Snowflake to Acquire Ponder to Bring Robust Python Integration to their Enterprise Data Cloud

Snowflake to Acquire Ponder to Bring Robust Python Integration to their Enterprise Data Cloud
Image Credit: Maginative

Snowflake has announced plans to acquire Ponder, a startup focused on enabling Python data science at scale. The acquisition signals Snowflake's commitment to strengthening Python capabilities within its cloud platform for AI, data analytics and data science.

Python, over the past decade, has not only grown in popularity but has also become an indispensable tool in AI, machine learning, application development, and more. This past summer, Snowflake debuted Snowpark for Python, a set of runtimes and libraries that securely deploy and process non-SQL code directly on the Snowflake Data Cloud.

In addition to the Snowpark Python API and Python Scalar User Defined Functions (UDFs), Snowflake provides support for Python UDF Batch API (Vectorized UDFs), Table Functions (UDTFs), and Stored Procedures.

With the acquisition of Ponder, Snowflake seeks to further empower data scientists, data engineers, and application developers to streamline their architectures, accelerate development, and boost the performance of data engineering and ML/AI workloads.

Ponder was founded by researchers from UC Berkeley's prestigious RISELab. Their open-source Python library Modin enables development workflows to scale seamlessly, overcoming limitations of sampling small datasets. Modin's hundreds of thousands of users have made it a pillar of Python data science.

In addition to Modin, Ponder also developed Lux, a library for automated data exploration and visualization. Lux provides a Python API that intelligently generates visualizations of datasets printed in Jupyter notebooks. This enables rapid discovery of patterns and insights from data without manual charting.

Snowflake's move comes amid heightened competition with Databricks, the data analytics unicorn that has also been making strategic acquisitions to expand its AI capabilities. Earlier this summer, Databricks acquired generative AI startup MosaicML and just today, data replication provider Arcion.

Snowflake's acquisition of Ponder signals its continued focus on differentiated capabilities around AI and machine learning to stay ahead in the data cloud race. The integration will enrich Snowflake's Python support and data science tooling as it vies with Databricks to become the data warehouse platform of choice for organizations' storage, analytics, and AI initiatives.

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