Open source database startup MariaDB confirms $27M investment led by Alibaba

Europe



Open source database startup MariaDB has announced a new $27 million round of funding led by Alibaba, confirming the news that TechCrunch reported in September.

As we wrote then, Alibaba contributed the majority of the round, supplying €20 million of the total €22.9 million raised.

A range of existing investors added that extra bit and they were confirmed to include Intel Capital, California Technology Ventures, Tesi, SmartFin Capital and Open Ocean. This new financing takes MariaDB’s total raised from investors to $98 million, $54 million of that sum arrived this year.

There’s no valuation announced with this round but, as we said in September, the deal values MariaDB at around the €300 million ($354 million) mark. That’s a decent jump on the $200 million-$250 million valuation it got in May when it raised €25 million (then worth $27 million) from the European Investment Bank.

MariaDB, which is headquartered in Finland with an office in California, is best known for operating the most popular alternative to MySQL, a database management system. It said in a statement it has made “historical” revenue gains during its most recent quarter and financial year.

While it did not disclose figures, it claimed its average customer deal size has double and it has begun to grow into new areas, including a first enterprise-wide replacement and migration from Oracle Enterprise to MariaD.

The deal marks Alibaba Cloud’s most notable overseas investment. Its deals to date have all been in China and they include cloud storage provider Qiniu and big data firm Dt Dream.

Alibaba already works with MariaDB via its Alibaba Cloud business — which is the Chinese firms fastest growing business unit — but Alibaba has grander plans to take on the top cloud computing players, such as AWS, Google Cloud and Microsoft Azure.

Closer collaboration with MariaDB is likely to be an important part of that strategy and we may yet see it write checks for other players in the cloud computing space. Overall it is a tough mission with AWS such a dominant player, as Amazon’s recent earnings reminded anyone with a short memory.

“MariaDB is becoming the gold standard for enterprise-grade open source databases. We believe that the symbiotic relationships found in the open source community contribute to the success of both MariaDB’s database technology and our cloud platform, and we have an opportunity to build some truly innovative solutions for cloud, on premise and hybrid deployments,” Alibaba Cloud VP Jin Li said in a statement.

The deal will see Feng Yu, a principal engineer within Alibaba Cloud, join the MariaDB board, according to a source, although that information wasn’t communicated in the announcement of the funding.

Featured Image: Aaron Tam/AFP/Getty Images



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