Citus Data: Founding to Acquisition with Umur Cubukcu

A new database company needs to solve numerous problems in order to succeed.

There are already lots of existing database companies, so a new company needs to find a way to strongly differentiate itself. Databases are core infrastructure, so a new database company must earn trust with its customers. A database is a complicated distributed system, so a database company must have strong engineering to get its product to market.

Citus Data was founded in 2011. Around that time, companies were looking for solutions to both their online transactional workloads and their large-scale offline analytics workloads. Citus Data built its company around Postgres, a popular database that has been around since 1996. Products from Citus Data include a Postgres scalability extension as well as a cloud-hosted offering for spinning up Postgres instances.

Citus Data was acquired by Microsoft earlier this year. In today’s episode, Umur Cubukcu joins the show to talk about the story of the company from its early days to its eventual acquisition. Umur describes the landscape of data systems in 2011 when the company started, and explains how that evolved to the current ecosystem. Umur also talks about how to make an acquisition successful and gives some perspective on the future of data platforms.


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