MemSQL Raises $35M Series B Led By Accel Partners

MemSQL, a big data startup that helps retrieve and analyze data real-time, has raised $35 million in Series B funding from Accel Partners and Khosla Ventures.

The financing will be used to expand product development, offer support to a growing base of users and push aggressively for a bigger share of the big data market, which is expected to reach $32.4 billion by 2017.

Apart from Accel and Khosla, MemSQL’s existing investors IA Ventures, First Round Capital and Data Collective also participated in the latest round of funding, bringing the total capital raised so far by the startup to $45 million.

Founded by ex-Facebookers Eric Frenkiel and Nikita Shamgunov in 2011, MemSQL is at the forefront of a movement that not only aims to help large enterprises manage big data fast, but also with much greater accuracy.

MemSQL’s in-memory database is already powering big data analytics at Zynga and Shutterstock.

Eric, a former Facebook engineer, said the demand for MemSQL has been tremendous.

“Customers are drawn to our solution because it delivers extremely fast performance on commodity hardware and has the ability to store and query multiple data formats in a single database,” he said.

MemSQL is among a new breed of in-memory databases that are beginning to make more sense for enterprise users struggling with terabytes of data gathered by their systems. While “NoSQL” databases such as MongoDB help store and manage large chunks of data, applications such as MemSQL do all that, and also offer the benefits of SQL.

However, the jury is still out on which one of these (NoSQL and newer entrants such as MemSQL) is better. The key point, as this Wired article mentions, is that all these are moving towards a new reality.

“Legacy database technologies are prone to latency, require complex and expensive architectures, and rely on slow disk-based technology. The result is an outdated computing infrastructure that cannot handle the velocity and volume of data in the timeframe required of a true real-time solution,” the startup said in a statement.

MemSQL also competes with other in-memory databases such as SAP Hana, Teradata and SAS.

For Accel, this marks another important investment from its big data fund.

“We’ve backed breakout open-source leaders Couchbase on the transactional side and Cloudera, with its Enterprise Data Hub, on the analytic side, but we also believe there is a very distinct place for MemSQL in real-time analytics,” said Kevin Efrusy, general partner, Accel Partners.