MongoDB Raises $150 Million

This morning MongoDB announced that we raised $150 million in growth capital. Some notable new investors include leading public market investors Fidelity and TRowe Price along with Salesforce.com. I am also excited to welcome Altimiter Capital (where partner Kevin Wang is actually a MongoDB user)  and happy to see that NEA, Sequoia Capital, Intel, and Red Hat all increased their stake in the company.

I wanted to talk a bit about why we raised so much money, what we will do with it, and where I see the company heading.

The database market is very large and until recently had not changed much in the last few decades. When I joined Oracle almost 20 years ago, in practice your choices were Oracle, IBM, Sybase, and Informix. Since then, IBM bought Informix, Microsoft wound up with much of Sybase’s intellectual property, and Oracle, IBM, and Microsoft are the 800 pound gorillas of the database world.

Open source relational databases had an impact on developers and startups, but not much impact on the enterprise and have met with limited commercial success. Certainly open source has not impacted databases in the way it has impacted operating systems.

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. At MongoDB we see the passion developers have for the ease of use of the document-oriented model and we see the impact it has on businesses like MetLife, Telefonica, Goldman Sachs, Salesforce.com and Criteo.

We’ve seen the potential, but we are in a market dominated by technologies with over 30 years of engineering in them. 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.

This is why we are raising $150 million. We know that it will take a large and sustained effort to build the maturity that many users expect in this market. Building out our management suite and enhancing the core product will be a ton of work. We have made great progress on security, management, stability, and scalability but we still have so much to do.

It took tens of thousands of person years to build each of the leading relational databases, billions of dollars of R&D. Standing on the shoulders of giants in commercial databases, open source databases, and academic research our task will be easier and we will get there faster. But we need to make very large investments in MongoDB over many years and we need our users to know that we have the capacity to make those investments.

We are excited to partner with IBM, who is making DB2 compatible with MongoDB, and Microsoft, who is working with us to ensure that a top-quality MongoDB service is available in Azure. We are excited about the industry leaders like Intel, Red Hat, and Salesforce.com who have invested in MongoDB. We are excited about our many partnership including established leaders like Informatica, Qliktech, Amazon and Rackspace and emerging leaders like Pentaho, MongoLab, and MongoHQ, all of whom have worked hard to build offerings that work well with MongoDB.

We are excited to build the database of the future in an open source model. The community has contributed over 20 drivers, tripling the language compatibility of MongoDB. With over 5 million downloads, open source has helped adoption skyrocket. And with the freedom to use the product for free, customer relationships become more equal and more collaborative. I like that we have to earn our customers’ business every year.

Offering a viable mainstream alternative to the relational database will be a lot of work but we think the benefits to our users will be worth it. I know that the team is excited about the work we have ahead of us and appreciative of the funding that will enable that work.

6 comments so far

  1. J. Cliff Elam (@cliffelam) on

    Great news, and while it will be a ton of work, there is a lot of market validation out there for what customer want and don’t care about in the business of managing the back end. So at least you don’t have to rewrite that book, you can skip to the last chapter….

    -XC

  2. Kevin on

    I’m excited to be an investor and looking forward to supporting you and the company! I believe you are building an enduring and foundational software company in MongoDB and I’m excited to be along for the journey.

    -Kevin

    • Max Schireson on

      Thanks Kevin – great to have an investor who uses the product *and* comments on my blog. It will fun!

  3. Dan Harris on

    Congratulations Max. Its great to be recognised by you as part of the ecosystem that’s driving the adoption of MongoDB and cementing your position as the leader in the NoSQL marketplace. Together we’re stronger.

  4. […] our CEO Max Schireson explained in his post on the funding round, relational database technology has a huge head start on […]

  5. […] facto Hadoop-based platform for supporting Internet-of-Things/Industrial Internet-based analytics. Intel is also a small investor in MongoDB and the two companies have worked to optimize the NoSQL database on Intel hardware. Meanwhile, […]


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