Meltano spins out of GitLab, raises Seed funding to bring data integration into the DataOps era

Today is a big day for Meltano and open source data tooling: Three years after starting inside GitLab, and one year after pivoting to open source ELT with Singer and dbt, Meltano is now an independent startup! We have spun out of GitLab and raised a $4.2M Seed funding round led by GV to bring the benefits of open source data integration and DataOps to a wider audience.

The past year has been great for Meltano, Singer, and the broader open source data community. From the day we pivoted to focus on building a great open source platform for ELT pipelines and started embracing Singer, the de-facto standard for community-maintained data connectors, we’ve seen our usage, contributions, and Slack activity grow faster than we could have predicted or hoped. This confirmed the market’s appetite for modern data tooling built around open source technologies and DevOps principles, and gave us renewed confidence in Meltano’s future.

This newfound success made it possible to bring two more people onto the team earlier this year: Taylor Murphy has been a long-time internal user and advisor and joined from the GitLab data team. AJ Steers was an early contributor with years of experience building internal DataOps tooling at AWS and Slalom. Just in the past three months, with a lot of help from our ever-growing community, we released the Meltano SDK, which makes it easier than ever to build new Singer taps and targets, launched MeltanoHub, which catalogs community-maintained connectors for hundreds of sources and destinations, and grew our Slack community to a whopping 1200 data professionals.

Looking to the future

This rapid growth also led us to start thinking more concretely about Meltano’s future and the different potential paths ahead of us, especially considering our broader vision and aspirations to build the next generation of data infrastructure to bring the entire data lifecycle into the DataOps era. After talking it through with GitLab, we agreed that Meltano had outgrown the structure under which it had been incubated. The natural next step would be for Meltano to go its own way by spinning out and raising external funding, allowing GitLab to maintain its focus on its single application for the DevOps lifecycle.

That brings us to today! Over the past few months, we’ve had the opportunity to get to know dozens of VC firms and angel investors, pitch our vision, and learn how they could be of help to us in this next chapter. We are very excited to announce today that this ultimately resulted in a $4.2M Seed funding round led by GV. We also feel honored to be joined on this journey by a number of angel investors with ample experience in open source, data, developer tooling, and the intersection of the three, including Max Beauchemin, creator of Apache Airflow and Superset, Databricks VP of Engineering Sam Shah, and WordPress founder Matt Mullenweg.

The funds enable us to build out the team, accelerate product development, and continue to strengthen the open source communities around Meltano and Singer. Eventually, we will want to commercialize Meltano with the Buyer-Based Open Core model and a SaaS offering. However, for the foreseeable future, nothing is more important than continuing to work with the community to make Meltano more powerful and further establish it as the preferred solution for solving data integration and general data lifecycle challenges.

Growing the team and product

Of course, we haven’t been sitting still in the weeks since it’s become clear that this spinout was really happening, and we’ve already started growing the team! Besides Taylor, AJ, and me, who are now Meltano’s Head of Product & Data, Head of Engineering, and CEO, respectively, we are thrilled to welcome Emily Kyle as Director of Marketing, and Amanda Folson as Developer Relations Manager. Emily join us from GitLab to bring the story of Meltano, Singer, and DataOps to a wider audience, while Amanda will focus on building a strong community of users and contributors. In the coming weeks, we’re looking forward to welcoming Edgar Ramírez Mondragón, Florian Hines, and Ken Payne onto our engineering team. If you would like to work with these amazing people as well, be sure to check out our job openings!

On the product side of things, our public roadmap reflects our continued focus on everything that makes the combination of Meltano and Singer the obvious choice for open source data integration in the DataOps era. We are currently working on support for ETL (transformation in between extraction and loading) and reverse ETL (loading data into SaaS destinations), along with enhanced dbt integration, significant updates to the Hub, and improvements to the Singer protocol and Meltano itself that will increase throughput and overall performance.

These funds will also empower us to start focusing on our broader vision of bringing the entire data lifecycle into the DataOps era by adding support for other best-in-class open source tools like Superset for visualization, Great Expectations for data testing, and alternative orchestration solutions like Dagster and Prefect. Meltano integrates these disparate tools in a single DataOps-ready project repository with consistent configuration and deployment across environments. With a single solution, teams can collaborate more effectively across the data lifecycle.

Thank you for making this possible

We are extremely excited about this next chapter in our journey, and proud of what we’ve accomplished so far, but we could not have done it alone. We want to thank all the data professionals who have joined our community so far. It is their contributions, feedback, and ideas that shape our roadmap and guide us on our mission to build the next generation of data infrastructure and tooling, together. 

Meltano would also not be where it is today without the wider Singer community and the hundreds of connectors they have built and maintained over the past few years. We thank them for their enthusiastic support as we have invested in the ecosystem. Finally, we are grateful to GitLab for making this entire project possible in the first place, believing in an open source platform for the entire data lifecycle from the start, and giving us this opportunity to spread our wings and bring this vision to life as a separate company.

If you haven’t tried Meltano yet, please check out the Getting Started guide and come join us in Slack! We’re looking forward to learning from your experiences and perspectives on the future of data integration and data tooling.