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Alibaba buys German data startup for £80m

Written by Hannah McGrath
09/01/2018

Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba has bought German data analysis startup Data Artisans in a deal reportedly valuing the company at around €90 million.

The acquisition will also see Alibaba invest an undisclosed sum to develop Data Artisan’s Apache Flink, an open source data processing software.

Data Artisans, founded in 2014, has become a leading light in Berlin’s growing FinTech scene. It currently counts Uber, Netflix, Zalando and Telefonica as key clients of its data processing services. Alibaba has also been working with Data Artisans to build open source software since 2016.

Data Artisans’ platform is focussed on stream processing, which allows apps and platforms to run analytics on data in real time, offering immediate insights.

The deal is the first full takeover of a Berlin-based startup by one of China’s retail giants, after rival mega-investors Tencent Group began flexing its muscle with major investment in a funding round for German challenger bank N26 last year.

A statement from Data Artisans’ co-founders Kostas Tzoumas and Stephan Ewen posted to their website said: “Especially at times when many open source technologies and companies decide on a less collaborative and more closed approach, it is with great pleasure to see Alibaba committed to open source and our mission, eager to take Flink’s technological advancement to the next level.”

It added: “Moving forward together, data Artisans and Alibaba will not only continue, but accelerate contributions to Apache Flink and open source Big Data.”


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