IBM agrees to buy VC-backed Cloudant

IBM said Monday that it has inked an agreement to acquire Cloudant. No financial terms were disclosed. Based in Boston, Cloudant is a provider of distributed database-as-a-service. Its backers include Y Combinator, Avalon Ventures, In-Q-Tel, Samsung Ventures, Toba Capital, Devonshire Investors and Rackspace.

PRESS RELEASE

ARMONK, N.Y. – 24 Feb 2014: IBM today announced a definitive agreement to acquire Boston, MA-based Cloudant, Inc., a privately held database-as-a-service (DBaaS) provider that enables developers to easily and quickly create next generation mobile and web apps.

Cloudant will extend IBM’s Big Data and Analytics, Cloud Computing and Mobile offerings by further helping clients take advantage of these key growth initiatives. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Clients across a variety of industries, including gaming, financial services, mobile device manufacturers, online learning, retail and healthcare are already using Cloudant technology.

“IBM is leading the charge in helping its clients take advantage of big data, cloud and mobile,” said Sean Poulley, vice president, Databases & Data Warehousing, IBM. “Cloudant sits squarely at the nexus of these three key transformational areas and enables clients to rapidly deliver an entirely new level of innovative, engaging and data-rich apps to the marketplace.”

Organizations are being challenged to quickly create engaging and data-rich mobile and web apps. Mobile device usage is proliferating rapidly worldwide, creating a surging demand for apps and an increased volume of structured and unstructured geographically encoded and globally distributed data. Five petabytes of data are created every day by mobile phone subscribers around the world. To meet this growing demand, data must be always available and easily accessed by massive volumes and networks of users and devices.

Cloudant, an active participant and contributor to the open source database community Apache CouchDBTM, delivers high availability, elastic scalability and innovative mobile device synchronization. Cloudant’s JSON cloud-based data service allows mobile and web developers to quickly and easily store and access the explosion of mobile data using an application programming interface (API) that is significantly easier to use than alternatives. Increasingly, developers have embraced NoSQL databases because of their flexibility, and JSON has become the predominant NoSQL database technology for mobile and web app developers.

“IBM has a rich history in the field of data management, and one that will truly differentiate Cloudant’s technology in the marketplace,” said Cloudant CTO and Co-Founder Adam Kocoloski. “Joining IBM allows Cloudant to innovate faster than ever before, and IBM’s track record in open source software gives us complete confidence in our ongoing collaboration with the Apache CouchDB project. Cloudant could not have found a better home than IBM.”

Cloudant complements IBM’s Big Data and Analytics portfolio beyond traditional data management by providing a database-as-a-service that enables clients to simplify and accelerate the development of engaging and scalable mobile and web apps. Cloudant also is integral to IBM’s MobileFirst solutions. It enables developers who use Worklight, IBM’s mobile app development software, to quickly create flexible, reliable and scalable apps that include a variety of structured and unstructured data.

Delivered as a managed cloud service, Cloudant technology ensures that app developers no longer need to be experts in database management, while database administrators (DBA) can focus on higher value tasks beyond day-to-day administration.

The acquisition of Cloudant will also strengthen IBM’s cloud solutions by providing developers with the tools and resources to build, test, deploy and scale cloud apps on a variety of hosting layers. Cloudant runs on the IBM SoftLayer platform today and extends IBM’s recent investment in the SoftLayer cloud infrastructure. As a global service sold in 140 countries, SoftLayer provides an easy cloud “on-ramp” to help clients quickly deploy mobile capabilities with the security, privacy and reliability of private clouds and the economy, flexibility and speed of a public cloud.

“Cloudant’s decision to join IBM highlights that the next wave of enterprise technology innovation has moved beyond infrastructure and is now happening at the data layer,” said Cloudant CEO Derek Schoettle. “Our relationship with IBM and SoftLayer has evolved significantly in recent years, with more connected devices generating data at an unprecedented rate. Cloudant’s NoSQL expertise, combined with IBM’s enterprise reliability and resources, adds data layer services to the IBM portfolio that others can’t match.”

Cloudant’s DBaaS extensively leverages the availability, elasticity and reach of the cloud to create a global data delivery network enabling applications to scale larger and remain available to users wherever they are located. In addition, the Cloudant managed cloud service:

Stores data of any structure as self-describing JSON documents

Leverages a multi-master replication system and advanced distributed design principles to achieve elastic database clusters that can span multiple racks, data centers, or cloud providers

Enables global data distribution and geo-load balancing to provide high availability and enhanced performance for applications that require data to be located close to users

Provides full-text search, advanced geo-spatial and temporal querying, and flexible, real-time indexing

Integrates via a RESTful application programming interface (API)

Enables easy data replication and sync for mobile applications, with open source, device-native software libraries

Offers 24×7 monitoring and management by its Big Data experts

The acquisition of Cloudant is expected to close in 1Q14. Following the close, Cloudant will join IBM’s newly formed Information and Analytics Group led by Senior Vice President Bob Picciano, a business unit within the IBM Software & Systems Group.

About Cloudant
Cloudant provides the world’s first globally distributed database-as-a-service (DBaaS) for loading, storing, analyzing, and distributing operational application data for developers of large and/or fast-growing web and mobile applications. Delivered as a managed cloud service, Cloudant technology accelerates time-to-market and time-to-innovation because it frees developers from the mechanics of data management so they can focus exclusively on creating great applications. It also offers high availability, elastic scalability, and innovative mobile device synchronization. For more information, visit https://cloudant.com/

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