Last week, DataStax announced the finalization of $106M in Series E funding in a round led by Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. The funding raise featured participation from new investors ClearBridge Investments, Cross Creek Advisors, Wasatch Funds, PremjiInvest and Comcast Ventures. Existing investors Lightspeed Venture Partners and Scale Venture Partners also contributed to the funding raise. DataStax has now raised a total of $190M, inclusive of a $45M capital raise in July 2013. The funding raise brings DataStax’s valuation to over $830M and positions it strongly to implement an IPO within the next two years.
DataStax delivers enterprise-grade distributed database platforms based on the open source project Apache Cassandra. Emil Eifrem, founder and CEO of Neo Technology, reflected on the significance of DataStax’s recent funding raise as follows:
The new investment in DataStax highlights the value of data and the operational tools for processing it in realtime. The old NoSQL umbrella term for alternative databases is now clearly fragmenting into a few distinct product categories: document, column-family/key-value and graphs. Significant investments in companies like DataStax ($106M), MongoDB ($150M–the largest round ever for a database company) and Couchbase ($60M) over the last year validates how important alternative databases are for most software today– and for all software tomorrow.
Here, Eifrem positions DataStax within the NoSQL category of “alternative databases” amongst the likes of MongoDB and Couchbase, both of which can also claim the distinction of significant capital raises over the last year. Eifrem notes how the investment in DataStax validates the importance of real-time data processing performed by “alternative databases” that fall into the categories of document, key-value or graph. Because DataStax delivers database technology that can run on low-cost hardware, it poses a significant competitive threat to Oracle, whose database management systems are associated with higher end hardware infrastructures. DataStax’s Chief Customer Officer Matt Pfeil noted that “roughly 80 percent of our opportunities are Oracle replacement” in an interview with Bloomberg that confirmed the market appetite for alternatives to relational database management systems. The bottom line here is that alternative databases are seeing increasing adoption in the enterprise and as such, represent the beginnings of a profound transformation in database management within the enterprise.