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Big Data

Alibaba Fosters its Growth in Open Source Big Data with New Acquisition

Here's how this acquisition will help Alibaba take Flink's technological advancement to the next level
Alibaba Fosters its Growth in Open Source Big Data with New Acquisition
Image credit: Shutterstock
Entrepreneur Staff
Correspondent, Entrepreneur Asia Pacific
3 min read


Alibaba Group acquired the Berlin-based startup Data Artisans for $130 million to up its game in open source big data space.

The Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, which also operates in cloud computing and big data, is looking to begin a new chapter with this acquisition. Alibaba has been working with Data Artisans since 2016. Both the companies have worked in collaboration to build Flink community and improve the architecture and performance of the software to meet the stream-processing demands of enterprises worldwide, says Kostas Tzoumas and Stephan Ewen in a blog post written by them on the company’s website.

Apache Flink is an open source stream processing framework for high-performance, scalable, and accurate real-time applications, according to the company’s website.

The deepening of the partnership was a natural next step for the companies as they continue their work around Apache Flink, wrote Alibaba in its website article.

The news of collaboration comes at a time when many open source technologies and companies decide on a less collaborative and more “closed” approach. Showing its strong belief in the Apache Flink technology and its scope in future for B2B space, Alibaba says this acquisition will take Flink’s technological advancement to the next level.

Alibaba itself, is one of the largest production users and biggest contributors to Apache Flink. Over the last two years, the Chinese company made key contributions to the Flink codebase in close collaboration with the open source community and data Artisans team. 

Founded in 2014, the German startup Data Artisans is a platform that creates open source technologies for developers and enterprises. 

The company started Apache Flink, an open source framework for efficient, yet user-friendly data processing at massive scale. Flink, is one of the fastest growing communities in the Apache Software Foundation, with hundreds of contributors and astonishing adoption by some of the largest companies in the world from multiple industries and geographies.

With clients like Uber, Netflix, ING and Alibaba itself, the startup was building a huge client base in the B2B space. The collaboration of companies will help further boost its customer experience with the level of service and innovation they will be providing in the big data space.

“Together with Alibaba, Data Artisans will enhance its efforts and technology to new horizons by investing even more to open source. We can expand to new areas that we have not explored in the past and make sure that Flink becomes a more valuable data processing framework for the modern data-driven, real-time enterprise,” says Kostas Tzoumas, co-founder of Data Artisans.

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