On May 24, 2021, Taos Data, the world’s leading IoT big data platform, announced the completion of a $47 million Series B financing round. The round was led by Matrix Partners China, with participation from Sequoia Capital China, GGV Capital, and Index Capital, with Index Capital acting as the exclusive financial advisor. The financing proceeds will be used for technology development and market expansion.
Founded in 2017, TAOS Data focuses on storage, query, analysis, and computation of time-series big data. Without relying on any open source or third-party software, the company has independently developed the proprietary IoT big data platform TDengine which features high performance, scalability, high reliability, and zero management. TDengine outperforms other time-series databases by at least 10 times in terms of insert/query performance. The community edition of TDengine was open-sourced in July 2019, with the addition of clustering features in August 2020. It has been ranked first in the GitHub global trend list for many times. Now, TDengine has attracted 15,000 stars, 3,800 forks on GitHub, and is one of the most popular open-source projects. TAOS Data has previously received angel investment from Future Capital, Manzi Fund, Yonghui Ruijin Capital, Wenqing Capital, and other institutions. In January 2020, it received nearly 10 million USD in the Pre-A round of funding from GGV Capital, Sequoia China Seed Fund, and Yonghui Ruijin Capital, and in April 2020, it received over 10 million USD in Series A funding from Sequoia Capital China and GGV Capital.
With the world’s leading technology & product capabilities, TAOS Data defines the next generation of IoT core infrastructure
TAOS Data’s products are highly standardized, require no custom development, and facilitate fast global-scale replication. It also features remote deployment and management. Its IT infrastructure platform is positioned to comprehensively carry customers’ IoT big data application scenarios, which can further enhance customers’ IoT business for the long term by being a powerful infrastructure.
TAOS Data’s flagship product, TDengine, outperforms other time-series databases by at least 10 times in terms of insert/query performance. TDengine is user-friendly, supporting C/C++, Java, Python, and other types of interfaces, can be installed directly without three-party software, with zero cost to learn to use. TDengine has a extensive technical ecosystem built for the characteristics of the Internet of Things without the need to integrate peripheral components, out-of-the-box, perfectly compatible with all types of IT environments and applications. Compared with existing technologies, the demand for computing resources decreases by 80% and storage resources by 90%, achieving a TCO saving efficiency of nearly 50%.
Open source community impact builds high value commercialization path
As a leading domestic open-source software enterprise, TAOS Data has formed a complete CI/CD process based on GitHub early, and can be connected with Telegraf, Prometheus, Grafana, Matlab, R, and other third-party tools in convenient ways. The open-source model significantly reduces the learning and deployment threshold for customers. And it also significantly shortens the customer’s decision path due to quantifiable performance and TCO optimization performance.
In terms of commercialization, the low-cost transformation path from “open-source” to “commercial” purchase has formed a closed loop, and its customers basically come from their open-source community, who can all complete the installation and deployment independently. The renewal model of pricing by data volume and annual subscription further enhances the LTV potential of customers. In addition, with the core code open source, TAOS Data’s technical services and technical support have become an important source of commercial revenue, and the development and sales of auxiliary functions such as data encryption, off-site disaster recovery, auditing, and multi-level storage have also gained better commercial conversion.
Currently, TDengine has three versions, including Open Source Community Edition, Enterprise Edition and Cloud Service Edition. Open Source Community Edition is used to build a brand, expand the influence of the developer community, and establish an ecology. Enterprise Edition supports independent deployment and is sold under the TBL (Term Based License) annual subscription model, with billing based on the amount of data (number of measurement points, amount of collected data) . Cloud Service Edition provides PaaS services directly on Alibaba Cloud, AWS and other cloud platforms, with billing based on data volume and duration. As of 2020, TAOS Data has provided services to head customers in many fields such as energy and electricity, high-end manufacturing, and smart cities, with a contract value growth rate of 329% and a customer unit price increase of 179%.
TAOS Data has a team with top technical skills, rich entrepreneurial experience and global vision
TAOS Data’s Founder, Jeff Tao has worked in the US for more than 10 years, and has successfully founded two companies, “Hexin” and “Happy Mommy”. Based on his continuous entrepreneurial experience in the technology field, Mr. Tao has a deep knowledge of the scenarios and pain points of IoT and smart hardware, as well as rich technical experience in the processing of time-series data.
In addition, all of TAOS Data’s R&D team graduated from well-known universities or institutions with master or doctoral degrees, such as The University of Science and Technology of China, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Tsinghua University, Shanghai Jiaotong University, University of Michigan and University of Maryland. They all have many years of R&D experience in distributed computing, data storage and database. The team’s background combines both technical academic genes and industry management experience, providing a solid guarantee for TAOS Data’s strategic pattern and business strength.
Investment institution views
Michael Zuo, partner of MatrixPartners China, the lead investor of this round, said: “IoT is upgrading the real world comprehensively, along with IoT applications landing in various industries, the number of IoT access devices and data volume will continue to grow rapidly, and the way of using data has also changed greatly. TAOS Data to time series database as the core of the big data products have been in the energy and electricity, logistics, high-end manufacturing, Internet, smart city and other industries of the head of the customer has been verified, and its open-source community is active, the product continues to rapidly iterate. Mr. Tao is a sustainable entrepreneur, always has great enthusiasm for technology and products. Their team has a global vision and champion mentality and has been committed to building the world’s most Top products. We believe that in the future, TAOS Data’s products will become one of the most core infrastructures in the IoT era.”
Phairy Wu, an investment partner of Sequoia Capital China, believes: “With the rapid penetration of IoT applications in many fields such as consumer, energy, industry and smart city, the number of IoT access devices and data volume are growing at a high speed. Targeting the growing IoT big data market, TAOS Data has formed a strong competitive edge in the IoT market with precise product positioning. Its flagship product, TDengine, has received a lot of positive feedback from the open-source community and has been able to continue to iterate rapidly. The influence of open source has also brought about the rapid growth in the number of paying users. After the Series B financing, TAOS Data will continue to expand its advantages in the field of IoT big data and will make TDengine a leading global IoT data processing platform.”
“China has the world’s leading cumulative technology and number of device links in the IoT space, and it is growing rapidly,” said Jixun Foo, Managing Partner of GGV Capital. “TAOS Data, as a time-series database specifically applied to IoT scenarios, can significantly improve the efficiency of storage, query, analysis and computation, making IoT application development more convenient. We are optimistic that TAOS Data will continue to expand its influence in the open source community and empower more developers, and GGV Capital will continue to support the company’s development to become a Chinese infrastructure software company with global influence.”
Wei Wei, Executive Director of Index Capital, believes that the rapid explosion of data scale and strong demand for data mining and analysis along with the development of IoT is driving the innovation of next-generation underlying data technology. At the same time, open-source software has become one of the important development paths for basic software overseas. In recent years, with the accumulation of talents and technology reserves, China’s local open-source software companies have also shown an increasingly strong influence in the global arena. Under the leadership of Mr. Tao, TAOS Data has gained wide recognition in the global open source community and commercial customers with its forward-looking technology innovation, and leaped to be the best solution in the field of IoT big data. Its flagship product, TDengine, has also shown vigorous vitality and high development speed in the open-source community with its keen technical insight and excellent community operation capability. Index Capital is firmly optimistic about the development potential of TAOS Data and believes that the company will be able to continue to solidify its global technical influence and commercial momentum in the future, and become the core support for enterprise data processing in the era of IoT. We hope that with the help of top investors, the company can amplify its existing advantages and continue to lead the global IoT big data technology ecological innovation.