MariaDB has announced that it has managed to secure another $9 million in funding taking the funding achieved by the company to $40 million. The completion of a successful funding round comes at a time when many companies are finding it hard to raise funds as equity begins to dry up in the tech sector.
This latest round was led by Intel Capital and California Technology Ventures although the release gives no details of what they got for their increased investment. According to the press release the money is earmarked for the acceleration of sales and advanced technology development although no details were given around either.
MariaDB announces management changes
At the same time as announcing the new funding, MariaDB has announced two significant senior appointments. The first of these is Michael Howard who will become the Chief Executive Officer. Howard is well known in data management circles having been CMO at Greenplum, CEO of Outbay as well as VP of data warehousing at Oracle.
According to Scott Raskin, independent director on the MariaDB Board: “Michael’s proven leadership and deep operational and technology expertise will enable MariaDB to extend its position in the open source database market. With his extensive experience driving growth at both private and public companies, we believe Michael’s leadership will enable MariaDB to capitalize on the massive shifts and opportunities it is addressing in the data management space.”
With the Open Source database market getting much more competitive over the last year MariaDB and its investors will no doubt be banking on Howard to repeat his success from elsewhere. The company has grown very quickly over the last few years and while many will hope Howard will accelerate this it is more likely he will look to make the growth stable and sustainable. Too many small companies implode under high growth as they lack the experience of how to manage their business.
The second appointment is one that will appeal to the MariaDB customer base and open source community alike. Michael “Monty” Widenius has agreed to join as chief technology officer. The creator of both MySQL and MariaDB Monty has served on the boards of both the MariaDB Corporation and the MariaDB Foundation. Given his role in the development of MySQL, many will see his appointment to a more active role in the company as a clear indication that the company is now gearing up to take a big slice of the MySQL market.
In order to do this, MariaDB will need to look at what it can offer to separate itself from the rest of the open source and in particular the MySQL clone market. Part of this will revolve around assuring the open source community that the commercial activities around MariaDB will not leave them behind. As to what Monty will look to introduce and give it an edge in the market will only become clear over the next few months.
In a short canned statement in the press release Monty said: “MariaDB’s success as an open source technology goes hand-in-hand with its growing popularity in the commercial market. As part of the MariaDB team, I will be able to create innovative data management capabilities more quickly, and ensure these are open and accessible to the global development community by continuing the close collaboration with the MariaDB Foundation.”
Gaining new funding at the moment is becoming an achievement in itself. The days of loose money for tech start-ups appears to be over. While MariaDB only raised $9 million in this round it is now known how much they initially asked for.
It will be interesting to know how much the appointments of Howard and Widenius influenced the investors. There is no question that getting both of them into active roles is good news for both the commercial version and the open source community. The question is, how long will they be given to provide a continued and sustainable future for the database?