Stealth Startup Relaxed Raises $2 Million From Redpoint Ventures For CouchDB Support

Couchdb-logoRelaxed, a stealth startup centered around Apache CouchDB has raised $2 million from Redpoint Ventures according to an SEC filing which was confirmed by CEO Damien Katz. Three original authors of Apache CouchDB–Damien Katz, J. Chris Anderson, and Jan Lehnardt–are listed as Executive Officers of the company.

For those who are unfamiliar, CouchDB is a free open source indexable document database server which uses Javascript as a query language. CouchDB is designed for the reporting and storage of large amounts of semi-structured, document oriented data, unlike SQL databases which store and report on very structured and correlated data.

CouchDB is part of the rapidly growing NoSQL movement, which is schema-free and focuses on adding horizontal scalability to databases. Major companies already use NoSQL database systems including Amazon’s Dynamo, Facebook’s Cassandra, and Google’s BigTable. Other NoSQL-related projects include Project Voldemort, Hypertable, VPork, MongoDB, Apache’s Hadoop and more. Two other companies in this space recently received funding as well: Swedish-based Neo Technology garnered $2.5 million in late October and 10gen raised $3.4 million in November.

Apache’s site describes CouchDB as such:

“In an SQL database, as needs evolve the schema and storage of the existing data must be updated. This often causes problems as new needs arise that simply weren’t anticipated in the initial database designs, and makes distributed “upgrades” a problem for every host that needs to go through a schema update.

With CouchDB, no schema is enforced, so new document types with new meaning can be safely added alongside the old. The view engine, using Javascript, is designed to easily handle new document types and disparate but similar documents.”

While we don’t know much about what Relaxed will be doing, we speculate that they will provide support for developers using CouchDB in addition to trying to expand the adoption of CouchDB by enterprise companies. Their role seems similar to that of RedHat’s in the Linux community, but we won’t know more until Relaxed makes an announcement early next year.

Prior to Relaxed, the three founders were affiliated with a CouchDB consultancy company, appropriately named At, they focused on CouchDB support and training, as well as the managed deployment of customer’s CouchDB cluster.

CouchDB is still in its early stages at version 0.10, but has gained significant traction and has been adopted by many websites and software projects, including Ubuntu. For a more high-level view of what CouchDB does, see their overview.