Database startup Bit.io on Wednesday released its serverless PostgreSQL database as a service alongside what the vendor said was $7.5 million in seed funding.
The open source PostgreSQL database is already widely supported by a range of vendors with cloud services, including Google, Microsoft and Amazon.
Bit.io aims to provide adjacent capabilities to the core database that make it easier for developers to work with data. Among the features Bit.io adds are data loading and data transformation as well as collaboration capabilities. The San Francisco-based startup was founded in 2019, and its DBaaS had been in private beta since 2021.
Among the users of Bit.io is Mike Bukhin, CTO and co-founder of children's clothing company Misha & Puff. Bukhin said his company needed database technology that could ingest data from its ecommerce platform to be used for business intelligence and data analytics.
Members of Bukhin's team were installing PostgreSQL on their own, trying to figure out how to load and transform the data so that it could be usable. With Bit.io, the team got a managed service that has features for data loading as well as database tuning and optimization built in.
"We don't have a big data practice, so our people are really focused on our ecommerce interface and experience," Bukhin said. "The reason that we got excited about Bit.io and started using it is just the sheer speed."
Bringing new features to serverless PostgreSQL
The challenge of getting data into a database so it's usable is one that Adam Fletcher, founder and CEO of Bit.io, had long experienced in his career.
Mike BukhinCTO and co-founder, Misha & Puff
Before founding Bit.io, Fletcher was head of technology for cybersecurity vendor BlueVoyant, did stints at healthcare analytics platform Nuna, and also worked as a site reliability engineer at Google.
He and his co-founder, Jonathan Mortensen, have had to build bespoke systems at past jobs to properly tune PostgreSQL database deployments to be able to quickly execute queries and load data, Fletcher said. What they learned from those experiences led to the creation of Bit.io.
Bit.io integrates data loading for multiple types of file formats, including CSV (comma separated values), which is commonly used in spreadsheet data, as well as JSON. Neither CSV nor JSON provide schema structure, which is why there's a need for data transformation. Bit.io uses algorithms when processing CSV and JSON data to determine the structure for loading data into PostgreSQL.
The ability to easily share database access with both public and private repositories is also part of the Bit.io DBaaS. Bit.io has built-in access control that validates and authorizes queries as they come into the platform.
Data migration from SQLite
Another capability Bit.io adds to its platform not in the core PostgreSQL database is the ability to migrate from the open source SQLite database.
"We've seen a lot of people with SQLite because it's such a fast development environment," Fletcher said.
SQLite is widely deployed as an embedded database and is also often a starting point for developers due its small size. SQLite doesn't, however, provide the same capabilities for SQL data queries and scaling as PostgreSQL. Bit.io has developed an SQLite loader that lets users migrate data into the Bit.io DBaaS.
The ability to live migrate from other database environments will come in future Bit.io updates. In the near future, Bit.io will add the ability to be a replication target for other PostgreSQL database deployments, Fletcher said.