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IBM invests in EnterpriseDBMatthew Aslett, March 25, 2008 @ 9:14 am ET
While this year’s OSBC event has actually started yet, the big news on day one looks set to be EnterpriseDB’s announcement that IBM has joined existing investors in a $10m Series C funding round (EnterpriseDB also announced its new Postgres Plus strategy and the open sourcing of GridSQL).
IBM’s investment in EnterpriseDB is particularly fascinating given how rare it is for the company to make venture capital-style investments and also given the dynamic between IBM, Sun and Oracle. IBM usually chooses to support startups indirectly through its Venture Capital Group, which provides resources and assistance to VCs and their investments.
In fact, looking through Calibre One’s list of US and European VC deals for the last three years I could find only one other example of a direct IBM investment. The omen’s are not good, given what eventually became of Infinite Data Storage, however.
In the meantime, while EnterpriseDB’s Oracle-compatibility features are being downplayed in its new Postgres Plus strategy (they remain a part of the product portfolio, but are now positioned as a value-add feature, rather than the raison d’etre) they provide a clear example of how IBM could use EnterpriseDB as a weapon against its major database rival.
Of course it is also impossible to ignore Sun’s acquisition of MySQL – and it’s support of PostgreSQL – and it could be that IBM thinks it needs an open source database on its side as a direct competitor to MySQL following that deal (arguably of course, Postgres Plus Advanced Server is not direct competition for MySQL, although it’s all a matter of positioning).
IBM hasn’t, yet, explained the rationale behind the investment from its perspective, but I’ll upfate when I have more.
Comments (6) Categories: Funding,M&A,Software