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 datacenters.

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 area.

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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