When DBeaver creator Serge Rider began building an open source database admin tool in 2013, he probably had no idea that 10 years later, it would boast more than 8 million users. The open source product proved so popular that he launched a company to support it in 2017, and began building a commercial product for users with enterprise requirements.
That commercial product has over 5,000 paying customers today, and the company decided that the time was right to take a $6 million seed investment to build on the product’s growing popularity.
What is this product that so many people are using? CEO Tatiana Krupenya says that it’s an administrative tool that allows anyone to access data from a variety of sources.
“DBeaver provides a GUI interface that connects to all data sources and stores, enables special extensions for big data databases, and includes supplemental features like a data viewer, an editor, mock data generator, metadata browsing and visual query builders, enabling users to dynamically access all of their databases while working within one environment,” according to the company.
Krupenya says this capability puts data administration in reach of not just the most technical data engineers, but also people in other lines of business roles, who normally might not have access to tools like this.
“So DBeaver is the universal database management tool, and we do everything that people need to do with data…Most of our users are very deep technical people like database administrators or developers, but at the same time, we have data analysts, different kinds of managers, financial analysts and machine learning specialists. So actually anyone who needs to work with data can use DBeaver,” she told TechCrunch.
For the first few years, Rider just put up a website and people discovered the open source tool, but when he put it on GitHub in 2016, it really took off and quickly grew to a community of more than 300,000 users. By the time Krupenya and Rider started the company in 2017, it was becoming difficult to manage the needs of a community that large and have a full-time job, and it was at that point they launched the company officially. When they released the commercial version, they sold their first license the following day because people in the community wanted to support them financially.
The main difference between the commercial and open source is how the product tends to get used. For an individual developer connecting to a database, the open source product is probably enough, but if you’re working for a larger organization with infrastructure in the cloud and with security requirements, the commercial version is probably better suited to your needs. Paying customers include IBM, Samsung and Moody’s (and some other big names she couldn’t share publicly).
Today, the company has 40 employees, and it intends to remain lean. Part of the advantage of having an engaged community of developers involved with the open source product is that they can help add features to the product like translating it into different languages. She says building a diverse company is one of the core values and they have a diverse team across all aspects of the organization.
Today’s $6 million seed was led by Headline with participation from PTV.