The European Investment Bank has pumped in €25m to MariaDB, the commercial company propagating the open-source database of the same name.
The funding from the European Fund for Strategic Investments is effectively a long-term loan, but made under a fund set-up to support the European Commission's Investment Plan for Europe, also called The Juncker Plan, which the Bank describes as "aiming at reviving investment in strategic projects around Europe".
In a statement, the European Commission said that the loan was intended to "support the company's next stage of growth and database innovation".
It continued: "The EIB funding will be used to further product innovation for MariaDB's expanding global enterprise client base and increase its sales and marketing teams in Europe, America, and Asia. Specifically, within Europe, the company will expand its European operations with new engineering hires in Helsinki."
Michael Howard, CEO of MariaDB Corporation, said that the funding form "part of a multi-step strategy to strengthen MariaDB across Europe, America and Asia, and will help foster the next phase of growth for the company".
Shortly after he joined the company, Howard raised $9m in funding from Intel Capital. It's not clear why MariaDB resorted to the EIB for funding, rather than the market, other than to avoid dilution for existing shareholders.
Based in Helsinki, the €25m funding brings the company's total funding to just over $65m since it was founded (as SkySQL) in 2009 by Michael ‘Monty' Widenius, shortly after he sold MySQL to Sun Microsystems for $1bn.
Open-source database MySQL was a relational database first released in 1995 intended to provide a free or low-cost alternative to Oracle and other big-name relational databases. The company supported itself from selling associated services. MariaDB is a community-developed fork of MySQL founded after database giant Oracle acquired Sun and, by extension, MySQL.
Widenius, meanwhile, left MariaDB prior to its rebranding to run the MariaDB Foundation, before returning in January last year as chief technology officer. The company today claims some 12 million or so users.
The investment from EIB in MariaDB is somewhat unusual.
The typical investments for the European Commission's Investment Plan for Europe include things like the A6 Almere motorway in Spain, a new hospital in the UK's Midlands region, funded under a public-private partnership, and an upgrade to Tallinn Airport in Estonia. Most of the investments in Finland have been for energy-efficient buildings, rather than software.
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