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March 21, 2018

NoSQL Startup FaunaDB Has Twitter Roots

George Leopold

(Joe Techapanupreeda/Shutterstock)

A Bay Area startup touting a transactional NoSQL database has disclosed early investments by financial services backers and Google’s investment arm.

Fauna Inc. claimed Wednesday (March 21) its $25 million Series A funding round was the largest ever for an operational database vendor. Early investors include Capital One Growth Ventures, GV (formerly Google Ventures) and Point72 Ventures, billionaire Steven Cohen’s investment firm.

San Francisco-based FaunaDB described its NoSQL database as a “distributed transactional query engine” with policy-based security features. The database is available now and runs on commodity servers in private datacenters, as a managed public cloud service, or both.

Applications range from financial services that require ACID compliance for large numbers of transactions to video game developers. Among the startup’s customers are GPU leader Nvidia (NASDAQ: NVDA). “Enterprises need a modern database that is as safe as traditional SQL systems while offering the flexibility of the more recent NoSQL trend,” said Evan Weaver, co-founder and CEO of Fauna.

Weaver and FaunaDB co-founder Matt Freels worked together at Twitter (NYSE: TWTR) where Weaver served as director of infrastructure. The startup said several other former Twitter employees have joined FaunaDB.

The company was launched in 2012 and has so far raised $29.5 million.

FaunaDB is entering a burgeoning sector that caters to global companies in regulated industries like financial services. It said it is bringing the data infrastructure Weaver helped develop at Twitter to enterprises.

The expanding NoSQL database sector includes Aerospike Inc. and ScyllaDB. Aerospike announced general availability of 4.0 release of its key-value store database earlier this month. Scylla unveiled a management tool this week designed to consolidate cluster administration. The manager comes in the form of a “drop-in” Apache Cassandra replacement. The vendor described the manager as “another step towards the autonomous database.”

All are eyeing the enterprise market, and FaunaDB hopes to capitalize on its Twitter roots to bring a tested data infrastructure to financial services and high-volume transaction handlers.

A side-by-side comparison of FaunaDB with Aerospike and ScyllaDB is here.

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