JPMorgan is turning to one of Silicon Valley’s hottest startups for help with its cloud strategy.
The bank has started working with cloud-based data warehouse Snowflake as part of its developing public cloud strategy, according to a source familiar with the matter.
JPMorgan’s motivation for teaming up with the $3.5 billion startup stems from Snowflake’s potential to help the bank manage large data sets across multiple public cloud platforms, according to the source.
As Wall Street grows more comfortable using the public cloud, many firms are considering how to split work across the three main providers, Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud. While most banks would prefer to be cloud agnostic — maintaining the ability to seamlessly move between clouds — doing so is no easy task.
The biggest hurdle for most firms are applications or tools that require significant amounts of data, a common occurrence in finance. In such cases, a firm is forced to pick one provider, or else face steep costs to maintain data on all the public clouds it hopes to use.
Snowflake alleviates that issue, allowing a firm to replicate data kept on AWS over to Azure or vice versa. Firms only pay fees when they start running applications or tools on either of the clouds. This gives firms the flexibility to move work between multiple clouds while still keeping operating costs low.
A JPMorgan spokeswoman declined to comment.
“Snowflake recognizes the business value for financial services organizations in having a common platform and a consistent experience across multiple clouds,” a Snowflake spokeswoman said. “Users with a multi-cloud strategy that includes Azure and AWS, now have a common, cloud-built data warehouse platform and experience with Snowflake.”
To be clear, Snowflake is not the only cloud-related database the bank is working with, the source said. But as one of the biggest banks on Wall Street, nabbing JPMorgan’s business is a big win for Snowflake.
Snowflake has risen to prominence in recent years as cloud adoption has exploded across various industries. The company has raised $923 million from the likes of Sequoia, Red Point, Sutter Hill, and Capital One Growth Ventures, among others.
More recently, Snowflake has been in the news following the departure of former CEO Bob Muglia. A former top executive at Microsoft who was famously fired by Steve Ballmer twice, Muglia joined Snowflake when the company was only a 30-person team and had yet to make any sales.
JPMorgan’s decision to work with Snowflake was made prior to Muglia’s departure.
Muglia was replaced by Frank Slootman, who has a history of taking companies public, leading some to speculate he’ll do the same for Snowflake.
Slootman hasn’t wasted time in his new role, replacing two senior executives with former colleagues he worked with while at cloud-computing company ServiceNow.
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