Database management

AI-powered database management startup OtterTune closes $12M Series A

Beyond robotics, which sector will offer the best return on investment? Experts have been pointing the finger at new AI applications and new use cases, and a young startup is here to prove them right.

Starting Database Automation and Optimization OtterTune announced today that it has raised a $12 million Series A round. The funding was led by Capital Intel and Race Capitalwith the support of Accel. Senior Managing Director of Intel Capital Nick Washburn will also join the OtterTune Board of Directors.

The startup’s Series A round is one of the biggest deals in the second quarter of this year so far, which hasn’t (yet) kept pace with the national surge in venture capital volume.

OtterTune was founded last year based on research Carnegie Mellon University on database management systems and machine learning, and currently lists his office location in Squirrel Hill. Using this research-backed technology, OtterTune uses machine learning tools to analyze and optimize the hundreds of configuration settings in database systems, so they can be managed more efficiently and cost-effectively. OtterTune’s products are compatible with MySQL and PostgreSQL running on Amazon Aurora and Amazon RDS, according to the company’s website.

In addition to its basic optimization services, OtterTune has also added new database health check tools this year to anticipate any performance drops or outages. The startup will use the new $12 million in funding to further expand its engineering team and product functionality, particularly to bolster support and compatibility with more databases and cloud platforms.

At present, the company employs 15 people, co-founder and CEO Andy Pavlo Told Technically by email.

“Pittsburgh is a great home base for OtterTune – its local universities are a great source of recruits and research in our field of data management. Plus, Otters love rivers, and Pittsburgh has three of them.”

Andy Pavlo, OtterTune

“OtterTune plans to grow to 30 people by the end of the year, most of those hires will be in engineering, and some in operations, sales and marketing,” he said. “Our team is spread across the country; to date, we’ve done most of our hires out of CMU here in Pittsburgh.

There is a great need for the database automation and optimization tools offered by OtterTune. The database management system market is expected to reach $68.5 billion by 2026, largely due to the increased use of cloud databases for applications and businesses across a wide range of industries. And investors believe the OtterTune team is the one who can capitalize on this opportunity.

“The founders of OtterTune are multidisciplinary experts at the intersection of the field of databases and machine learning, as evidenced by their cutting-edge research at Carnegie Mellon University,” Intel Capital’s Washburn said in a statement. “Databases are the foundation of all applications, and OtterTune is accelerating the journey for businesses of all sizes to autonomously optimize this essential component of their technology stack, improving performance, managing costs and ensuring reliability. .”

Alfred Chuanga general partner at fellow lead investor Race Capital, added that “this is the biggest breakthrough in database technology I’ve seen in a very long time.”

In addition to bolstering its in-house engineering capabilities with the new funding, OtterTune announced that in September it will also launch the Riverside Relationship Rumble 2022, a database tuning contest pitting human database administrators against OtterTune’s technology. The prize is $10,000 in recognition of the best database performance improvement. (Visit the contest website for a cute version of a vintage fight match poster.)

As to why OtterTune plans to continue growing in Pittsburgh’s entrepreneurial scene instead of moving?

“Pittsburgh is a great home for OtterTune – its local universities are a great source of recruits and research in our field of data management,” Pavlo said. “Plus, otters love rivers, and Pittsburgh has three of them.”


Sophie Burkholder is a 2021-2022 corps member of Report for America, an initiative of The Groundtruth Project that pairs young journalists with local newsrooms. This position is supported by Heinz endowments. -30-