Visualizing the $1bn+ VC investment in Hadoop and NoSQL

Cumulative VC funding for Hadoop and NoSQL vendors broke through the $1bn barrier in 2013, according a Spotlight report published by 451 Research, based on data provided by The 451 M&A KnowledgeBase.

The data indicates that there was a substantial increase in funding in 2013 ($530.5m, not including RethinkDB’s $8m announced yesterday) compared to 2012 ($190.9m), thanks to major rounds for the likes of MongoDB, Pivotal, Hortonworks and DataStax.

The report includes a visualization created by 451’s Director of Data Strategy and Solutions, Barbara Peng, that illustrates the connections between the various investors and the NoSQL and Hadoop vendors in which they have invested.

A snapshot of the visualization is shown below but the the original is interactive, enabling 451 Research clients to drag the various elements around for greater emphasis, as well as isolate the NoSQL or Hadoop categories.


451 Research clients can also scroll over the blue circles to see the total amount of funding raised by the individual Hadoop and NoSQL vendors, and scroll over the smaller orange circles to see which investors have backed which companies.

The sample set was limited to 16 vendors for visual clarity, but the six Hadoop and 10 NoSQL providers cited account for more than 87% of funding to date (with Pivotal representing the vast majority of the remaining 13%).

This visualization illustrates that investment in Hadoop and NoSQL providers comes from a relatively small group of VC firms (52 to be specific, excluding individual seed investors), resulting in a relatively tightly clustered graph.

However, the visualization also enables us to put to the test the recent blog post by MarkLogic’s Adam Fowler in which he stated:

“Just look at the number of investors who are investing in multiple NoSQL companies. They’re hedging their bets because they’re not sure themselves which businesses will survive.”

In fact investment in multiple Hadoop and NoSQL vendors is relatively rare. Only 11 out of the 52 VC firms have invested in more than one Hadoop and/or NoSQL vendor, with seven of those picking one Hadoop vendor and one NoSQL provider. Less hedging their bets as picking a winner in each category.

Of the remaining four investment shops, two have invested in one Hadoop distributor, one NoSQL specialist and one Hadoop-as-a-service provider (MapR, DataStax and Qubole for Lightspeed Venture Partners; Cloudera, Couchbase and Altiscale for Accel Partners), while In-Q-Tel has invested in one Hadoop supplier, one NoSQL vendor and one NoSQL-as-a-service provider (Cloudera, MongoDB and Cloudant).

Only Sequoia Capital has invested in multiple NoSQL vendors (as well as Hadoop-as-a-service provider Altiscale) having invested in MongoDB, DataStax and – hold onto your hats, irony fans – MarkLogic. It should be noted however that Sequoia has not invested in DataStax since its series A round in late 2010.

The full report, Venture funding for Hadoop and NoSQL vendors tops $1bn is available now to 451 Research clients and also includes our perspective on when combined Hadoop and NoSQL revenue might begin to exceed combined Hadoop and NoSQL VC funding, as well as the potential for M&A and IPO activity in 2014.

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