The Download: Oliver Schabenberger, Chief Innovation Officer, SingleStore

Oliver Schabenberger is chief innovation officer at SingleStore.  He is a former academician and seasoned technology executive with more than 25 years global experience in data management, advanced analytics, and AI. Oliver formerly served as COO and CTO of SAS, where he led the design, development and go-to-market effort of massively scalable analytic tools and solutions and helped organizations become more data-driven. He is a fellow of the American Statistical Association, has co-authored three books, and earned Ph.D. and M.S. degrees from Virginia Tech.

  1. What is in your pockets?

My car keys are the only thing in my pocket. The phone is nearby.

  1. What exciting thing has happened recently for you or your organization?

About a year ago I changed from a dual C-level role in a large industry leader, multi-national company [SAS] to join a Silicon Valley startup, SingleStore, as Chief Innovation Officer. The company had an amazing year in 2021. While many organizations closed their office, or were slowly approaching reopening, we actually opened a brand-new office here in Raleigh in the Warehouse District and we’re super-excited about it. The company has grown from two employees in Raleigh to 40, and overall from 200 employees to 350. We’re in a very rapid growth phase. It’s now about taking the world’s best database product and technology, and scaling our operations and building a world-class company. It’s very, very exciting for me to be part of that growth story.

Another really exciting thing that happened late last year—we landed, for the first time, in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Cloud Database Management Systems. That’s a big deal getting the analyst recognition. There are several hundred databases, and only 20 land in that Magic Quadrant. To be among those leaders of the industry is super recognition for us. We started as an on-premises technology, and have transformed into a cloud company. Our story is a hybrid multi-cloud story that maps what many enterprises are going through. Receiving that recognition to be among the leading Cloud Database Management Systems from Gartner was really a milestone for us.

We raised two series of funding. Series E round in 2020 and Series F round late last year. That’s very exciting. We’re a well-funded and well-run company that is scaling to be the best database company in the world. Everybody is super-excited about that trajectory. Our investors now include Insight Partners, Khosla Ventures, Dell Technologies, HPE, IBM, Google Ventures. Established, mature technology companies see something in us, and we have a deep technical and go-to-market partnership with SAS.

  1. What is your favorite coffee spot?

It is Black and White Coffee at the Videri Chocolate Factory, which is our neighbor right next door. When I travel, especially out west, I love Philz Coffee which is just amazing.

  1. What keeps you up at night?

SingleStore has built one of the best databases in the world. Now, how do we become the best company in the world? How do we scale the company, while preserving our startup mindset and wonderful company culture in this highly competitive market? That’s one of the things that keeps me up at night.

I’m in charge of our Innovation Center we call the Launchpad. What technologies are coming down the pike? What matters? What do we need to look at? What is our approach to things like blockchain, crypto, edge; you name it. We need to investigate. One of the things that keeps me up at night is not missing an important trend.

As a hobby, I play, record, and mix music. And when I work on songs, I often work on a guitar lick, or a part of a verse, or a chorus. And sometimes, they replay in my mind all night long. That keeps me up at night, too.

  1. What is your favorite restaurant or happy hour?

My favorite one is right here at the office with colleagues after work. We have a kegerator, gin bar, and rooftop patio.

For food, my taste is pretty simple. A food truck and a hazy IPA, and I’m there. I am lucky to be living just within a minute of Vicious Fishes Brewery in Apex. Here in town, you can always sign me up for a meal at Poole’s Diner, or at Brewery Bhavana. Fabulous spots. I’m impressed by the food scene in Raleigh.

  1. What is next for you or your organization?

Well, grow, grow, grow. The rocket ship’s taking off. We have an amazing product. Now, it’s building out go-to-market activities, a sales force. We’re growing internationally. We have made the transition to a cloud company. We want to be known as the hybrid multi-cloud database company that can help you transition from your on-premises workload to the cloud.

About Brooks Malone 105 Articles
Brooks Malone is a NC CPA and Partner with Hughes Pittman & Gupton, LLP, and leads the Technology practice group. Brooks is also listed contributor to the National Fast Trac Tech Curriculum that was funded by the Kauffman Foundation. Brooks was named one of the 40 Under 40 in May 2005 by the TBJ, received the Outstanding service to Entrepreneurs Award in 2008 by CED, and named to the Leadership Raleigh Hall of Fame in October 2011. Brooks is a graduate of North Carolina State University and is active at American Underground and Raleigh Founded.