QuestDB snares $12M Series A with hosted version coming soon

QuestDB, makers of the speedy open source time series database, announced a $12 million Series A today from 468 Capital, Uncorrelated Ventures and a list of industry angels, including Alexis Ohanian. The company has now raised a total of $14.3 million, including the $2.3 million seed announced last July.

Since that time, the startup, which was a member of the Y Combinator summer 2020 cohort, has been working hard to build a community around the open source project, while working on the enterprise version and an upcoming hosted version, which should be ready by the end of the year.

Customers can install the enterprise version on their cloud of choice and manage it themselves, but the company has been hearing requests from customers for something easier.

“This is something that a lot of companies have been asking us about. Essentially, most companies do not want to deal with the operational complexity of hosting on their own cloud. And they want the database provider to host that on their behalf,” co-founder and CEO Nicolas Hourcard told me.

The database is built for speed and is fast enough that companies using Quest can cut back on servers, which they often will use to make up for lost speed on the database side. As Hourcard told TechCrunch at the time of the seed funding:

We’re building an open source database for time series data, and time series databases are a multi-billion-dollar market because they’re central for financial services, IoT and other enterprise applications. And we basically make it easy to handle explosive amounts of data, and to reduce infrastructure costs massively.

On the open source front, Quest has built a Slack community with more than 900 developers, and over 70 code contributors have helped out on the project. In addition, the founders started a group made up of Y Combinator alums who have built businesses on open source and have 100 members in that group. The group meets regularly to discuss issues related to their chosen business model and hear from successful open source company founders.

On the commercial side, they wouldn’t share the number of customers, but indicated that the enterprise product has features like more flexibility around the deployment and making it easier to operate quickly at scale.

So far the company has 15 employees, with plans to double that number in the next six months if things continue to go according to plan. Hourcard believes that as an open source and fully remote company, it should help to build a more diverse workforce. “We don’t pose limits in terms of where we’re going to hire or what sort of backgrounds, and we think that diversity ultimately would benefit the company’s culture, so we’re trying to do that the best we can,” he said.

He says that sometimes an employee can be an open source contributor first, who shows knowledge and enthusiasm for the product. “Open source is an amazing way of getting to meet developers from different areas, and it’s true that sometimes you see a contributor who [is making a big] contribution, and then there is the question, ‘okay, should we bring this person on the team,'” he said.