Table of Contents
Overview of Fivetran
Fivetran is a data integration company that provides automated data pipeline services to connect data from various sources into a company’s data warehouse or lakehouse. Fivetran’s connectors integrate data from SaaS applications, databases, logs, and more. The service manages scheduling, transformations, schema changes, migrations, and handles errors. This enables analysts to access reliable, transformed data for analytics and business intelligence.
What does Fivetran do?
Fivetran offers turnkey data integration to load data from various sources into data destinations. It handles the entire process automatically with just some simple configuration. This eliminates engineering work required for ETL and data pipelines. Fivetran provides pre-built connectors for leading SaaS applications, databases, analytics tools and data warehouses like Snowflake, BigQuery, Databricks, etc. The service manages scheduling, transformations, schema changes and error handling. This enables organizations to automate their data integration challenges and focus on data analytics.
Who are Fivetran’s main competitors?
Fivetran’s main competitors include:
- Stitch – Offers data pipeline platform with pre-built data integration. Acquired by Talend in 2018.
- Census – Provides reverse ETL service to sync data to various SaaS platforms.
- Hightouch – Data syncing platform focused on reverse ETL to SaaS apps.
- Airbyte – Open source data integration platform for building data pipelines.
- Matillion – ETL/ELT service for cloud data warehousing on Snowflake, BigQuery etc.
- Segment – Customer data platform for collecting, cleaning and routing customer data.
What is Fivetran’s competitive advantage?
Fivetran’s main competitive advantage is its focus on fully managed data integration. Their connectors automatically adapt to changes in source schemas and take care of transformations, scheduling, error handling etc. This zero-configuration approach differentiates them from ETL tools that require engineering. Their wide range of connectors to data sources and destinations is unmatched. Optimized architecture manages large volumes of data transfer. Strong reliability, 24/7 support and enterprise focus gives them an edge.
What about Stitch – how does Fivetran compare?
Stitch was a top competitor acquired by Talend. Fivetran compares well with its fully managed approach, wider range of connectors and destinations supported. Fivetran handles schema changes and new columns added, unlike Stitch which required reconfiguration. For large volumes of data, Fivetran is highly performant and cost efficient versus Stitch. Fivetran supports advanced transformations compared to Stitch’s simple data normalization. Overall customer satisfaction is higher with Fivetran’s reliable and automated data integration capabilities.
How does Fivetran stack up to Census for reverse ETL?
Census specializes in reverse ETL – syncing data back to SaaS platforms like Salesforce. Fivetran has more connectors for different sources and destinations. It offers enterprise-level support and features while Census focuses on small to medium businesses. Data transformation capabilities are more advanced in Fivetran. While Census has pre-built automation for reverse ETL, Fivetran gives more customization control. Fivetran would be preferred for companies wanting holistic data integration, not just reverse ETL.
What about Hightouch as a reverse ETL competitor?
Hightouch is also focused on reverse ETL like Census. Fivetran offers a complete data integration platform, while Hightouch centers on reverse ETL use cases. Fivetran has wider support for sources and destinations, while Hightouch connects select SaaS platforms. Hightouch’s ease of use and lower pricing may appeal to smaller companies. For advanced data teams and enterprises, Fivetran provides robust data pipelines with more customization and control suited for complex needs.
How does Fivetran compare to Airbyte for open source DIY?
Airbyte is an open source data integration tool. Key difference is Fivetran provides fully managed pipelines while Airbyte is self-hosted. Airbyte offers flexibility for developers to build custom connectors and transformations. But it requires engineering effort. Fivetran’s automated approach needs little IT involvement. Fivetran handles scaling, optimization, reliability aspects behind the scenes. Airbyte would appeal to technically advanced teams wanting customization, while Fivetran suits those wanting turnkey automation.
What about Matillion – how does it compare for cloud ETL?
Matillion offers ETL services specialized for cloud data warehouses like Snowflake, BigQuery and Databricks. Fivetran has a broader approach doing both ETL and reverse ETL. Matillion requires more upfront modeling and configuration for setting up jobs compared to Fivetran’s zero-config connectors. Matillion has robust transformation capabilities suited for complex use cases, while Fivetran emphasizes ease-of-use. For enterprise cloud data warehouse needs with heavy transformations, Matillion provides tailored capabilities. Fivetran offers turnkey automation across more integration use cases.
How does Fivetran stack up against Segment for customer data?
Segment is a customer data platform focused on collecting, cleansing and routing customer data to various destinations. Fivetran does not collect or store source data – it just moves data to the destination. Segment offers a customer data warehouse component, but Fivetran provides more robust enterprise-scale and real-time data integration capabilities optimized for analytics. For use cases like reverse ETL to activate customer data, the two overlap. Overall Fivetran can complement a CDP like Segment with advanced data integration needs.
What are the strengths and weaknesses of Fivetran?
- Huge library of pre-built connectors for leading apps and databases
- Automated data integration needs no engineering
- Managed service handles scheduling, transformations, errors
- Optimized for speed, reliability and security
- Usage-based pricing model
- Can be expensive for large data volumes
- Limited customization as its zero-config approach
- Connectors may lag for newest data sources
- Not suited for complex edge cases that need custom coding
What should companies consider when evaluating Fivetran?
Factors to consider when evaluating Fivetran:
- Integration needs – assess sources, destinations, data volumes, frequencies
- Pipeline complexity – are transformations and customizations needed?
- In-house expertise vs managed service tradeoff
- Total cost of ownership – engineering time vs subscription costs
- Reliability, scalability and security requirements
- Vendor support responsiveness, SLAs and reputation
- Ease of use for both developers and business teams
- Data governance controls needed
What use cases is Fivetran best suited for?
Fivetran works best for:
- Centralizing data in cloud data warehouses like Snowflake, BigQuery, Redshift
- Reverse ETL to sync data to SaaS platforms like Salesforce, Marketo
- Automating large volume data movement between cloud apps and databases
- Teams wanting self-serve access to integrated data without engineering
- Organizations lacking in-house resources for custom data pipelines
- Simple to medium complexity integrations; extreme edge cases may require custom work
When would a company choose alternatives over Fivetran?
Reasons to consider alternatives:
- Extremely complex data integration needs requiring custom coding
- Cost becomes prohibitive at enormous data volumes (>1TB daily)
- Need for granular customization, controls and flexibility with integration
- In-house skillsets exist to support advanced DIY open source platforms
- Specialization for only reverse ETL or cloud ETL use cases
- Entry-level need for basic 1-2 connection data syncing
What has been Fivetran’s business and market growth trajectory?
Fivetran was founded in 2012 and has seen rapid business growth over the past few years. Key milestones:
- Grew revenue by over 3.5X from 2018 to 2020
- Raised over $430M in funding and valuation over $5.6B in 2021
- Expanded employee headcount from 125 in 2019 to over 1000 in 2022
- Grew data warehouse and database connectors from less than 10 to over 150
- Increased customers from less than 100 in 2017 to over 2000 enterprise customers now
- Maintains high customer retention and satisfaction scores based on reviews
- Forced key competitor Stitch to sell to Talend, while keeping significant market share
By all metrics, Fivetran is experiencing huge momentum and leading the data integration market. With data volumes and analytics needs growing, their automated approach appears well-positioned to capitalize.
What are analysts saying about Fivetran vs competitors?
Analysts like Gartner, Forrester and G2 Crowd rate Fivetran highly for its turnkey approach to data integration. It consistently scores among the top vendors for customer satisfaction. Analysts praise Fivetran’s reliability, performance, product vision and roadmap execution. It’s rated higher than Stitch and Talend Integration Suite in ease of use and total cost of ownership. Forrester noted Fivetran’s suitability for a broad range of use cases and buyer personas. They observe it offers greater value for complex data integration needs compared toadieringit competition. Most analysts agree Fivetran is leading in execution and vision currently.
What adoption challenges or concerns exist around Fivetran?
Some common Fivetran adoption challenges and concerns include:
- Learning curve with initial setup and configuration
- Ongoing maintenance as new sources/destinations are added
- Potential vendor lock-in without easy migration path
- Lack of granular control or customization for complex edge cases
- Data governance, compliance and security considerations
- Budget limitations for some smaller companies
- Slower connector availability for newest data sources
- Dependence on vendor for support and uptime SLAs
What mistakes are common when evaluating and implementing Fivetran?
Some common mistakes to avoid with Fivetran:
- Underestimating current and future data volumes leading to cost overruns
- Assuming all integrations will work out-of-the-box without planning for edge cases
- Lack of data security review and reliance on defaults
- Not budgeting for potential engineering needs around complex transformations
- Selecting inadequate warehouse size thinking Fivetran absolves capacity planning
- Not considering needs for backup/replication and high availability
- Failure to align stakeholders on data governance roles before implementation
- No system for issue tracking and vendor communications when problems arise
What tips do you have for a successful Fivetran implementation?
Tips for a successful Fivetran implementation:
- Clearly identify all data sources and destinations in scope
- Analyze integration needs and complexity to size implementation
- Consider a POC to test Fivetran for a pilot use case
- Budget for both Fivetran subscription and cloud data infrastructure
- Align stakeholders and data owners early on governance
- Start with lower risk, high value integrations first
- Monitor performance and utilization closely as pipelines scale
- Leverage Fivetran’s technical documentation and community forum
- Negotiate SLAs and 24/7 support from Fivetran for production
- Build in-house expertise alongside vendor reliance
What is the size and growth rate of the data integration market?
The data integration market is estimated to be around $3 billion and growing at over 15% CAGR. With data volumes and analytics use cases increasing rapidly, demand for automated data integration keeps rising. Forrester predicts the market will exceed $7 billion by 2023. Top growth drivers are migration to cloud data platforms and SaaS adoption creating data silos that need integration.
What are the main segments within the data integration market?
Key data integration segments include:
- ETL/ELT processes for analytics data warehousing
- Reverse ETL to propagate data changes back to source systems
- Migrations between legacy systems, cloud data platforms
- Streaming/real-time data integration
- B2B data exchange between enterprise systems
- Customer data platform consolidation
- Internal orchestration linking disparate internal data flows
Who are the major vendors in the data integration space?
Leading data integration vendors include:
- Oracle Data Integrator
- Microsoft Azure Data Factory
- Amazon AppFlow
- Alooma (Google Cloud)
Is the DI market consolidated with a few big players or fragmented?
The market is still fairly fragmented with many small to mid-size point solution vendors. But consolidation is picking up with acquisitions like Stitch-Talend, Alooma-Google Cloud, and Tamr-DataRobot. As cloud infrastructure players enter the market, we can expect more consolidation ahead. But incumbents like Informatica retain strong presence through transformation capabilities and installed customer bases.
What are some key market trends shaping data integration?
Trends shaping the market:
- Shift from legacy on-premises to cloud platforms
- Need for real-time data integration over batch ETL
- Growing adoption of data lakes and lakehouses beyond just warehouses
- Rise of reverse ETL as a distinct use case
- Increasing automation and machine learning for self-adaptive data pipelines
- Data fabric architectures integrating across platforms and locations
- Vendors expanding capabilities through acquisitions
Which industries are driving the most demand for data integration?
High-demand industries include:
- Technology – sophisticated analytics needs
- Financial services – regulated reporting needs
- Healthcare – combining patient data across systems
- Retail/ecommerce – customer 360 analysis
- Media – big data pipelines
- Manufacturing – IoT data integration
What does competitive pricing look like for DI products?
Pricing varies widely based on:
- One-time license fees vs monthly cloud subscription model
- Volume-based e.g. per messages, number of concurrent pipelines etc.
- Band-based tiering by features, integrations, data processed etc.
- Infrastructure/compute costs can be unbundled or bundled in
- Open source tools have free options but labor costs are higher
Broadly on a per connection basis, self-serve cloud services like Fivetran cost $1,000 – $3,000/month. Full enterprise platforms like Informatica can cost upwards of $100,000 while open source DIY has minimal software fees but higher labor.
What partnerships is Fivetran building across the ecosystem?
Fivetran partners closely with leading cloud data platforms like Snowflake, Databricks, BigQuery, Redshift and Azure Synapse. These optimize performance for their ecosystems. Fivetran also partners with top SaaS vendors and database providers to build connectors leveraging their APIs and optimizing throughput. Recently, Fivetran partnered with dbt Labs to allow dbt data transformation workflows to leverage Fivetran pipelines. Such partnerships widen integration coverage and enable Fivetran to focus on core competencies.
What are the most common objections Fivetran has to overcome in sales?
Common objections Fivetran has to address:
- Concerns over data security
- Perceptions of vendor lock-in and lack of flexibility
- Learning curve to initially configure vs DIY platforms
- Pricing concerns due to unpredictable data volumes
- Preference for open source platforms with internal integration skills
- Concerns with reliability and uptime guarantees
- Speed in adding support for new sources as they emerge
To overcome security concerns, Fivetran highlights enterprise-grade measures it takes and compliance with regulations like GDPR, CCPA etc. Lock-in is mitigated by portability of destination data and source connectivity. Ease of use, SLAs and 24/7managed service helps address many concerns.
What personnel moves, leadership changes or internal shifts have happened at Fivetran recently?
In 2022, Fivetran appointed several executives from leading tech companies:
- General Counsel from Square
- CMO from Autodesk
- CPO from Salesforce
- VP of Customer Success from Google
- VP of IT and Security from Square
This injection of talent from high-growth unicorns signals Fivetran’s rapid maturation and ability to attract top leadership. The focus on product, engineering, marketing and customer success aligns with its business growth priorities.
What technology advancements or product updates has Fivetran made recently?
Recent Fivetran updates include:
- New destination connectors for MongoDB, Redis and Actian Ingres databases
- Support for serverless deployments on AWS Lambda, Azure Functions, Google Cloud Run
- Enhanced enterprise security features and compliance packages
- Incremental replication and automatic syncing of historical data for key connectors
- Advanced loading mechanisms and optimizations for Snowflake, BigQuery, Redshift
- Faster throughput for high volume use cases
- Custom transformations and dbt integration enhancements
Fivetran’s rapid pace of product improvement reflects their engineering investments and customer-driven roadmap.
What does Fivetran’s patent and IP portfolio look like? Any recent filings or grants?
Fivetran has built a portfolio of patents around their data integration architecture, especially optimizations for cloud data platforms. Recent examples:
- System for parallelizing data loading to partitioned database tables
- High throughput data replication to managed cloud services
- Automated schema migration and resolution system
- Failover data pipeline infrastructure management
- Backend optimization of REST API requests
- Database connection management for ETL processing
Their patent filings reveal areas Fivetran is innovating on transformational data integration capabilities tailored to cloud infrastructure.
What risks or threats does Fivetran face from a competitive standpoint?
Key competitive risks and threats:
- Much larger vendors entering with bundled offerings e.g. hyperscalers like AWS, GCP, Azure
- Open source DI tools improving usability, cutting into Fivetran’s ease of use advantage
- Niche players staking out specific high-value use cases
- Legacy vendors leveraging existing customer bases for migration to cloud
- Potential challenges expanding internationally against localized vendors
- Startups disrupting with newer tech like blockchain integration
- Recession impacting ability to land larger enterprise deals
What is Fivetran’s hiring strategy? Are they aggressively expanding their employee base?
Fivetran has been on a hiring spree recently, expanding their employee base over 3x from 300 in 2020 to over 1000 now. They aim to hire top talent across engineering, sales, marketing, customer success and other functions. Their $565M funding in 2021 is being used to fuel hypergrowth through aggressive hiring especially in their Oakland HQ as well as newer satellite offices.
How does Fivetran market itself? What strategies and messaging are they using?
Fivetran markets itself as the modern “data integration provider built for the cloud”. It focuses messaging on automation, reliability, and performance. Targeted content and campaigns highlight its turnkey approach to solving data integration challenges vs complex legacy platforms. Fivetran relies on SEO, events, direct sales outreach, and integrates marketing with customer success and sales teams for alignment.
Who are some of Fivetran’s major customers? Are they diversified across industries and companies?
Fivetran has over 2000 customers including large enterprises like Cisco, DocuSign, ClassPass, Lime, monday.com. Industries range from tech, financial services, healthcare, retail, manufacturing and more. Their customer base appears well diversified both by industry and company size, from midmarket to large enterprise.
Does Fivetran rely heavily on venture capital funding? Or are they cash flow positive?
Fivetran has raised over $430 million in funding, but also claims to be cash flow positive indicating a capital efficient business model. Their 2021 $565M round was likely more of an opportunistic raise. So while Fivetran is VC-backed, their unit economics likely allow self-sustaining growth from reinvested revenue.
What is the leadership team’s background? What expertise do they bring?
Fivetran was founded by CEO George Fraser, CTO Taylor Brown, and CRO Joseph Spaulding. Fraser and Brown earlier worked on cloud analytics at HVR, bringing deep data integration domain expertise. Spaulding adds startup scaling experience from BPM company Signavio. The executive team draws from both large tech companies and high-growth startups lending strong operational experience.
How does Fivetran’s sales team target prospective customers and onboard new ones?
Fivetran’s sales team takes a workflow automation approach. Marketing and sales ops generate leads through events, content, ads. SDRs qualify accounts fit, ideal use cases, and budget. SEs expand on needs, run demos and propose a POC. CSM ensures successful POC turnaround closing the deal. Expanding accounts get assigned dedicated account executives. Customer advisory team focuses on larger enterprise relationships and roadmap input.
Does Fivetran build its technology in-house or acquire through M&A?
Fivetran focuses on in-house product development by its engineering teams. Their technology stack is modern cloud-native vs legacy codebases. Fivetran acquihires smaller startups mainly for their engineering talent over IP and tech. Recent examples include Moscow-based Teleport Data and Denver’s ScriptSrc. Selective acquisitions could help expand regional teams and accelerate roadmap.
What is the company culture like? Do they have any retention/employee satisfaction issues?
Employees describe Fivetran’s culture as collaborative, ambitious, customer-centric, and promoting work-life balance. Leadership emphasizes transparency and frequent communication. Fivetran scored 4.4 on Glassdoor, higher than competitors indicating solid employee satisfaction. But rapid headcount growth can dilute culture, so mentoring and onboarding are key focus areas.
Which geographic markets and sectors provide the most revenue currently? Which are targeted for expansion?
Most of Fivetran’s revenues come from US currently followed by Europe. Key sectors include technology, financial services, healthcare and retail. International expansion is a priority with recent office openings in Ireland and Germany. Fivetran is also focused on building out teams and industry solutions targeting more regulated sectors like federal and healthcare.
What is Fivetran’s presence and traction like in international markets?
While smaller than the US, Fivetran’s international presence is accelerating with a London office and customers like Monzo Bank and ELK. The Dublin office supports EU customers dealing with GDPR compliance. Sydney and Singapore offices expand APAC with marquee logos like Canva. But there is room for deeper localization and partnerships in emerging markets like India, LatAm, MEA.
Where does Fivetran have dedicated sales and marketing teams? Which regions do they cover remotely?
Fivetran has major sales centers beyond Oakland HQ including Chicago, Denver, New York, London, Dublin. Smaller sales pods cover regions like Washington DC, LA, Texas, Atlanta, Toronto, Sydney. But a lot of non-US coverage is still remote. Building out global sales engineering is a priority. Marketing remains centralized from Oakland.
Who leads the engineering/product team? What is their vision and roadmap?
CTO Taylor Brown heads product and engineering. The roadmap emphasizes advancing the zero-config automated approach, new connectors, enterprise enhancements. Priorities include more governance controls, deeper platform integration, expanded transformations, and hybrid/multi-cloud.
What events, conferences or tradeshows does Fivetran actively participate in?
Fivetran presents at cloud data conferences like Snowflake Summit, Google Cloud Next, AWS re:Invent. Industry events include Goldman CTO Summit, Data Council events. They host Fivetran user groups and regional meetups. Content marketing scales reach through webinars, podcasts and co-marketing with tech partners.
Are there any regulatory or compliance risks that could impact Fivetran’s business?
As a data pipeline service, Fivetran must comply with data residency, privacy and industry regulations. Expanding internationally requires local compliance expertise e.g. GDPR. Serving healthcare, federal sectors raises standards. Fivetran seems well-versed given marquee regulated customers, but regulatory shifts could necessitate platform updates. Partnerships with compliance giants like Immuta helps mitigate risks.
Overall Fivetran appears positioned strongly competitively with its innovative product, solid funding and growth, visionary leadership, and enterprise customer traction across diverse industries. But the data integration space is dynamic so Fivetran must continue executing well to maintain its competitive advantage.