Friday, 31 October 2014 02:45

Google-backed MapR enjoys strong growth ahead of public listing

John Schroeder, MapR CEO John Schroeder, MapR CEO

Enterprise software company MapR is on a rapid growth path globally and in the Asia Pacific market including Australia, just four months after Google led a $110 million capital raising in the business and as it prepares to go public in the second half of next year.

On a visit to Australia this week, founder and CEO John Schroeder says the Silicon Valley-based company – the provider of the top-ranked distribution for Apache Hadoop solution - is currently in a “hyper growth phase”, continuing and even exceeding its historic doubling of the business every year since launching in 2009.

“Yes growth has been doubling every year since we started. We have had some quarters where we tripled growth, but overall we’ve doubled on an annual basis.”

Schroeder told iTWire that he feels Australia, since his last visit here, is now at an inflexion point with growth on the rise, especially in the telecoms and financial services markets, which mirrors the experience in the US domestic market.

Schroeder says he has seen more proof of concept projects being implemented in Australia, with a serious intent to look at large deployments.

“So the global build out is doing well and we continue to staff up by adding more resources to regions, including here in Australia which is one of our newest regions. We are generally doing well in Australia and we have seen a great deal of business added here.

“Growth in Australia is the same as we have seen in US domestic markets, led by telecoms and financial services and what we call Web 2.0 companies.”

Schroeder sees Sydney data analytics firm Quantium – announced just yesterday as MapR’s newest Australian client - as a Web 2.0 company.

According to Schroeder, Quantium has selected the MapR Distributon, including Hadoop, to perform rigorous analytics on large and complex data sets to generate rapid business insights for their clients, without having to spend time restructuring the data.

And, Quantium Director Greg Schneider said the selection criteria included the ability to gain faster time to market at a reduced cost, improve analytic performance, enable real-time ad-hoc queries, and perform security management and audits, as well as having the required capabilities for real-time analytical queries with low latency query response (usually under 50ms) to support live interactive systems.

Only weeks ago, MapR established its Australia headquarters in Melbourne, with Jason Bock as Australia and New Zealand Country manager, following the earlier opening of its first office in Sydney.

There’s now a handful of staff in the two offices and Schroeder says the plan is to grow the field teams in line with the market growth and to appoint resellers as demand increases.

Schroeder and Bock are confident of significant growth in the Australian market, particularly in Sydney and Melbourne, along with continuing growth in the broader Asia Pacific region, including in MapR’s APAC base in Singapore, and particularly in the Japan market.

 “We have seen the Japan market take off like a rocket and two weeks ago we appointed a managing director there. Singapore and Korea are also strong markets for us now,” Schroeder says.

Schroeder says he’s not surprised by the company’s global growth on the back of its significant growth in the US domestic market where “we have a footprint with hadoop with every financial services companies and telecoms. We’re in serious consideration for any deployment.”

“Some are very large contracts with 2,000-plus server deployments, particularly in the financial services and telecoms sectors.”

According to Schroeder, the Drill Project – announced earlier this month - has been MapR’s biggest innovation to happen this year.

The initiative involves the integration of Apache Drill, which provides instant, self-service data exploration across multiple data sources, with Apache Spark, the in-memory processing framework that provides speed, programming ease and real-time processing advantages.

As MapR continues to ramp up business ahead of  next year’s listing, the participation of Google in last July’s capital raising has helped put MapR further on the map.

As Schroeder tells it, it was Google that approached him about investing in MapR when he was doing a presentation to a bunch of investment analysts and investors at a conference in preparations for going public.

“It was a big complement to us. I was speaking at an investment forum about prepping the company for a public offering in the future and I met with Google and asked what have you guys got in mind.”

“They said we have looked at your competitors but we don’t like their business models, they don’t have enough technology IP, but we like the space so we would like to do an investment with you.”

So began a six week process with Google and MapR and ultimately, in July this year, the closing of a $110 million fund raising with an $80 million equity financing led by Google Capital and a debt facility of $30 million led by Silicon Valley Bank.

As part of the deal, Google Capital (the Google backed equity fund) general partner Gene Frantz joined the board of MapR.

Schroeder is quick to make the point that Google’s strategic value to the business – not just its injection of capital - has been a big plus for MapR, unlike the offerings from other potential suitors who had shown interest in investing.

“We were getting a lot of interest from investors who normally only invest in public companies, but they just give money, and no real strategic value.”



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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham - retired and is a "volunteer" writer for iTWire. He is a veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).


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