NTT Data announces strategic investment in NoSQL database provider MarkLogic

NTT Data, the large Tokyo-based global IT services provider, today announced that it has made a strategic investment in database provider MarkLogic. The two companies declined to reveal the size of the investment, but Dave Ponzini, MarkLogic’s EVP of Marketing and Corporate Development, tells me it was “not a huge amount but not an insignificant amount either.” So far, MarkLogic has raised a total of more than $173 million, including a massive $102 million Series F round in 2015.

MarkLogic positions itself as a database system for integrating data from various data silos, something that’s a growing problem for large enterprises as they look into how they can get the most value out of their data. Over the years (and often because of acquisitions), different groups in a company often use different database systems, and now they are looking for ways to bring all of this information together again. Typically, the way to do that is by bringing that data into a schema-less NoSQL database, which is where MarkLogic comes in.

Given this focus, it’s no surprise that the company’s customer base is mostly comprised of Global 2000 companies. While MarkLogic doesn’t disclose its exact revenue numbers, Ponzini noted that annual revenue is now “north of $100 million.”

NTT Data started using MarkLogic back in 2012, but mostly to build applications for its customers. The company then also started reselling the database and, according to Ponzini, this allowed MarkLogic to make inroads into the financial services market, for example. Today’s investment cements this relationship between the two companies and will allow MarkLogic to enter many of the markets in which NTT Data is very strong (like Spain), but where MarkLogic currently doesn’t have offices. There is quite a bit of overlap between the two companies’ geographical presence, though, and in those regions where both operate, NTT Data will market the database to its customers.

“NTT DATA is excited to expand our strategic relationship with MarkLogic. We look forward to extending the success we have jointly experienced over the last five years in Japan to the rest of the world,” said Toshio Iwamoto, president and CEO of NTT Data, in today’s announcement. “Our ability to solve complex data integration problems by using MarkLogic’s database platform alongside intellectual capital developed by NTT DATA allows our clients to better analyze critical insights from their data in order to gain a  competitive advantage in their respective marketplaces.”

Only a few weeks ago, MarkLogic launched version 9 of its database. The emphasis in this release was on security, with new features like element-level permissions and redactions, for example. “We’ve always been the most secure NoSQL database,” MarkLogic EVP Joe Pasqua told me. “But the new aspect that we wanted to push was sharing with less risk.” Once you’ve brought all of your information together, the question becomes who can access it. With element-level security, enterprises can ensure that their data can be used effectively, even as some of the information remains hidden to most users.