Some more big news for the world of open source. MariaDB Corporation — the #startup formerly known as SkySQL and building for-profit solutions on the SQL fork managed by the MariaDB foundation — has raised another $9 million in funding and announced a new CEO, Michael Howard, a veteran executive from the enterprise world. The funding brings the total raised by MariaDB to just over $40 million, and this round comes from previous investors Intel Capital and California Technology Ventures.
And on top of this, the company is announcing another key executive appointment: Michael “Monty” Widenius, the man who originally created MySQL and MariaDB, is now joining the startup as CTO. As part of the move, he will stay on as founder and open source advocate at the MariaDB Foundation
Howard — who cut his teeth at places like GreenPlum and C9 — replaces Patrik Sallner, a Finn who was with MariaDB since 2012. In an interview, Howard told TechCrunch that this latest cash injection will be used for marketing, to launch new products, and to help further shift the startup’s center of gravity to the U.S. market from its home country of Finland.
“I’m looking for a more quality residence in Palo Alto or Menlo Park,” he told TechCrunch. “Over time the idea is to make it more of a US-based company and that is why they have brought in an American, to make a stronger entry into the US market, especially since our main partnerships are in Silicon Valley.” (I’m not sure if it will be changing its mascot, pictured above, to something more West Coast as a result.)MariaDB is not disclosing its valuation but Howard described this investment as a “stepping stone” before a much bigger funding round that it expects to close in the next 12 months.
The company to date has picked up some 9 million users and 12 million downloads of its software with “a magnificent increase in revenue velocity”, Howard says. “Millions are coming to the website, and with the distribution on Linux I believe there is a new mandate for open source. Not just the business model but a strategic decision to have it in your infrastructure, and be a part of the community.”
As for the new products, Howard was intentionally vague but said they would be in the areas of database and security, temporal processing and the Internet of Things. IoT is also an area where the company is likely to make an acquisition, he said.