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Yugabyte, the company behind the distributed Structured Query Language (SQL) database YugabyteDB, today announced that it raised $188 million in a series C round, bringing the company’s total raised to $291 million with a $1.3 billion valuation. CEO Bill Cook says that the capital will be used to further grow Yugabyte’s field and engineering teams and support the company’s expansion into new markets, seven months after Yugabyte’s previous financing round.

Pandemic-related digital transformations are spurring companies to migrate databases to the cloud. According to Gartner, by 2022, 75% of all databases will be deployed or transitioned to a cloud platform, with only 5% ever considered for repatriation to on-premises datacenters. Databases — whether cloud-hosted, local, or a hybrid of both — have a range of business applications, including customer relationship management, inventory tracking database, payroll and scheduling, and data analysis.

Yugabyte cofounders Kannan Muthukkaruppan, Karthik Ranganathan, and Mikhail Bautin — database builders who met at Facebook and Oracle — came together in February 2016 to build YugabyteDB, betting that trends like containerization, APIs, and open source would affect most, if not all, businesses in time. Coming out of stealth in November 2017 with a public beta, YugabyteDB was initially available in two editions: community and enterprise. In July 2019, Yugabyte open-sourced previously commercial features and launched YugabyteDB in open source under the Apache 2.0 license.

Yugabyte

“We founded Yugabyte five years ago to address the unmet need in the industry for a cloud native transactional database that offered uncompromising scalability, resilience, and … feature set,” Ranganathan told VentureBeat via email. “Over the years, our founding hypothesis has been validated many times over by startups and enterprises alike. If anything, the need for distributed SQL has become more acute as businesses accelerate their move to a digital world. We are excited to continue our mission to make YugabyteDB the database of choice for cloud-native applications.”

Cloud-based databases

Yugabyte’s SQL database is designed to run on any cloud or Kubernetes environment, Kubernetes being the open source system for automating containerized app management. (As for SQL, it’s the standard — and most widely used — programming language for relational databases.) It works across public, private, and hybrid cloud environments on virtual machines, containers, and bare metal, scaling to more than 100 terabytes of data and thousands of concurrent connections.

YugabyteDB delivers built-in capabilities for software upgrades, backups, and other maintenance tasks, as well as replication and geo-partitioning for improved latency and compliance. The database boasts feature compatibility with Postgres and Cassandra and integrates with languages and existing tools, affording companies what Cook calls “risk-free migration from on-prem to the cloud.”

Yugabyte recently launched Yugabyte Cloud, a fully managed offering that includes services like daily backups, database usage monitoring, logging, auditing, identity, and access management, and data encryption. Yugabyte Cloud lets customers choose a cloud provider (currently Amazon Web Services and Google Cloud Platform, with Microsoft Azure to come) and region provisioned for a particular app’s requirements, with tools that allow it to scale up or down as needed.

San Francisco, California-based Yugabyte claims to have thousands of customers including Fortune 500 companies in cybersecurity, financial markets, internet of things, retail, and ecommerce, who’ve deployed close to a million YugabyteDB clusters in over 80 countries. Since its beta launch in September, more than 1,200 organizations have signed up for Yugabyte Cloud — a number the company expects will climb once the service becomes generally available.

Sapphire Ventures led the series C, which included participation from Alkeon Capital and Meritech Capital, Wells Fargo, Lightspeed Venture Partners, 8VC, Dell Technologies Capital, Wipro Ventures, and others.

Beyond startups, like Cockroach Labs — which last week introduced a serverless tier for Cockroach DB, its database, in beta — Yugabyte competes with “NoSQL” outfits including Crate.io, Couchbase, Redis Labs, and NuoDB in a market worth $2.41 billion in 2018. As opposed to SQL databases, NoSQL databases provide mechanisms for storage and data retrieval that don’t rely on the tabular relations employed in relational databases. According to Redgate, while only 2% of database professionals use non-relational databases exclusively, 47% of database have a NoSQL database in their enterprise.

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