Amazon leads the public-cloud market with Amazon Web Services, and last year, it acquired startup Amiato, according to a report out today from Bloomberg. But this isn’t the whole story here.

Almost three years ago, Amiato built a cloud-based data warehouse for storing and querying data as a simple alternative to expensive hardware and software from companies like Teradata. But a couple of months before Amiato was set to launch, Amazon announced Redshift, which was “exactly” what Amiato had built, Stamos Venios, cofounder of Silicon Valley fund Data Elite, told VentureBeat.

“I remember reading about Redshift,” Venios said in an interview today. “It was like midnight, 1 a.m. I called the guys.” He asked if they had seen the news. “Damn it,” he heard back. By then Amiato — which was going by the name Nou Data at the time — had a few beta customers using the service, Venios said.

If nothing else, Amazon picked up solid talent through the deal. The Amiato people should be able to help Amazon compete against other cloud providers, including Google (which offers BigQuery) and Microsoft. There’s also startup Treasure Data with a tool for taking in JSON data and accepting SQL queries, and cloud data warehousing startup Snowflake Computing.

“Super-smart, super-impressive guys — really nice resumés,” Stamos said of Amiato’s team.

When Amiato came out of stealth in March 2013, it was a service that could take in and clean up JSON data and then handle analysts’ SQL queries for A/B testing purposes. Today, though, Amiato advertises itself on its website as a tool for cleaning up NoSQL data and getting it into Redshift for querying and integrating with business-intelligence tools.

Amazon didn’t immediately respond to VentureBeat’s request for comment. Mehul Shah, a cofounder and chief executive of Amiato, wouldn’t comment immediately on VentureBeat’s inquiry.

News of the Amiato acquisition comes after Amazon confirmed that it had acquired Internet of Things startup 2lemetry.

Amiato’s backers included Andreessen Horowitz, Data Collective, and Y Combinator. The startup’s staff was somewhere between eight and 10 people, Stamos said.

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