Dgraph raises $6M in Seed Round

Dgraph, the company behind the most popular open source Graph database, announced a $6 million seed re-financing round led by Venrock and Uncorrelated Ventures, with participation from Abstract Ventures, HackVC, SaxeCap, and Liquid2 Ventures. World-class executives also joined the round, including DJ Patil, former US Chief Data Scientist; Michael Callahan, founder of Awake Security; Ry Walker, founder of Astronomer; Ganesh Srinivasan, Chief Product Officer at Confluent; Chris Riccomini; and JP Patil, Head of Data at Included Health.

Dgraph’s founders deeply understood distributed systems and building graph systems at scale, and saw the need to build a better graph database platform that could serve as an entire application backend. By bringing the backend into a single place and the database and service layer into a single solution, developers can use Dgraph as their backend rather than just their database.

Since its initial open source release in 2016, Dgraph has become the most popular open source Graph database on GitHub and the youngest company to be named in Forrester’s Graph Data Platform landscape.

New executive team to lead product innovations and growth Database industry veteran Akon Dey, Ph.D., recently joined as CEO bringing over two decades of experience in the database, data stream, and enterprise data systems space, including Yahoo! Inc. and Visa.

Under Dey’s leadership, Dgraph will use the new funds to accelerate building go-to-market teams and initiatives to support a growing customer base, in addition to investments in product development for new use cases and applications. The team is also focused on a renewed stewardship to the Dgraph community and will introduce a new set of features to the open source project.

“Dgraph users love the horizontal scalability, high performance, flexible data model and ease of use,” said Dey. “With our cloud offering we can ensure companies at any stage are able to quickly, reliably and cost effectively bring their applications to market. In addition, the Dgraph community has been a vibrant and significant contributor to the advancement and success of Dgraph. We are committed to supporting the community and looking forward to the continued collaboration”.

Joining Dey on the executive team is Gajanan Chinchwadkar, Ph.D., as Chief Technology Officer, an industry veteran with more than 30 years of experience at AWS, Marklogic and Sybase in distributed database systems, multi-modal query engines and query optimization.

“What excites me about Dgraph is that GraphQL is a widely accepted language by application developers and DQL is also highly sought after by Dgraph users,” said Chinchwadkar. “With our expertise in building query and search engines for a variety of data models, we will be able to build an even more performant and feature-rich query engine for Dgraph to satisfy the growing needs of modern applications.”

##The era of the new cloud database According to Gartner, cloud databases now represent half of the $80B database market, growing 22% CAGR. Dgraph offers customers a general-purpose distributed cloud database that supports graph-oriented use cases and a broad set of applications. Dgraph was written in Go and is available as an Apache 2.0 licensed community edition and an enterprise offering with additional enterprise-ready capabilities.

“The rapid growth in enterprise data has led to new scale and performance needs. As a result, new database engines are emerging to meet new demands of availability, horizontal scale, and latency,” said Venrock Partner Ethan Batraski. “Dgraph’s approach offers a cloud native, distributed architecture to building applications at scale, with a significantly more flexible and simplified approach to managing schemas, tables, and APIs, becoming the new default choice for application engineers.”

“Most graph databases today are not truly distributed: they run fine on a couple of nodes but rely on a variety of architectural hacks to run on larger numbers of nodes, and thus aren’t truly scalable,” said Salil Deshpande, General Partner at Uncorrelated. “There are horizontally scalable NoSQL databases with graph overlays that are not built ground-up to be graph databases, so graph-like queries did not perform well; or there are databases that are indeed graph databases but are not architected to be horizontally scalable.”

##Customer Quotes “We started our Dgraph journey back in 2018 to build our event-driven microservices application by using Dgraph as our main account related database,” said John Zhou, Senior Engineering Manager, Lifeline (formerly Philips Lifeline). “The overall performance of Dgraph is amazing, and their support team is really hands-on and ready to support us at any time.”

“At Knights Analytics, we selected Dgraph primarily due to its focus on the fundamental technical challenges of latency, horizontal scalability, and strong consistency guarantees,” said Alex Ridden, Cofounder, Knights Analytics. “Native GraphQL support has proven to be a powerful feature, allowing us to build integrations and visualizations of graph data in short timeframes. Dgraph has been a great database option for our platform, allowing us to develop functionality which would have been significantly more challenging or impossible with other databases.”