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Open source database vendor MariaDB set for IPO

As cloud database-as-a-service demand grows, the open source-based relational database vendor is looking to go public, a decade after it was first forked from the MySQL database.

Open source database vendor MariaDB said on Feb. 1 it is going public on the New York Stock Exchange and plans to complete the IPO process by the second half of 2022.

MariaDB is going public by way of a merger with Angel Pond Holdings Corporation, an NYSE-listed special purpose acquisition company (SPAC). A SPAC is an increasingly common approach by which firms can go public without a traditional IPO.

The SPAC merger with MariaDB values the open source database vendor at $672 million.

MariaDB has forecast revenue of $47.4 million for the vendor's current fiscal year that ends in September 2022. When the SPAC merger is complete, the vendor will continue to be led by MariaDB's current CEO, Michael Howard.

Solid position in the database market

Going public is a positive step for MariaDB as it looks to grow, said Matt Aslett, a Ventana Research analyst.

"MariaDB is well positioned to expand its presence in enterprise data strategies," Aslett said.

The vendor's combination of open source technology, cloud managed services, consulting expertise and MySQL database compatibility puts it in a strong position in the database market, Aslett said.

MariaDB is well positioned to expand its presence in enterprise data strategies.
Matt AslettAnalyst, Ventana Research

MariaDB's database platform addresses both operational and analytic workloads, including distributed SQL as well as high availability and reliability, Aslett noted.

From MySQL to SkySQL to MariaDB

MariaDB got its start in 2009, originally as a fork of the open source MySQL database.

MariaDB's creator, Monty Widenius, is also the creator of MySQL. Over the last decade, MariaDB's community of users and technology has grown.

From a business perspective, the MariaDB corporation was formed in 2013, after a merger between database services vendor SkySQL and the key people behind the open source MariaDB database project.

The MariaDB corporation has helped to provide commercial support services and enterprise distribution of the database. MariaDB X5, released in 2020, marked a significant highlight for the company as it added distributed SQL capabilities for both on-premises and cloud users.

The cloud is an area of active interest and focus for MariaDB.

In recent years, the open source database vendor has focused on building out its cloud database-as-a-service platform known as MariaDB SkySQL, which also became generally available in 2020.

MariaDB has continued to build out its cloud DBaaS capabilities, introducing high availability and scalability features for distributed SQL in May 2021.

The open source DBaaS market in recent years has heated up, with multiple vendors including DataStax, Couchbase, Instaclustr and Aiven all offering open source database capabilities.

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