August 30, 2022 | Must Reads

Investing in Luabase: The Modern Data Stack for Web3 Teams

Written by

Jared Franklin

Open, public blockchains underpin web3. An open platform implies that anybody can build on it, write to it, read from it, and audit it. And while that’s all true, it doesn’t mean these things are easy to do.

The reality is that querying blockchains at scale is still very hard, even in 2022. It has been getting harder with the proliferation of chains, layers, contracts, and use cases. Some of the most impressive analytic tools to date are great at certain things but not at serving the needs of enterprise analysts and developers trying to analyze or embed blockchain data in their apps. They need an API. They don’t want a walled-garden destination or tools for community-collaboration. They need clean, modeled, decoded data from multiple blockchains, and they don’t want to pay the costs to hire and maintain a team managing a data stack that would look similar across companies, given that in web3, most of the data comes from the same sources. It would be duplicative and cost-inefficient. These differences result in massive opportunities – opportunities so apparent that they’re hard to spot… until you perform customer discovery and realize what they need. 

This is why I’m excited to announce that we led a $4.5M seed investment into Luabase alongside our friends at 6th Man Ventures and several angels. 

Luabase is the modern data stack for teams querying blockchains and trying to embed the data in their apps. Mike Ritchie has picture-perfect founder-product fit here. A second-time founder and prior colleague of mine, I was ecstatic when he expressed a desire to focus his attention on solving data problems unique to web3. Before this, Mike was the founder of SeekWell (acquired by ThoughtSpot), a pioneer in the reverse ETL space. Now he’s applying his expertise to web3, contributing to the burgeoning ecosystem. 

Mike found an obvious opportunity despite the blockchain analytics space seeming crowded at the surface. It started with a hypothesis after toying around and was quickly confirmed while sharing his prototype with dozens of founders, developers, and data scientists. The gap sounded too obvious to be true. But nothing helps you gain conviction like talking to potential customers. While other analytics products serve specific use cases such as compliance, or shareable community-generated dashboards, Luabase serves data scientists and is developed by data scientists. Everyone we talked to said the same thing; “yes, there are a bunch of analytics tools, yet querying blockchains is still extremely hard.” As one of my Costanoa partners says, “a horizontal analytics platform is a great place to be in a major platform change moment.” Luabase is an enterprise-grade product that developers and analysts can rely on. And it’s API-first, helping builders perform analysis at scale, incorporating their off-chain data, and embedding data in their applications or sending to destinations like S3, Snowflake, Google Sheets, and Discord. 

We believe the opportunity is so massive that ‘data stack in a box’ will quickly become a new category, inside and outside web3 (it wouldn’t surprise me if we already start to see some fast followers). Modern data teams have it better than ever before, but they still generally need to instrument and maintain systems composed of multiple providers for data ingress, storage, and transformations. Providers like Luabase will help teams move faster, operate more efficiently, and save on costs and headaches. Their development velocity and organic growth has been astounding. We’re proud investors and couldn’t be more thrilled to continue playing a supporting role. 

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