SingleStore raises additional cash to grow its database business

SingleStore, a provider of databases for cloud and on-premises apps and analytical systems, today announced that it raised $116 million in an extension of its Series F. The new cash brings the company’s total raised to $382 million at “unicorn status” (i.e., a valuation of $1 billion or more post-money), which CEO Raj Verma says is being put toward product development and expanding SingleStore’s headcount by the end of the year.

Goldman Sachs led SingleStore’s Series F extension with participation from Sanabil, Dell Technologies Capital, Google Ventures, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, IBM and Insight Partners. It arrives as SingleStore brings on a new chief financial officer, Brad Kinnish, who came by way of Aryaka Networks and Deutsche Bank, where he was the managing director of software investment banking.

The fundraising perhaps reflects the growing demand for platforms that enable flexible data storage and processing. One increasingly popular application is big data analytics, or the process of examining data to uncover patterns, correlations and trends (e.g., customer preferences). According to one recent survey, the number of firms investing more than $50 million a year in big data and AI initiatives rose to 33.9% in 2019. The same survey found that the vast majority of companies believe data and analytics are key to their organization’s digital transformation initiatives.

There’s been a corollary growth in interest within the enterprise in extracting insights from data in real time — a capability afforded by SingleStore. According to a Fivetran poll, 82% of companies are making decisions based on stale information. Eighty-five percent of companies responding to the poll said it’s leading to incorrect decisions and lost revenue. Real-time databases promise to resolve this.

SingleStore was founded as MemSQL in 2011 by Eric Frenkiel, Adam Prout and Nikita Shamgunov. Frenkiel was an engineer at Meta focused on partnership development specifically on the Facebook platform. Prout was a software engineer at Microsoft contributing to the company’s SQL Server product, while Shamgunov spent time both at Microsoft and Meta as a senior software development engineer and infrastructure engineer, respectively.

Verma became the CEO in 2020 after a year in a co-CEO role.

SingleStore’s technology is what’s known as a relational database, meaning it uses a structure of rows and columns to identify and access data in relation to other pieces of data in the database. That’s opposed to a nonrelational database, which has a storage model optimized for the type of data that it’s storing. Otherwise, like any database system, SingleStore accepts requests (e.g., for a user profile, image, video or document) in the form of queries for data contained within the database and processes these queries — which can come from apps, websites or elsewhere — to return the results.

The provider allows customers to run real-time transactions and analytics in a single database. Customers leveraging the platform can integrate, monitor, and query their data as a single entity, regardless of whether that data is stored across one or multiple repositories. By separating storage and compute, SingleStore claims that its database platform can process a trillion rows per second, ingest billions of rows of data an hour and host databases with tens of thousands of tables.

“SingleStore provides unparalleled scalability by decoupling compute across individual applications such as operational analytics and real-time machine learning without these workloads interfering with one another. The workloads run on shared databases which minimizes unnecessary data movement, costs, and complexity,” Verma told TechCrunch in an email interview. “[It also] allows customers to use all the cores on their machines to process a single query … by maximizing CPU utilization.”

Among other rivals, SingleStore competes with Imply, Oracle, Snowflake and MongoDB for relational database service market share. But the company has done well for itself, launching joint solutions with major enterprise partners like Dell and IBM. Verma says that SingleStore is approaching $100 million in annual recurring revenue with a customer base of roughly 300 brands, including Hulu, Uber and Comcast.

Partly driving SingleStore’s growth is the widespread, continued move to the cloud — Gartner predicts that 75% of all databases will be migrated to a cloud service by 2022. According to Verma, new customer acquisition increased 300% for the company’s cloud-based service while cloud revenue climbed 150%.

“SingleStore is well-positioned to weather all potential headwinds,” Verma said when asked about coming economic headwinds. From the financials he disclosed, that appears to be true.