Getting cosy

A catch-up with Couchbase CEO Bob Wiederhold on their $25m funding

Lucy Carey

With $25 million funding secured, we see what the Couchbase CEO has up his sleeve for the growing NoSQL database technology group.

Hot on the heels of the news that the Couchbase has secured
$25 million in its latest round of funding, we caught up with the
project’s CEO Bob Wiederhold to find out what the future holds for
this growing NoSQL database technology group.

JAXenter: You’ve seen a 400% increase in sales
in 2013. How did you achieve this?

Wiederhold: There were two
big things that allowed us to achieve the 400% increase. The first
was releasing Couchbase 2.0 in December. The release extended the
capabilities of our key-value database to be a document database
with indexing and querying and also added a cross datacenter
replication capability that allowed enterprises with global
customers to mirror their databases across multiple

The second was that we saw many large
enterprises do deep strategic evaluations that were followed by
major product purchases and deployments.  Using the 2.0
release, we won many competitive evaluations against MongoDB and
Cassandra and this fueled our very rapid growth.

How will you keep fuelling this growth
trajectory in 2014?

Over the last nine months we’ve seen a big
increase in the number of large enterprises doing strategic
evaluations of the leading NoSQL vendors that are followed by big
purchases and broad deployments.  We think this trend will
accelerate in 2014 as an increasing number of enterprises run in
the limitations of relational databases and see the value in moving
from relational databases to NoSQL.

Second, we think we have big advantages over our
competitors in ease of scalability and performance that are
critical elements of these evaluations.  As a result, we think
we will continue to win more than our fair share of these
evaluations and this will fuel continued very rapid growth.
Separately, we also plan to expand aggressively in regions of the
world like China, India, Brazil, and Argentina where we haven’t
made very large investments in the past. This will also fuel our
rapid growth.

What key strategic product initiatives will
you be investing in?

We will continue to invest heavily in developing
features that are important to enterprise customers- for example,
we are adding many security features as well as large-scale
scalability features. Supporting mobile application development is
also increasingly important so we are investing heavily in
delivering better and better solutions for these developers. We
plan to make significant announcements before the end of the year
in each area.

Can you tell us a bit more about the mobile
strategy you’ll be unveiling?

We don’t want to pre-announce anything so we
can’t say much beyond that we are doing a lot of work in this

Looking at Google trends, MongoDB appears to
be leading in terms of user share compared to Couchbase. Is the
market big enough for both MongoDB and Couchbase?

We think the $35B database industry is being
disrupted and that over time NoSQL will grow into a multi-billion
dollar industry.

Like most industries of this size, we think
NOSQL will support two to three leaders that dominate the industry
and some much smaller niche players. The leaders are already
clearly emerging, and Couchbase is recognized as one of these
leaders. MongoDB has been in the market much longer than Couchbase
and has attained broader popular support than Couchbase to date. We
don’t think that popular support translates very well to enterprise
adoption however and this is where Couchbase shines.

Just as Intel is “inside” computers, Couchbase
is “inside” many of the biggest e-commerce and social sites in the
world. The next time you login into an e-commerce or social site
there is a good chance you will be joining more than a billion
users that indirectly use Couchbase every day.

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