NEA Blog

Aerospike: The Database for the “Time is Money” set

When a VC doubles down on an investment, one can assume two things:  first, that the company’s execution is exceeding the investor’s expectations, and second, that the opportunity is now even bigger. Aerospike, the in-memory NoSQL database company that today announced a $20M Series C round of financing, the availability of open-source licensing and a marquee customer relationship, squarely fits the bill. The company’s solid execution coupled with a rapidly growing market opportunity has generated great enthusiasm within NEA, leading to strong above pro-rata participation in this round of financing.

When we first invested in Aerospike, the value proposition was a database architecture uniquely suited to handling high velocity, unstructured data. The architecture takes advantage of flash as a first-class tier of storage to deliver in-memory speeds, with internet scale working sets. Fast forward a few years, and the demand for data to be in close physical proximity to the application has reached a fever pitch. The growing volume of unstructured data and the increasing number of low-latency applications across a broad range of sectors means that today Aerospike casts a very wide net. The mainstream market is moving inexorably into its domain and in-memory is now one of the fastest growing segments of the NoSQL database market, which is projected to grow from $1.3B in 2013 to $3.4B by 2018.

The intense demand for speed at scale comes down to a simple concept:  time is money. Initially this pain point was felt most acutely in the advertising industry. In this intensively competitive, real time bidding (RTB) ecosystem, every fraction of a second counts. If you can’t bid, win and deliver an ad in milliseconds, you lose revenue. Moreover, these applications work with real time data from across the internet and require 24x7 availability.

Today this scenario applies across industries – in financial services, retail, gaming, search, travel and many other sectors. Enterprises need to build high-performance applications that can stack up against the proprietary technologies of giants like Amazon and Google. From massive user personalization and multi-channel consumer experiences to more intelligent product recommendations to powering infinite scroll on devices, diverse enterprise applications have similar requirements when it comes to speed, scale and reliability. While some competing databases do speed well, and others may excel at scale, Aerospike stands out as best-in-class in delivering on all three requirements for these modern use cases. Aerospike, which already powers AppNexus, BlueKai, Chango, eXelate, The Trade Desk, xPlusOne and now Neustar--two out of three of the top digital marketing platforms on the Web—has the goods.

By open-sourcing its proven, powerful database, Aerospike is putting unprecedented horsepower in the hands of entrepreneurs and enterprises. They now have access to code that’s been delivering bleeding-edge performance for almost four years in highly data-intensive production environments. This also signals the company’s growing commitment to the developer community, while maintaining its operational savviness. Not only can developers scale simply and cost-effectively, Aerospike’s high performance allows them to implement more precise real-time personalization, which drives profits.

With this aggressive financing and growing momentum, we think Aerospike is positioned to lead the in-memory database pack, and we’re incredibly excited about the opportunity that lies ahead.