Our Investment in MongoLab

by Ryan McIntyre

Today we are pleased to announce that we’ve led a $3M Series A financing in MongoLab, a San Francisco-based DBaaS (that’s database as a service) provider of MongoDB in the cloud.  We are joined by a great syndicate of investors that includes Baseline Ventures, GRP Partners, Freestyle Capital and Bullet Time Ventures

MongoLab fits squarely into our Glue investment theme and represents a growing category of cloud-based application infrastructure providers in our portfolio that includes Gnip, SendGrid, SimpleGeo, Standing Cloud and Urban Airship.

MongoLab’s offering capitalizes on two important trends we see impacting the vast majority of our portfolio companies:  the rapid adoption of the cloud deployment model and and the increasing use of “Big Data” and NoSQL tools.  While the benefit of adopting these technologies has been overwhelmingly positive on balance, many of our companies have struggled with adopting these technologies and have paid a “pioneer tax” as early adopters.

Companies like MongoLab who can offer critical pieces of infrastructure with utility-grade reliability and scalability to application developers can help solve the developers challenges of “operationalizing” their products while letting them develop applications more efficiently by allowing them to focus on the truly differentiated aspects of their offerings.

Of the many offerings in the “Big Data” and NoSQL universe, we like the fact that MongoLab has chosen to specialize in 10gen’s MongoDB.  MongoDB’s scalability (in size and read/wriite volume), its ability to run MapReduce jobs and its accelerating adoption among developers are all compelling aspects of the MongoDB platform.  Equally important is the fact that MongoDB stores its data as native JSON objects which makes it very accessible to a wide swath of the development community.  MongoLab CEO Will Shulman blogs about this important aspect of MongoDB here.

While we are excited about our co-investors and the growing market that MongoLab serves, we are most excited about the founding team.  Repeat entrepreneur and CEO Will Shulman was previously the co-founder and CTO of Merced Systems, a successful enterprise analytics software company.  The core team all have strong academic credentials as well, with undergrad and graduate CS degrees from Harvard, Stanford and MIT.

MongoLab is currently in beta offering MongoDB hosting, developer APIs and web-based management tools on Amazon EC2 and Rackspace Cloud.  They’ve recently announced a partnership with Rackspace and also have built a Heroku add-on that is currently in beta.

We are looking forward to helping the team at MongoLab build a great company.

Update: you can read more about the funding announcement at TechCrunch.