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June 15, 2020

Nebula Graph Joins Database Race

George Leopold

As the open source Nebula Graph database moves closer to commercial availability, the technology’s developer has announced an early funding round led by several Chinese investors.

VEsoft Inc. said this week it would use the $8 million round to bring Nebular Graph to the European and North American markets as well as the rest of Asia.

Nebula Graph was released as an open source project in May 2019. The first beta version was released last June. The startup is poised to move from its beta version to general availability, addressing a market estimated by Gartner as growing to as much as $10 billion over the next several years.

Competing graph database startups have so far raised more than $130 million in venture funding. Among them is TigerGraph, which announced a $32 million Series B funding round last fall as it released a cloud-based graph analytics service.

Nebula Graph will be offered as a cloud service, VEsoft said. Monday (June 15).

Redpoint China Ventures and Matrix Partners China served as lead investor for Nebula Graph’s “pre-A” funding round. Matrix Partners also was an early angel investor in the startup, which is based on Hangzhou, China.

Redpoint Ventures’ U.S. arm also served as lead investor on a $11.5 million Series A funding round announced last July by another graph database startup, Dgraph Labs.

VEsoft and its Nebula Graph distribution enter a crowded graph database market that includes recent entrants such as Neo4j and TigerGraph as well as established database and cloud vendors such as Microsoft (Azure Cosmos DB).

Graph databases are touted as better suited to big data and analytics applications owing to their ability to store data relationships within data stores. The database consultancy DB-Engines reckons graph databases are among the fastest growing category with the data management sector.

For example, Chinese researchers recently used the Nebula Graph database in a novel coronavirus contact tracing study in China.

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