Why we invested in Crate

Data volumes are exploding and legacy databases are creaking under the load. As more data is generated, new solutions are needed to scale large-scale data storage. This problem is not going away; the explosion in data will accelerate as billions of internet of things devices come online in the next few years and the demand for large-scale analytics grows.

Today, we’re thrilled to announce that we’ve led a $4m seed round in Berlin-based Crate Technology, which addresses this problem. The round is joined by Sunstone Capital, Draper Esprit and Speedinvest. Also participating in the round is Solomon Hykes, the founder of the Docker project.

Crate is an open-source SQL database that is highly available, scalable and based on a shared-nothing masterless architecture, enabling significant performance increases over competing solutions. The database allows developers to focus on building applications, without worrying about how to architect the back-end. A developer can fire up a Crate instance with a single command that’s shorter than the average tweet. The data store is backwards-compatible with SQL, a language millions of developers are familiar with. Crate automatically spins up more instances as the need arises, reducing operational overhead and running smoothly on cheap commodity hardware.

A number of household names in technology have already ripped out their legacy SQL databases and replaced them with Crate. The biggest customer that has been announced is Skyhigh Networks, a Silicon Valley based security company that uses Crate to store billions of security events. Other high profile users will be announced in due course.

The funding allows Crate to keep up with growing demand. In the past six months, its open source software has been downloaded more than 350,000 times. This is an exceptional number for such a young product. Every week, new development projects are started with Crate at their core. The funding round will help the business add to its world-class engineering teams in Berlin and Dornbirn to keep pushing new features and performance increases. They will also add field engineers to support large-scale implementations along with sales capacity to handle demand as more Crate-based projects move from the drawing board into enterprise-wide deployments.

At Dawn we believe in harnessing the power of open source in building great software businesses. The network effects that emerge as more developers begin using the product and building their own connectors and extensions make them difficult to displace once they gather momentum. The Crate team is exceptionally strong, with a track record of building great software products and successfully scaling businesses, and they have built an evangelical community of early adopters.

We look forward to joining them on their journey to build the next generation of data storage.

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