Extending our Partnership with Snowflake: Powering the Next Generation of Data Innovation

Matt Jacobson, Tengbo Li, and the ICONIQ Growth Team

November 1, 2023

We are thrilled to build upon our longstanding partnership with Snowflake by joining as a founding member of the Powered by Snowflake Funding Program, a collaborative effort to provide capital and support to the next generation of startups building Snowflake Native Apps. Since our partnership with the company began in 2017, Snowflake has emerged as the leader in the Data Cloud movement, providing powerful solutions for enterprises to drive analytical and AI/ML workloads. We believe that startups leveraging Snowflake’s unique capabilities for application development will be well-positioned to scale, and we are excited to partner with the company to identify and support these future leaders. 

Our History of Partnership with Snowflake

When we led Snowflake’s Series D in 2017, the company was still early in its commercial journey, but we recognized that its architectural advantages in cloud data warehousing could provide the basis for rapid, sustained growth into what would eventually become a generational company. By separating storage and compute, providing elasticity of infrastructure, and enabling multi-cloud support, Snowflake made it possible for enterprises to finally harness data effectively in the cloud. We made multiple subsequent investments into the company as Snowflake not only disrupted the legacy data warehouse but also executed against a broader product vision that included secure data sharing among customers, compatibility with semi-structured and unstructured data, and, in recent years, substantial tooling for AI/ML. Through these innovations, Snowflake’s “data gravity” increased as enterprise data became disproportionately stored in Snowflake instances, offering a previously unattainable comprehensive view for customers.

The Powered by Snowflake Funding Program

As a collaboration between Snowflake, ICONIQ Growth, and our friends at several other venture capital firms, the Powered by Snowflake Funding Program intends to provide capital and credits to fuel the development of applications built on Snowflake. The SnowflakeNative App Framework already simplifies the process of building data-centric applications by abstracting away complexity and providing developers with tooling native to Snowflake, including Snowpark (i.e., feature engineering and ML training) and Streamlit (i.e., visualization). Developers can further promote their applications through Snowflake’s Marketplace, which touches thousands of organizations ranging from startups to the Global 2000. The Funding Program seeks to supercharge the efforts of organizations building Snowflake Native Apps and enable them to move quickly from early ideation to wider adoption.

Anecdotally, we have already witnessed organizations build Snowflake Native Apps for use cases as wide-ranging as cybersecurity analytics, economic analysis, healthcare delivery, and visibility into Snowflake usage itself. We also expect the Funding Program will spur innovation that we cannot yet foresee across many use cases and categories within enterprise software. In general, we are excited by the ways in which organizations building Snowflake Native Apps can make it easier for both business users and data practitioners to consume data regardless of the language of choice—SQL, Python, Java, Scala, JsCode, or even text alone. 

In addition, we see a lot of potential for the Funding Program to support innovation in generative AI. Snowflake accelerates the process of training and iterating on LLMs—which can be deployed as Snowflake Native Apps—whether for internal consumption or customer-facing use cases. Snowflake’s architecture makes it easy, for instance, to accurately track user interactions and operationalize reinforcement learning to improve models, supplementing feature engineering work done directly in Snowpark. 

We are encouraged by the innovation happening in the Snowflake ecosystem and are looking forward to the potential to partner with participants in the Funding Program on their own respective journeys.

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