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Couchbase raises the stakes with $60m of funding

Lucy Carey

With the maturation of NoSQL, investors are increasingly turning away from the old school enterprise database providers.


It’s not just the city of London quietly rawing up plans to topple Oracle. Investors have raised the stakes against Ellison’s juggernaut a little further with a $60m cash drop for the providers of the open source NoSQL database Couchbase and ultra-light JSON based Couchbase Lite.

This latest round was led by big money investors WestSummit and Accel Growth Fund. As it stands, the Couchbase now have  $115 Million stashed between their cushions. Previous venture capital investors also participated in this round of financing. According to CEO Bob Wiederhold, the big data sorters are now worth a modest one billion dollars.

While NoSQL remains by far and away the minority data option, this substantial cash injection is tangible evidence of its increasing importance, as enterprises wake up to the importance of scalability and performance for ever more demanding business critical and mission critical applications.

It also demonstrates that the international big data market in 2014 is segueing into two halves: operational data management, led by NoSQL vendors, and analytical data processing, ruled by Hadoop vendors. Between these two, operational is seeing a more sharp growth trajectory, due to rising uptake of the tech in the business world.

According to Wiederhold, it’s this sector that’s really going to drive the NoSQL explosion in the next three to five years. In an interview this spring, he told JAXenter that the transition from traditional DBMS was inevitable once enterprises and big internet companies deemed NoSQL mature enough to be deployed across their most critical and strategic apps.

Last year, current NoSQL big cheese MongoDB clocked up a record breaking funding round of $150m, making it not only the first NoSQL celebrity, but the most valuable startup down Silicon Alley.

Whilst Oracle and Microsoft ruled the old school with software like MySQL, these headline making flows of cash into the NoSQL world are rapidly nudging the old order out of place. By the end of the decade, spending around this tech is expected to jump to around $3.4 billion per annum – over triple current investment.

Although Oracle tried to fight the tide with the release of the Oracle NoSQL database in 2011, the world’s number two software supremo continues to lag behind agile upstarts Mongo and Co in this market. It was claimed in May that the San Franciscan behemoth is in the process of creating a NoSQL standards body -to widespread howls of indignation – however to date we’ve not seen any concrete plans emerge.

At any rate, Couchbase don’t seem too bothered, and with the IDC predicting the market for these young guns to jump to around $5.1 billion in 2018, as Wiederhold says, “the market is absolutely big enough” for everyone to swim in the data pool.

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