How Bobsled is Revolutionizing Data-as-a-Service

Greycroft
4 min readApr 25, 2023

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Brentt Baltimore

My introduction to the Bobsled team happened as they closed their seed round. Bobsled’s value proposition at the time, “data distribution as a service,” made sense — enterprise demand for external data had skyrocketed, yet the way in which it was shared was still an error-prone, time-intensive process. I left the initial meeting convinced only a handful of teams had the right experience to build and deploy the product, and the Bobsled team was one of them.

Bobsled Team

Jake, Andy, and Josh have built and scaled enterprise data infrastructure, integration, and analytics products for most of their respective careers. Jake was previously the Head of Data Exchange for Microsoft, and before that led AI and graph analytics for Neo4j, where he met Andy. Prior to Bobsled, Andy architected distributed data and analytics systems for both Tractable and Neo4j. Josh joined the Bobsled team after co-founding Simon Data, a scaled player in the CDP space where he experienced the Bobsled vision, first-hand.

For months we met for breakfast, the depth of the Bobsled vision becoming more apparent with each meeting. Data-as-a-service was a growing need, fueled by several emerging trends:

1. Rise of (hybrid) cloud adoption: over the last decade, more companies are storing data in the cloud; further, multi-cloud adoption is becoming the norm for large enterprises (source). This indicates recipients need data delivered to a greater number of destinations — more pipelines, more headache.

2. Cloud providers-built wall-gardens to keep data in their platforms: by design, leading cloud data platforms (GCP, AWS, Azure, Snowflake, Databricks, etc.) offer in-platform sharing but the platforms are not interoperable; data engineers need to manually build and maintain pipelines between different platforms. Within the backdrop of multi-cloud adoption, the challenges scale significantly.

3. We believe the definition of a Data Provider is expanding, and SaaS vendors are entering the data provider market, creating new revenue streams by enabling their end customers to consume their data via external data-as-a-service offerings. Stripe and Heap are examples of these. Further, data providers are now responsible for building and maintaining the pipelines necessary to deliver their service (e.g., Stripe provides the pipeline to a customer’s warehouse, not the other way around).

These trends underly a core belief that we think will be relevant across the enterprise data landscape. The responsibility of building, maintaining, and scaling data pipelines shifting away from the data consumer and towards the data provider. The inversion of this relationship will require data teams to think about the pipelines customers consume as strategic assets, which sophisticated customers think of as consumable products.

Bobsled Native Data Sharing Platform

There is a significant opportunity for a third party to orchestrate the increasingly fragmented landscape of data providers, data destinations, and importantly, productize external data-as-a-service. I believe Bobsled is well-positioned to lead this category, reinventing inter-company data sharing. We were excited to preempt Bobsled’s Series A, and I joined the board investing alongside our friends at Madrona, in partnership with .406 Ventures. I believe, the founders have built an incredible team of Bobsledders and the sled is on the move.

Today’s data consumers are more sophisticated than they have ever been, and the definition of a data provider is no longer constrained to data aggregation and data exchanges. To create a truly amazing experience for both sides of the data relationship, new tooling must deliver a rich collaboration suite that is native to various data types, interoperable with all destinations, and capable of fitting into the workflows that data teams run every day.

I am excited to see Bobsled announce themselves to the public today and humbled to be an investor.

Disclaimer: Notwithstanding Greycroft’s publication of this article to its website, the views expressed herein are the personal views of Brentt Baltimore and do not necessarily reflect the views of Greycroft or the strategies and products that Greycroft offers or invests in. Nothing contained herein constitutes investment, legal, tax or other advice nor is it to be relied on in making an investment or other decision. This publication was prepared solely for information purposes and should not be viewed as a current or past recommendation or a solicitation of an offer to buy or sell any securities or to adopt any investment strategy. This publication contains projections or other forward-looking statements, which are based on beliefs, assumptions and expectations that may change as a result of many possible events or factors. Companies noted throughout are not [all] Greycroft portfolio companies or affiliates and are intended as a curated list of providers in the relevant spaces. The information contained herein is only as current as of the date indicated and may be superseded by subsequent market events or for other reasons. The information in this document has been developed internally and/or obtained from sources believed to be reliable; however, Greycroft does not guarantee the accuracy, adequacy, or completeness of such information. Greycroft does not assume any duty to, nor undertakes to update forward looking statements. Past performance does not guarantee future results.

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