MarkLogic Secures New $25 Million Investment and Targets Four Primary Product Areas

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MarkLogic Corporation, the provider of an enterprise NoSQL database platform, announced that it has closed a $25 million round of growth capital led by Sequoia Capital and Tenaya Capital, with participation from Northgate Capital. MarkLogic CEO Gary Bloom also made a personal investment in this financing round. The company said it will use the capital to increase go-to-market capacity to meet the growing demand for enterprise NoSQL (Not Only SQL) technology from Fortune 500 companies, other large enterprises and government agencies. The additional $25 million in new capital brings the total raised by MarkLogic to $71.2 million.  The announcement was made at the annual MarkLogic World User Conference in Las Vegas.

With capital to fuel sales and marketing, MarkLogic seeks to go after the broader market of enterprise class customers that should be using this technology and at the same time mitigate any risk to existing customers, Bloom, speaking from Las Vegas, told DBTA.  MarkLogic has several hundred large companies that are very dependent on MarkLogic, he noted, and the best way to “de-risk that” is to have extra capital in the bank, he noted.

Executive Investment in this Funding Round

Commenting on the significance of his personal investment in the company, Bloom said there is an opportunity for a company to manage the estimated 80% of the world’s data that is unstructured.  “I believe that company is MarkLogic and essentially I was willing to put my money where my mouth is on that, and so not only do I believe in the company as a CEO, but I believe in the company as an investor.” Outside of Northgate and some of the other MarkLogic executives who are joining in this investment round, Bloom said the investment was predominantly held by MarkLogic’s pre-existing investors, Tenaya and Sequoia. “They were the ones that led the round and they had a pretty strong perspective of wanting to hold on to as much of the MarkLogic asset as they possibly could. At the same time, there is certainly a win-win if you have an executive team and a set of investors all aligned to make it into a great company, and we now have that alignment in a way that most private companies don’t get to enjoy.”

The Enterprise NoSQL Space

MarkLogic Server can ingest, manage and search structured, semi-structured, and unstructured data allowing organizations to provide holistic access to all data through information applications and analytics tools.  “We can do a lot with structured data and semi-structured data in addition to the unstructured focus.  What we have come to find out in the relational world is the relational world can’t do much of anything with unstructured data. Where we overlap with their pre-existing market, they overlap very little with our new market.”

Emphasizing that MarkLogic has a multi-year lead in the enterprise NoSQL marketplace, Bloom said, “We are really the only vendor that focused on high availability, replication, clustering, backup and recovery, security and ACID support for transactional consistency. We are also coming to prove, since we provide an integrated search engine with application service in the database, that being a whole platform for customers who build applications, we get scalability beyond the other products in the market as well.” And, dismissing what relational vendors are doing in the NoSQL area, Bloom added. “It doesn’t really come up as competition because their technologies simply don’t scale. We have the scale advantage as well.”

But while it has “a solid foundation, but as I always remind people, we are not standing still,” he said. “If you look at the roadmaps for the vast majority of the other NoSQL players in the market, over the last six months they have all evolved to deliver enterprise roadmaps. The challenge they have is that you can’t add enterprise capability - you can’t layer it on top of a product.  You take these open source databases and the idea that you are going to layer it on top and suddenly make it highly available - it just doesn’t work that way.”

Target Areas for Feature Enhancement

Currently MarkLogic is targeting several key feature focus areas. The major focus areas of enhancement are semantic capabilities, additional Hadoop capabilities building on its recent Hadoop announcements, the cloud environment, and the ability to more effectively manage tiered storage.  Given that MarkLogic deals with massive amounts of data in the unstructured world, said Bloom, the ability to have low cost storage and high cost storage depending on the availability needs, but still have all the data searchable, is a real advantage to customers. “As we think about this unstructured era of data, we think tiered storage will become increasingly important to help them keep the costs down. Those are the four primary focus areas that we are working on in the new product area.”

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