Alibaba has paid €90 million ($103 million) to acquire Data Artisans, a Berlin-based startup that provides distributed systems and large-scale data streaming services for enterprises.

Data Artisans was founded in 2014 by the team leading the development of Apache Flink, an open source large-scale data processing technology. The startup offers its own dA Platform, with open source Apache Flink and Application Manager, to enterprise customers that include Netflix, ING, Uber and Alibaba itself.

Alibaba has been working with Data Artisans since 2016, through support and open source work to help the architecture and performance of the software, both companies said in statements. Data Artisans is on record as raising $6.5 million over two rounds, most recently a Series A in 2016 led by Intel Capital, but there was a seemingly unannounced Series B which closed last year and it looks like Alibaba was involved, according to a blog post from Data Artisans co-founders Kostas Tzoumas and Stephan Ewen.

Now Alibaba’s ownership — and you’d also presume, resources — can help the business reach “new horizons” with its open source technology, including moves to “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,” the duo wrote.

“Moving forward together, data Artisans  and Alibaba will not only continue, but accelerate contributions to Apache Flink and open source Big Data,” Tzoumas and Ewen added, explaining that Alibaba is one of Flink’s biggest users and contributors to the community. To mark the new era, Alibaba has committed to providing its own in-house developments to Flink — which it calls Blink — to the community.

About:  Data Artisans were founded in 2014 by the original creators of Apache Flink®. The company is headquartered in Berlin, Germany.

Early on, Data Artisans saw the need for a large-scale data processing technology that is open source and at the same time properly rooted in long-tested principles and architectures from the database and distributed systems fields.  From the very beginning, Data Artisans developed Apache Flink® in the open source, and witnessed and led Flink’s rapid community growth and industry adoption.

Data Artisans provide dA Platform, with open source Apache Flink and Application Manager, to the enterprise. dA Platform enables high-throughput and low-latency solutions for event-driven applications.

Apache Flink is an open source stream processing platform for real-time analytics and real-time applications. Apache Flink provides efficient, fast, accurate, and fault tolerant handling of massive streams of events. Apache Flink also supports batch processing as a special case of stream processing. dA engineers wrote the first line of what would later become Apache Flink in 2010. dA is 100% dedicated to pushing Apache Flink forward as members of the open source community.

Data Artisans counts among its investors Btov, Tengelmann Ventures, and Intel. It previously raised two funding rounds for a total of €6.5 million.

Sources:   The deal was first announced by European media, including EU-Startups, before being confirmed by both Alibaba and Data Artisans through blog posts.  TechCrunch