MongoDB, the next gen database company whose popularity is surging, has raised an impressive $150 million, the largest round ever for a database company, according to the company’s own claims.
The round also makes MongoDB New York’s most valuable Internet startup, Bloomberg points out. The publication cites two sources familiar with the deal who place the valuation of the round at $1.2 billion.
MongoDB uses a document oriented database, rather than a relational database, storing data in documents instead of traditional tables and rows. The result is lower cost software that scales elastically very quickly. MetLife used MongoDB to build a feed similar to Facebook that consolidated customer data from more than 70 unconnected corporate systems in 90 days. MongoDB provides an evolution of databases that Forbes contributor Peter Cohan describes as a “Quantum Value Leap. The value of its product to customers is so much greater than what the incumbents provide that all the fear, uncertainty, and doubt of dealing with a start-up that Oracle and IBM try to stir in the hearts of its customers cannot hold back demand.”
Proof, Cohan points out, can be found in this round’s latest investors, Fidelity Investments, Flybridge Capital Partners, In-Q-Tel, Intel Capital, Sequoia Capital, Union Square Ventures and T. Rowe Price, large investment houses betting MongoDB will bring big returns on very little risk.
The service is hugely popular with more than 5 million downloads, 100,000 online education registrations, and 20,000 user group members. Its operations in Europe, the Middle East and Africa has been growing 300 percent annually, the company told Bloomberg. Starting out with 20 employees in 2011, the company now employs 320 people and serves 600 customers.
Charging about a tenth of what MongoDB’s Chief Executive Max Schireson called in a blog post “the 800 pound gorillas of the database world,” namely Oracle, IBM, and Microsoft, MongoDB is poised to bring monumental disruption to a market Forrester Research estimates to be $30 billion. “I think the industry is ready for change. I think database users want a technology which is more agile than relational, better suited to cloud-style deployment, and a better fit for the type of application development we do today,” Schireson contends.
Yet MongoDB is still a David of a startup, and its competition are Goliaths. That’s where the $150 million comes in. “…We are in a market dominated by technologies with over 30 years of engineering in them,” Schireson continues. “Their designs may not be as well suited to modern applications, but they are very mature, very feature rich, and have huge partner ecosystems and big companies that understand the needs of their enterprise customers behind them. They have way more tooling – and decades of refinement of operational tools. … We know that it will take a large and sustained effort to build the maturity that many users expect in this market.”
With more than $231 million raised, MongoDB has plenty of capital for its sling. Aside from the giants, the company competes against DataStax, which recently raised $45 million, and Couchbase, which recently raised $25 million.
Formerly 10Gen, MongoDB is a Red Herring Americas 2012 winner.