Listen Here

| |



Welcome to another episode of Category Visionaries — the show that explores GTM stories from tech’s most innovative B2B founders. In today’s episode, we’re speaking with Vinoth Chandar, CEO and founder of Onehouse, a cloud-native data lakehouse solution that has raised $33 million in funding.

Key topics discussed in this episode:

  • Vinoth’s background as a database and distributed systems engineer, including stints at Oracle, LinkedIn, Uber (where he built the world’s first data lakehouse), and Confluent before founding Onehouse.
  • How Onehouse is building a faster, better, and cheaper cloud data infrastructure by leveraging the open-source Apache Hudi project that Vinoth started at Uber.
  • The core value proposition of data lakehouses in combining the best of data warehouses and data lakes, enabling faster data processing and decoupling of data storage from query engines.
  • Onehouse’s go-to-market journey, from leveraging the Apache Hudi community for early traction to narrowing down the ideal customer profile and refining the product-market fit.
  • The challenges of rising above the noise in a crowded data infrastructure market and the importance of developer advocacy and community-building in establishing credibility.
  • Vinoth’s lessons learned in transitioning from a technical practitioner to a founder/CEO, including managing chaos, embracing humility, and rapidly iterating based on market feedback.


Leverage Open-Source Adoption for Early GTM Traction:

Onehouse's go-to-market journey highlights the power of building an open-source community before launching a commercial product. By nurturing the Apache Hudi project at Uber and beyond, Vinoth created a built-in base of engaged users and advocates. Founders pursuing an open-core model should invest early in fostering a vibrant community around their open-source technology to generate momentum and credibility for the enterprise offering.

Refine the Ideal Customer Profile Through Rapid Experimentation:

Despite strong in-bound interest, Onehouse still had to narrow down its ideal customer profile to focus its GTM efforts. Vinoth's team started with seven target personas and whittled it down to three through a process of rapid experimentation and customer discovery. Founders should resist the temptation to boil the ocean and instead quickly test hypotheses around customer segments to identify the most promising beachhead.

Establish Authority Through Developer Advocacy and Education:

In a crowded market with large incumbents, Onehouse differentiated itself by prioritizing developer advocacy and community education over traditional marketing. By consistently delivering high-quality technical content that helped data practitioners understand the benefits of the lakehouse architecture, the team built trust and awareness. Founders in complex technology spaces should anchor their marketing strategy around genuinely educating the market and earning mindshare.

Embrace Humility and Adaptability in Non-Engineering Domains:

As a highly accomplished engineer, Vinoth had to consciously adopt a beginner's mindset when tackling go-to-market challenges. He advises technical founders to embrace humility and be willing to rapidly course-correct when navigating unfamiliar domains like sales and marketing. Shedding the expectation of being the expert and leaning into continuous learning is critical for successfully expanding one's leadership repertoire.

Align with Investors Who Believe in Your Vision and Convictions:

Onehouse's fundraising journey involved navigating drama and FOMO induced by large competitors. Vinoth's key learning was to deeply internalize the company's unique value proposition and target investors who bought into the vision and were willing to bet on the team's convictions. Founders should focus on crafting a compelling, data-driven narrative around their startup's unfair advantages and partner with VCs who genuinely share their worldview.

Recommended Founder

Idan Shchori

CEO of Datorios

Idan Shchori, CEO of Datorios: More Than $23 Million Raised to Build the Perfect Data Orchestration Environment to Run ETL Code

Ajay Kulkarni

Co-Founder/CEO of Timescale

Ajay Kulkarni, CEO of Timescale: $180 Million Raised to Redefine the Database Category

Nicholas Freund

Co-founder & CEO, of

Nicholas Freund, CEO of Workstream: $7 Million Raised to Build the Data Knowledge Management Category

Dan DeMers

CEO of Cinchy

Dan DeMers, CEO of Cinchy: Over $24 Million Raised to Build a Data Collaboration Platform That Makes Data Integration Obsolete

Yardin Shaked

CEO of Varos

Yardin Shaked, CEO, and Co-Founder at Varos: $4M Raised to Revolutionize Competitive Analytics and Break Data Silos

Sarah Nagy

CEO of Seek AI

Sarah Nagy, CEO of Seek AI: $7.5 Million Raised to Modernize Business Analytics with Generative AI-Powered Database Queries

Saket Saurabh

Co-founder & CEO of Nexla

Saket Saurabh, CEO of Nexla: $15 Million Raised to Build the Future of Data Operations

Ethan Aaron

Founder, CEO of Portable

Ethan Aaron, CEO of Portable: $3 Million Raised to Build a Cloud ETL Tool That Supports the Long Tail of Business Applications

Michel Tricot

Co-Founder & CEO of Airbyte

Michel Tricot, CEO of Airbyte: $181 Million Raised to Build the Future of Data Integration

Sean Knapp

Founder & CEO of Ascend

Sean Knapp, Founder & CEO of Ascend: $50 Million to Power the Future of Data Engineering

Creating the Data Privacy Management Category with DataGrail

CEO and Co-Founder of DataGrail

Creating the Data Privacy Management Category with DataGrail’s Daniel Barber

Logan Havern

CEO and Founder of DataLogz

Logan Havern, CEO & Founder of DataLogz: $8 Million Raised to Build the BI Ops Category

Nicolas Hourcard

CEO and Founder of QuestDB

Nicolas Hourcard, CEO & Founder of QuestDB: $15 Million Raised to Build the Leading Open-Source Time Series Database

Jean Le Bouthillier

CEO of Qohash

Jean Le Bouthillier, CEO of Qohash: $20 Million Raised to Build the Future of Data Security

Ian Coe

Co-Founder and CEO of Tonic AI

Ian Coe, Co-Founder and CEO of Tonic AI: $45 Million Raised to Build the Future of Synthetic Data

Ryan Janssen

CEO and Co-Founder of Zenlytic

Ryan Janssen, CEO and Co-Founder of Zenlytic: $5.4 Million Raised for AI-Assisted Business Intelligence to Drive Better Decisions

Barr Moses

Co-Founder & CEO of Monte Carlo

Barr Moses, Co-Founder & CEO of Monte Carlo: $230 Million Raised to Build the Data Observability Category

Kaycee Lai

CEO and Founder of Promethium

Kaycee Lai, CEO and Founder of Promethium: $34.5 Million Raised to Make Building Data Products Easy

Jorge Penalva

CEO of

Jorge Penalva, CEO of $40 Million+ Raised to Build the Customer Experience Operations Category

Ethan Ruby

CEO and Co-Founder of SaaSGrid

Ethan Ruby, CEO and Co-Founder of SaaSGrid: $3M Raised to Become the Standard For SaaS Metrics

Eduardo Silva

CEO of Calyptia

Eduardo Silva, CEO of Calyptia: $5 Million Build the Future of Data Observation

Eric Olden

CEO and Founder of Strata Identity

Eric Olden, CEO and Founder of Strata Identity: $42 Million Raised to Build the Identity Orchestration Category