Expanso Lands $7.5M Seed Investment Led by General Catalyst and Hetz Ventures to Revolutionize Distributed Data Processing

Seattle, WA – November  21, 2023 – Expanso, a startup built to help enterprises manage their ever growing data needs with a distributed approach to big data processing powered by its open-source software Bacalhau, has raised $7.5 million in seed funding led by General Catalyst and Hetz Ventures, along with Array Ventures.

Based out of Seattle, Expanso is co-founded by alums of Google, AWS, and Microsoft and will be focusing on open source solutions and targeting enterprises to address what CEO David Aronchick believes is currently an enormous but overlooked challenge: “Actually making use of enterprise data.”

Distributed big data processing can be complex and challenging. One of the biggest challenges is dealing with the time and cost involved with transferring data between different nodes to a centralized data lake. This can make it difficult to be responsive to new data inflows in real time. Further, many platforms, while powerful, require converting existing code to new frameworks just to access the data, let alone get insights. And distributed big data processing systems are often a rich target for security issues, such as leaking personally identifiable information (PII), regulatory concerns, and data breaches.

The open-source software Bacalhau (bacalhau.org), developed and backed by Expanso, is built on the principle of “Compute Over Data,” which means that it brings the processing jobs to where the data is, rather than moving the data to the cloud first. This has a number of advantages, including:

  • Reduced costs: Moving large amounts of data to and from the cloud is expensive.
  • Enhanced speed: Bacalhau processes data locally, removing cloud transfer latency and boosting performance for data-heavy applications.
  • Increased security: Not moving the data reduces the risk of data breaches and other security incidents.

Further, with Bacalhau, users can streamline their existing workflows without the need of extensive rewriting by running arbitrary Docker containers and WebAssembly (WASM) images as tasks. The software can run on-premises, or inside of any cloud including Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud, Oracle Cloud, and many more.

“Infrastructure built to meet data where it is, even if distributed around the world, is long overdue. What Expanso is building with Bacalhau is intended to revolutionize the way big data is processed and global compute jobs are executed, while unlocking an entirely new class of applications,” Expanso CEO David Aronchick said. “We’re excited to partner with General Catalyst, Hetz Ventures, and Array Ventures and use this funding to accelerate the development of Bacalhau and Expanso, and bring it to even more users.”

“Expanso brings compute to the data, enabling businesses to operate securely at their operational pace and maximize the utility of valuable data. In less than a year, Dave and his team of exceptional technologists and entrepreneurs, have achieved significant milestones, with the platform now in use with various sectors, including some of the world’s largest defense organizations. We are proud to support Expanso as they work to enhance the impact of distributed data for businesses worldwide,” said Quentin Clark, Managing Director of General Catalyst.

Developers can use the tools they already know and enjoy using, like Python, R and Duck DB – with almost no changes. Nearly anything that can be containerized, can run on their network. “A missing part of the modern data stack is the ability to process data where it is being created rather than have to centralize everything first,” said Jordan Tigani, CEO and co-founder of MotherDuck. “Bacalhau fills in that missing link, allowing large numbers of remote workers to use DuckDB to filter, summarize, and transform data at the edge before communicating results to MotherDuck in the cloud.”

Bacalhau offers a free demo network which has been live for nearly six months. Since launching, their network has handled more than 1,5 million jobs for design partners like the University of Maryland, BOINC, New Atlantis Foundation, and many more.

Bacalhau is available today as Open Source Software. To download, visit the website here (http://expanso.io/install). The public GitHub repo can be found here. (https://github.com/bacalhau-project/bacalhau)

About Expanso

Expanso, a software company building upon their open-source software Bacalhau, offers a unique platform for fast, affordable, and secure computation. They orchestrate jobs to run where the data is generated and stored, eliminating costly and risky data transfers and storage. 

Their ‘Compute Over Data’ model keeps data stationary, simplifies management, and speeds up processing, enabling better focus on analytics and data science while reducing expenses and enhancing data security.

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About General Catalyst

General Catalyst is a venture capital firm that invests in powerful, positive change that endures — for our entrepreneurs, our investors, our people, and society. We support founders with a long-term view who challenge the status quo, partnering with them from seed to growth stage and beyond to build companies that withstand the test of time. With offices in San Francisco, Palo Alto, New York City, and Boston, the firm has helped support the growth of businesses such as: Airbnb, Deliveroo, Guild, Gusto, Hubspot, Illumio, Livongo, Oscar, Snap, Stripe, and Warby Parker.

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About Hetz Ventures

Hetz Ventures is a leading Israeli seed stage venture capital firm taking a thematic approach to early stage investing. With nearly $300M under management, the fund invests in and supports startups in DevOps, Dev Tools & Open Source, AI/Data, Cybersecurity, Fintech, and other enterprise verticals. 

The Hetz team leads with an entrepreneurial mindset, and is a collaboration between investors and industry professionals with a shared commitment to invest as an agile, tech-driven and hands-on venture partner. With a global network of top tier co-investors, Fortune 500 executives, tech leaders, elite military graduates, and beyond, Hetz brings everything to the table to back companies building their way from seed stage onward.  

Hetz Ventures was founded in 2018 and is headquartered in Tel Aviv with additional founding partners operating in London. 

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About Array Ventures

Array Ventures is focused on solving impactful problems using revolutionary technology. Often that means category-leading startups that take advantage of data, analytics, workflows, and new platforms to change the way an industry works. They invest in smart people with a bold mission who take big risks in large or new markets. 

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