Database Solutions

DataStax Stacks Up another $106m in VC on Cassandra Fever

Fast-Rising Apache Cassandra company DataStax has just announced an additional $106m in funding, taking its total to $190m. The investments value the company at $830m, more than twice the figure for a year ago. This underlines the appeal of massively scalable distributed databases to companies processing and analysing huge datasets today.

Having already set up shop in Europe with London and Paris offices, and with Germany to follow, DataStax will use the money to push into other markets, notably Asia and Australia. This might be helped by the fact that a new investor is Premji Invest, which handles the stakes of Azim Premji, the chairman of Indian IT services giant Wipro. The cash should also help DataStax take the battle to rivals such as MongoDB.

“Whenever you’re taking money on, obviously the cash is very important but having smart investors is equally invaluable,” said Matt Pfeil, co-founder and VP of customer solutions at Santa Clara, California-headquartered DataStax in a telephone call.

Fellow co-founder Jonathan Ellis, also on the call, was confident that the funding news showed the shift currently underway in database usage. He described Cassandra/NoSQL as “the beginning of the third generation of database technology”, following mainframe and client/server relational databases. And added the client/server generation had left IT buyers “poorly served” in the “post-relational” era.

Ellis is drawing battle lines among the newcomers:

“The NoSQL market is bifurcating and you’re seeing some databases have success with the hacker crowd and others with the enterprise market. We recognise it’s difficult to be everything to everyone. Maybe were a little bit less easy to use but the enterprise market [is our focus].”

In regard to raising future DataStax funding Ellis said: “My crystal ball has always been pretty cloudy. I have a good sense of the next six months and not much outside that.”

However, if DataStax continues its progress, all signs point to an eventual IPO. DataStax declined to provide an indication of revenues but its 450 staff headcount has doubled year-on-year and Ellis concluded that its cosmopolitan hiring strategy had been a positive:

“We’re really comfortable hiring good engineers no matter where they are. That is a competitive advantage for us … You’re not a second-class citizen if you’re not in California.”


Martin Veitch is Editorial Director at IDG Connect

IDG Connect interviewed DataStax CEO Billy Bosworth in July 2013.


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Martin Veitch

Martin Veitch is Contributing Editor for IDG Connect

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