Follow Datanami:
March 18, 2014

VoltDB Nabs $8 Million in VC Funding to Tackle IoT

Tiffany Trader

VoltDB, the company behind the in-memory relational database of the same name, has completed a Series B funding round $8 million richer. The round was led by existing stakeholders Sigma Ventures and Kepha Partners, plus three new unnamed “strategic investors,” bringing the firm’s total venture capital investment to $18.7 million.

VoltDB will use the funds to expand its support for next-generation ‘smart’ applications enabled by big data and the Internet of Things.

“Organizations everywhere are looking to drive competitive business value from new Big Data applications that can consume, analyze and act on massive amounts of dynamic data in real-time,” said CEO Bruce Reading. “This is exactly what VoltDB was built for – and we are seeing demand in every corner of the world. This new round of funding will enable us to expand to serve this growing customer base.”

The Bedford, Mass., startup was founded in 2009 by MIT professor Michael Stonebraker, whose impressive resume also includes Ingres, Postgres, StreamBase, and Vertica. Researchers Sam Madden and Daniel Abadi also contributed to the original research that led to VoltDB, an ACID-compliant NewSQL relational database that combines real-time, in-memory analytics in a single database system.

Fast storage is central to the technology. The VoltDB database stores relational data in server memory to facilitate faster transactions, and later on moves the data to disk for longer-term storage. What sets the system apart from the competition, according to VentureBeat, is its ability to scale up and out. Traditional relational databases using SQL can only scale up while many nonrelational frameworks only scale out.

At present, VoltDB, which sells its technology to resellers and end users, has 400 commercial clients including Shopzilla, Yahoo, and Alcatel-Lucent. The company sees a lot of potential in markets that need to act quickly on fast moving data, such as financial services, digital media, energy and telecommunications.

Some of its most prominent use cases include:

  • Openet’s billing solutions that serve the world’s largest telco providers.
  • Airpush’s mobile ad network, the second largest serving Android devices.
  • HP’s real-time personalization services for its Subscriber, Network and Application services.
  • Alcatel-Lucent’s IPTV products with interactive experience and rich dynamic content in milliseconds.

“VoltDB’s customers are the innovators in trends like the Internet-of-Things, micro-personalization and smart infrastructure,” said Kepha Partners founder and partner, Jo Tango. “This market is evolving so quickly, though, that these innovators will soon be the mainstream. We believe VoltDB will be a major beneficiary of this trend.”

In January, VoltDB announced it had experienced triple digit revenue growth in 2013, noting a 298 percent increase in revenue and a 368 percent boost in bookings year over year, coinciding with positive sales traction, market adoption and industry recognition.

VoltDB was included in analyst firm Gartner’s most recent Magic Quadrant for Operational Databases, published in October 2013. Additionally, Gartner database analysts remarked on the C-change toward operational databases in the report, OLTP DBMS Market Becomes the Operational DBMS Market, published in May 2013.

“Transactions have evolved to include support for interactions and observations, leading to the change from online transaction processing to the operational database management system market that chief technology officers and infrastructure leaders must embrace,” they wrote.

Reading told the Wall Street Journal that he expects the company to be profitable by 2016. The current funding round will be used to accelerate sales and marketing and will also go to financing expansion into Europe and Southeast Asia, areas with “significant traction,” according to the CEO.

Related Items:

Picking the Right Tool for Your Big Data Job

VoltDB Turns to Real-Time Analytics with NewSQL Database

RDBMs: The Hot New Technology of 2014?