UPDATED 09:00 EST / NOVEMBER 10 2022

APPS

Directus nabs $7M to build an open data platform for the enterprise

Directus, the developer of an open-source data management platform for the enterprise, today announced that it has raised $7 million in new funding to focus on growing its no-code app that can be installed atop any SQL database.

True Ventures led the Series A round with participation from seed investor Handshake Ventures. This funding raises the total funding raised to date by Directus to $8.5 million.

Using Directus, any company can quickly visualize its data, no matter the underlying SQL database, using a platform that is open-source, scalable and extensible without needing to adjust or change anything about the data beneath. The tool allows business users to browse, manage and visualize all the data in databases without needing any technical know-how, and also provides developers the ability to hook in external tools and application programming interfaces to extend the platform.

Ben Haynes, co-founder and chief executive of Directus, told SiliconANGLE in an interview that Directus is designed to sit atop a company’s database and provides direct, easy access to the underlying data ecosystem.

“Our truly agnostic platform seamlessly fits into the data and technology stack of any organization, whether it’s an international airline working to improve airport check-ins with innovative digital kiosks or a global fitness brand looking to streamline online class scheduling around the world,” Haynes said.

The back-end dashboards provide access to every conceivable element of data in an intuitive way with easy-to-understand visualization including rows, graphs, charts, drill-down data, and even maps for geographical data, according to the company. More advanced users can filter and label database data in their personalized dashboards and collaborate with teammates to create specialized visualizations and reports that can include comments.

Directus tools allow nontechnical users to access the data safely with revision control tools so that if something goes wrong, an administrator can go and roll back changes. Engineers can use REST+GraphQL APIs and there’s a full developer toolkit available as well with built-in authentication, granular permissions, custom data workflows, automation and alerting, reporting and analytics.

The platform itself is designed in 100% JavaScript and installs on top of new or existing SQL databases, all without migration required or proprietary lock-in, according to Haynes. He said the language was chosen because it was part of the most popular frameworks on GitHub and Directus seeks to be community-centric and contributor-friendly. As result, it became the obvious choice for the platform.

When coming up with the concept for Directus, Haynes said, he took inspiration from internal database administration tools. Every time that his team went to build a database for a business, they would architect the data and find themselves doing the same thing over and over.

“Every project I found we were repetitively building out data connectivity and auth for security and connectivity for APIs,” Haynes explained. “And, of course, once you’ve built your whole deliverable whatever that might be, app, website or what have you there needs to be a way to manage it, and again if you’re not using something like WordPress we were building a lot of bespoke tools: custom headless content management systems, data portals or data visualization systems. It was just a lot of boilerplate.”

This funding will enable Directus to continue to embrace what it says is its current rapid growth. Haynes said that in the past year, the company grew from just two employees, himself and his co-founder, to more than 20, with hundreds of contributors to the open-source project.

The platform now has more than 20 million downloads on GitHub and more than 18,000 star ratings, with a community topping 50,000 developers and enterprise customers in nearly every industry, including financial services, consumer technology, travel and government.

Image: Directus

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