Big Data Startup MemSQL Raises $35 Million

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memsqlBig data high flyer MemSQL, a database start-up founded in 2011 by former Facebook engineers Eric Frenkiel and Nikita Shamgunov, recently raised $35 million in a series B round of venture funding led by Accel Ventures. Khosla Ventures, First Round Capital, and Data Collective participated in the round, which brings MemSQL’s total funding to $45 million.

Speed and usability are key attributes of MemSQL’s distributed in-memory database technology, which is designed to run on commodity servers and uses a familiar query language, SQL, for analyzing structured and semi-structured data. The clustered application supports high-volume online transaction processing (OLTP) and online analytical processing (OLAP) workloads. Users can store and query multiple data formats in a single database, and they can access real-time analytics through a full SQL interface.

MemSQL, at its heart, is a technology designed to take batch systems real-time. We know that the [enterprise data warehouse (EDW)] is very important in the enterprise and it’s designed to stay there. Our focus is scaling analytics around it,” says Frenkiel, CEO of MemSQL. “That’s one of our biggest drivers — you can turbo-charge an existing EDW very easily with MemSQL.”

Frenkiel and Shamgunov left Facebook, prior to its IPO, with a mission — to build a modern database from the ground up based on SQL. At the time, this was very out of vogue since NoSQL was making such a strong statement in the industry. The feeling was that SQL would just fade away. But that hasn’t happened. High-profile examples seem to provide support for this point – Google’s F1 database and Cloudera’s introduction of an open-source SQL query engine for Apache Hadoop.

San Francisco-based MemSQL plans to use the $35 million to expand product development and go after a bigger share of the market for big data technologies, which IDC is forecasting to reach $32.4 billion by 2017. Today the company has about 35 employees. Existing customers include Comcast, Zynga and Shutterstock.


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