s growth – with employment in London’s digital technology sector predicted to grow by almost a fifth over the next decade.

“London is a city where great ideas are born and with companies like Databricks putting down roots, the capital’s future looks extremely bright.”