Apple Buys FoundationDB

Apple has acquired FoundationDB, a provider of database technology that marries NoSQL with ACID attributes, according to news reports that swirled in the tech industry.

Selected in 2013 as one of DBTA's 10 Emerging Companies to Watch in Data, FoundationDB was launched in 2009 by Nick Lavezzo, Dave Rosenthal, and Dave Scherer and headquartered in Vienna, Virginia. Its stated mission is to provide data storage technology that frees engineers and companies to focus on problems other than building their data stack. 

In addition to the FoundationDB news, reports subsequently surfaced that Apple had also stealthily acquired data analytics provider Acunu back in 2013.

According to, "Acunu’s Chief Technology Officer Tim Moreton began working as a manager for the Cupertino, California-based company’s iCloud division in December 2013, according to his LinkedIn profile. Other profiles of Acunu employees show many people changing from Acunu to Apple at the start of 2014."

In an article about the latest acquisition, the Wall Street Journal’s Shira Ovide said that an Apple spokeswoman confirmed the FoundationDB purchase, pointing out that “Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans.”

A note on the FoundationDB website had no reference to the purchase, but stated: “Thank you for your support of FoundationDB over the last five years. We’re grateful to have shared our vision of building the best database software and we strongly value your participation in this community. We have made the decision to evolve our company mission and, as of today, we will no longer offer downloads.”

Commenting on the reported acquisition, Adam Wray, CEO of Basho Technologies, a  developer of distributed systems including the Riak NoSQL database, observed that “NoSQL databases are an increasingly critical part of enterprises’ ability to derive real business value from the massive amounts of data that users, devices and online systems generate. They are also an important part of developers’ toolkits when building applications for the Internet of Things, a major contributor to this ever-growing body of data.”  

Wray added that “Apple is acutely aware of the importance of being able to reliably scale to meet the real-time data needs of today's global applications. The news of Apple’s intent to acquire FoundationDB greatly amplifies these points to a growing number of IT and engineering leaders.”