MariaDB Developer SkySQL Raises £12.4m In Latest Financing Round

Open source relational database gets a vote of confidence from Intel Capital

SkySQL, the Helsinki-based company founded by former MySQL executives after Oracle bought Sun in 2010, has secured $20 million (£12.4m) in a Series B financing round from investors including Intel Capital and California Technology Ventures.

The funds will be used to support the rapidly growing user base, develop commercial solutions for scaling MariaDB and help it challenge the dominant players in the database market – IBM and Oracle.

SkySQL has been spearheading the development of MariaDB after it merged with Monty Program, the company led by Michael “Monty” Widenius, the original creator of MySQL, MariaDB and MaxDB.

Database politics

MariaDB is a community-developed fork of the MySQL, distributed free under the GNU General Public License. It is the brainchild of the original MySQL team and Widenius, the co-founder of the company which was sold to Sun in 2008 for $1 billion.

Andrey_KuzminDevelopment of MariaDB was prompted by concerns over Oracle’s dominance in the database market. The open source alternative has high compatibility with MySQL, including library binary equivalency and exact matching of MySQL APIs and commands.

“Adoption of the MariaDB database server has grown explosively in the last year,” said Patrik Sallner, CEO of SkySQL. “With the help of our loyal user base, we have built up significant market share when compared to other open source database technologies.”

Earlier this year, OpenSUSE, Fedora and Red Hat Enterprise Linux distributions all switched from MySQL to MariaDB. And in September, it emerged that Google has been working with MariaDB Foundation to move all of its servers to the new database.

“For large-scale internet players like Google and Wikipedia, MariaDB database server delivers clear benefits over existing relational databases. With this funding we plan to deliver commercial solutions that make it even easier for enterprises of any size to run MariaDB databases at scale,” added Sallner.

“The database software market has gone through tremendous change in the last several years, driven by the increasing variety, velocity and volume of data, by the elasticity and scalability offered from cloud computing, and by the need for organisations to both reduce administration costs and increase flexibility. SkySQL is in a position to be a key player in this field,” commented Erik Jorgensen, investment director for Intel Capital in Western Europe.

Interestingly, MySQL was named by Widenius after his older daughter, My. MariaDB was named after the younger, Maria. MaxDB, the database management system currently developed by SAP, was also created by Widenius and named after his son Max.

Meanwhile MongoDB, a non-relational database developed by a company of just over 320 employees until recently known as 10gen, has secured $150 million (£93.5m) of venture capital – more funding in a single round than any other database vendor in history.

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