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Cloudant Gets First Real Money

The start-up recently got a secret amount of money from the CIA’s venture arm In-Q-Tel and Samsung

Boston-based Cloudant and its NoSQL distributed Database-as-a-Service (DBaaS), which have gone to the VC trough four times since the company was started in 2008, have gotten what appears to be their first real money to grow on: a $12 million B round led by Devonshire Investors, the private equity arm of Fidelity Investments, which was joined by Rackspace, Samsung Ventures and Toba Capital, former Quest Software CEO Vinny Smith's new venture fund.

The start-up, which says it's targeting profitability in the first half of next year, recently got a secret amount of money from the CIA's venture arm In-Q-Tel and Samsung and brought in a reported $4 million before that.

It means to expand the number of libraries, platforms and locations it will support and will be putting a new office in Hong Kong soon after opening sites in San Francisco, Seattle and England.

It's also adding talent to build out those offices and "ensure every customer interaction is a five-star experience."

Cloudant's database runs on Rackspace, Softlayer, Joyent, Azure and Amazon. For its money Rackspace, which also bought MongoDB house ObjectRocket, should probably see tighter integration.

Cloudant was quick to stamp out any fires over its health lighted by the hasty demise of Xeround's pioneer MySQL-based public cloud database managed service, which apparently took $32 million with it.

Cloudant claimed its basic problem was MySQL, which has little appetite for the cloud and mobile web apps, unlike a NoSQL database-as-a-service like Cloudant's. The in-memory database, which worked on Amazon, Rackspace, AppFog, HP Cloud and Heroku, was limited to 50GB of data and offered no SLA.

Xeround also had trouble figuring out what it wanted to be when it grew up and changed directions.

Cloudant customers include DHL, Rosetta Stone, Microsoft, Nokia, Samsung and Expedia.

The outfit was started by three MIT physicists who at the time were moving multi-petabyte data sets around from the Large Hadron Collider and got frustrated by the tools available for managing and analyzing the Big Data in their research. Their widgetry is a distributed, fault-tolerant, globally scalable data layer built on top of Apache CouchDB.

More Stories By Maureen O'Gara

Maureen O'Gara the most read technology reporter for the past 20 years, is the Cloud Computing and Virtualization News Desk editor of SYS-CON Media. She is the publisher of famous "Billygrams" and the editor-in-chief of "Client/Server News" for more than a decade. One of the most respected technology reporters in the business, Maureen can be reached by email at maureen(at)sys-con.com or paperboy(at)g2news.com, and by phone at 516 759-7025. Twitter: @MaureenOGara

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