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San Francisco-based ETL connector company Airbyte has made some 200+ data connectors free on its platform, allowing any enterprise to connect almost any data source to target data platforms like Snowflake and Google BigQuery.
While ETL platforms have been around for quite some time, they all have had one major problem: lack of integration with many smaller sources in the market. Typically, when someone uses these platforms, they only get to create a data pipeline from well-regarded sources like Salesforce or Stripe.
Founded in 2020, Airbyte addresses this challenge by offering an open-source data integration platform that provides hundreds of pre-built and custom connectors to many small services. The solution is said to provides a connector development kit (CDK) that automates all non-specific code and allows an enterprise to build a connector or edit an existing one in 30 minutes or less.
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This way, it has fostered a community where companies build and maintain unique connectors (encapsulated in docker containers) for different use cases and support one another. A user simply has to choose the source and destination platforms and authenticate to create their pipeline and move data.
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Free ETL connector program
Currently, Airbyte offers more than 300 data connectors, built by a community of 600 contributors, but hardly 50 of these are generally available. The rest, which are either in the alpha or beta stage, have been made free to use as part of a new free connector program. This means if any source or destination connector is alpha or beta, the entire data pipeline is free of charge.
“The free connector program completes the flywheel we put in place to commoditize data integration,” John Lafleur, the company’s co-founder and chief operating officer, said. “What we were missing is significant usage across all our long-tail connectors – those less used – in order to help identify the edge cases we don’t fully support yet.”
“By providing free use of alpha and beta connectors, we’re encouraging the industry to use our connectors while helping us improve their reliability. Reliability is the ultimate goal – we will only charge for the use of Airbyte Cloud with data pipelines that have generally available connectors,” he added.
According to Airbyte, the connectors that are generally available offer at least 99% synchronization success while beta connectors on average have a 93% sync success rate and alpha connectors a 90% sync success rate.
Since its start, Airbyte has gained more than 35,000 enterprise customers, including Safegraph, Dribbble, Mercato, GraniteRock, Agridigital and Cart.com. It has raised as much as $182 million across multiple rounds, and also expanded into Europe with GDPR-complaint data processing. The ETL connector space is a competitive area that includes other players such as Fivetran, Stich Data, Informatica and Matillion.