Popular Databases Used by YC Companies

Gary Lin
May 3, 2021

Learn about which databases and data warehouses are most popular among YC companies!

On this page:

  1. TLDR - Top 3 Popular Databases / Warehouses?
  2. Motivations & Data Collection Context
  3. Data Insights
  4. Thank You

TLDR - Top 3 Popular Databases / Warehouses?

The top three databases / warehouses are:

  1. PostgreSQL (34)
  2. MongoDB (15)
  3. MySQL (12)

Note that for the remainder of this post, whenever a database is mentioned, it is inclusive of data warehouses as well.

Motivations & Data Collection Context

Aside from general curiosity, there are probably a few reasons why you're interested in what databases YC companies use.  Either you are starting a new project and need to pick a database, are scaling a project and have outgrown your existing database, or you are building a product that needs to integrate with databases.  The motivations from our team generally fell in the last category.  This was a good way for us to pulse check if we were missing any critical integrations that we didn't support, but needed to given the popularity.

This data was collected by a survey posted in YC's internal community forum.  No additional validation was done on the entries submitted.  All entries were voluntarily submitted with no added incentives for folks who filled out the survey.

Data Insights

There were 58 YC companies surveyed with many teams listing more than one database or warehouse, which is why there are 116 total reported databases.  There were a total of 18 unique databases reported.  Here are some notable insights:

  • Companies that responded range in batch years from 2021 all the way back to 2006.
  • A majority of the companies who responded (53% to be exact) are from the batches in 2020.
  • Postgres is the definitive winner for most popular database and warehouse, with 29% of all reported databases.
  • The most popular data warehouse is BigQuery followed by Redshift.
  • The most popular NoSQL database is MongoDB followed by Firebase.
  • No realistic trend can be pulled from databases that are being migrated from.  Funny enough, Postgres has the most with two votes, which could be explained by the fact that most folks use Postgres.
  • On the flip side, most teams are migrating to Postgres and Redshift.  Similarly, there isn't enough data to draw strong conclusions from this.  That being said, Postgres has four votes and Redshift has two.

Thank You

Shoutout to these companies and the anonymous ones that shared their DB data with us: Actiondesk, Aeronaut, Avenue, Bandit ML, Battlecard, Beyond Pricing, Brevy, BuildBuddy, CodeCombat, CodeStream, Cotter, Courier, Daybreak Health, Dayra, Flowdash, Gem, Impakt, MixRank, Mona, Natero, NowPay, Orbiter, PostHog, Reflect, RevenueCat, Safely Finance, Skypher, Snapboard, StratumAI, Synova Life Sciences, Taiv, Terusama, Trove, Truebill, Tydo, Urbankisaan, Visdom, Weave, YSplit.

Please reach out if there is anything Explo can help out with — here are some things we have experience with:

  • Dashboard design (read Carly's post about Dashboard Design)
  • Data pipeling and warehousing

If you're interested in Explo or just chatting all things data, don't hesitate to reach out to me at gary@explo.co.

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