Doubling Down on Data: Our Series A Investment in Xata

by Erin Price-Wright

Monica Sarbu, CEO and founder of Xata

In this post: Xata

I met Monica almost exactly a year ago, and from that very first phone call, it was clear to me that she was building something that was going to matter. Deeply technical and a proven leader, she had left her previous leadership role at Elastic to found Tupu, a non-profit to connect underrepresented people in tech with mentors. Her frustrations in building what should have been a simple matching application inspired her to fix a problem that until then she had not realised was broken.

And with this, Xata was born. A serverless database that developers and business users alike would love. We invested in Xata’s seed round last summer and are so proud to double down and co-lead their Series A, alongside our good friends at Redpoint.

"Consistent with our thesis for our recent investments in companies like Clickhouse, Temporal, and Transform, Xata has the mission to make data more accessible to business users with a product that developers adore."
— Erin Price-Wright, Index Ventures

Xata is building this product at the very moment that companies are desperate for it. Consistent with our thesis for our recent investments in companies like Clickhouse, Temporal, and Transform, Xata has the mission to make data more accessible to business users with a product that developers adore. They are riding four critical waves that we are witnessing transform the market:

  1. Expectations around data are operational. It’s no longer enough to dump all your data in a warehouse and do some analytics on top for quarterly board reporting. Data is becoming an integral part of operational workflows across all parts of the business.
  2. Business users are data literate. Users in support, marketing, operations, sales, finance, customer success, and product might not all know how to write SQL, but they have high expectations around how data informs their work. They are not asking for dashboards but are demanding data rich, flexible, and interactive applications to do their jobs.
  3. JAMstack has emerged as the clear model for front end development. Platforms like Vercel and Netlify are dominating the way new applications are developed and deployed, and right now there is no good solution for the database layer. Companies turn to Airtable, which is a great product but was not built to be a scalable production database, for lack of good alternatives.
  4. Developer-led adoption is critical. Developers have more power than ever in deciding what products and tools are being adopted. They have high standards (rightly so) and need tools that fit within their workflows.

Xata, with it’s spreadsheet-like UI, autoscaling, and plethora of other developer-centric features (​​zero-downtime migrations, ACID transactions, out-of-the-box search, etc) has come to fill this gaping need.

"Monica is an exceptional leader with an eye for talent. She hires people where they spike and gives them the freedom to achieve things bigger than even they thought was possible."
— Erin Price-Wright, Index Ventures

I am incredibly excited about Xata’s product and the need it fills in the market. But, at the end of the day for me, every investment is first and foremost about people. Monica is an exceptional leader with an eye for talent. She hires people where they spike and gives them the freedom to achieve things bigger than even they thought was possible. She surrounds herself with a team that challenges her and yet is able to remain steadfast to her long term goals. From day one, Monica has committed to building a diverse team and has a knack for hiring exceptional people outside homogenous tech bubbles.

Monica started Xata to solve a problem. Tenacious, deeply kind, and altogether fierce, I am so honoured to be working with her to help build this transformational company.

Published — March 8, 2022