US-based data and AI company Databricks has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Tabular, a data management company.  

The acquisition price, as reported by the Wall Street Journal, is estimated to be between $1bn and $2bn.  

Upon deal completion, Tabular’s approximately 40-member team is anticipated to join Databricks. 

The proposed transaction, expected to close in Databricks’ second fiscal quarter, will integrate Tabular’s expertise in cloud data optimisation with Databricks’ lakehouse architecture, enhancing data compatibility and interoperability for organisations. 

Tabular, founded by Netflix alumni Ryan Blue, Dan Weeks, and Jason Reid in 2021, is recognised for developing the independent data platform based on Apache Iceberg.  

Databricks first introduced the lakehouse architecture in 2020, facilitating the integration of data warehousing and AI workloads. 

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Databricks, in collaboration with the Linux Foundation, initiated the Delta Lake project, which currently in excess of 500 code contributors and is utilised by more than 10,000 companies, processing an average of more than four exabytes of data daily. 

Databricks noted that around the same period it created Delta Lake, Tabular’s founders at Netflix developed Iceberg project and then donated it to Apache Software Foundation 

Both Delta Lake and Apache Iceberg have now become major open source standards for lakehouse formats. 

Despite their shared foundations and objectives, the two formats diverged due to separate development paths. 

Through the latest acquisition, Databricks now aims to resolve these incompatibilities by combining Apache Iceberg and Linux Foundation Delta Lake, leading to enhanced data compatibility.  

Databricks’ Delta Lake UniForm, introduced last year, already provides interoperability among different data formats.  

With the addition of Tabular’s team, Databricks plans to expand Delta Lake UniForm’s capabilities and work towards a unified, open standard for lakehouse data. 

Databricks co-founder and CEO Ali Ghodsi said: “Databricks and Tabular will work with the open-source community to bring the two formats closer to each other over time, increasing openness, and reducing silos and friction for customers.” 

Ryan Blue added: “With Tabular joining Databricks, we intend to build the best data management platform based on open lakehouse formats so that companies don’t have to worry about picking the ‘right’ format or getting locked into proprietary data formats.”