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Doris Lee, Devin Petersohn, Aditya Parameswaran

Oct 23, 2023 < 1 min read

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TLDR: We are excited to announce Snowflake’s intent to acquire Ponder to bring Ponder’s Python data science innovations to its customers and to accelerate the growth of the Modin community.

We started Ponder with a singular mission: to empower data scientists to work with their data more effectively, without changing the way they work. We had two successful open-source projects that we started at the UC Berkeley RISELab — Modin and Lux — that embodied this mission.

As the adoption of our open-source tools continued to grow, we recognized a fundamental gap between Python data science libraries and where the data lives. Data science libraries, while being powerful and flexible, do not scale to large datasets. At the same time, to use the libraries, data scientists have to pull their data — often just a sample — out of their data platforms. Translating workflows written using these data science libraries to run at scale then required many rounds of back-and-forth between data scientists and data engineers, and decreased productivity.

Data scientists continue to be an underserved market, with an increasing number of vendors offering bolt-on solutions that don’t preserve the same “look and feel” that data scientists have grown to depend on. When Snowflake approached us to potentially acquire Ponder, we saw an opportunity to bring these libraries directly to the data and build on top of Snowflake’s strong performance, flexibility, security, and scalability and the success of its Snowpark offering to further create the best possible Python data science experience in the Data Cloud.

We are excited about the next chapter of Ponder by joining forces with Snowflake to continue our mission to empower Python data scientists.

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