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September 10, 2013

Couchbase Finds $25M in the Cushions

Isaac Lopez

While you were heating up the BBQ and drinking cold ones during the Labor Day weekend holiday, the folks over at NoSQL database company, Couchbase, were counting cold cash. The company recently announced a $25 million dollar funding haul, which they say will be used to sharpen their edges as they look to carve out their share of the enterprise NoSQL market.

The funding haul, led by Adams Street Partners, follows what Couchbase claims to be a solid growth year in which the company has taken on an increasingly aggressive stance in the NoSQL space. In December 2012, the company expanded from their key value database roots to add document database features (in addition to cross datacenter replication features) – a move which put them at more direct loggerheads with document database, MongoDB.

Couchbase CEO, Bob Wiederhold told Datanami earlier this year that his company saw opportunity in combining their key value database with document database capabilities, clearly hoping to carve out some of MongoDB’s market share. “We think that key value and document databases are going to combine into one,” said Wiederhold. “A document database is really just a specific type of key value database. You’re just storing JSON documents into value and doing queries.”

The move seems to have had an effect, as the company is claiming that they have experienced an explosive 400% growth rate in 2013. While the company has widened its perimeters to try and capture more market share from MongoDB, the company sees Oracle as the real vein from which its new customer blessings flow – something that Wiederhold made clear when we spoke to him at Strata this year.

“[Many enterprises] have internet applications (including websites) that they’ve developed over 20 years, back when the website was just static content – now they’re full-fledged complex applications,” He explained. “Many of them were being developed in the late 90’s – there was no MySQL, there was no Postgres, and there certainly wasn’t NoSQL. A lot of these were built on top of Oracle or DB2, and were starting to see those guys move off of that from a cost perspective as well as because NoSQL provides the ability to support a much greater number of users, more data, etc.”

Wiederhold told us that he expects that market to continue to grow as it slips through Oracle’s fingers and into the NoSQL net.

“The database industry is a $30 billion dollar industry, and 95% of that today is where Oracle is from, and they see that other 5% as relatively uninteresting – we think it’s the future,” he told us. “The applications being developed today use a three tier internet architecture of a browser, a mobile app connected over the Internet to either a public or private cloud. We’re very happy playing in that 5% today, and watching that 5% steadily grow.”

The company recently released a 2.1 version of their Couchbase Server database, which they say offers features that improves disk utilization, opening up new use cases. Current customers include LinkedIn, PayPal, Cisco, Orbitz, AOL, Comcast, and others.

With their pants stuffed with investor cash, the company is looking forward to their annual conference this Friday, September 13th in San Francisco. We’ll keep our eyes peeled for any news that might come from the event.

Related items:

On the Couch with a NoSQL CEO 

DataStax Rakes $45 Million; Schemes Growth 

MongoDB Levels Up with a Dedicated Conference