EnterpriseDB goes private

EnterpriseDB is hoping to ride the upsurge of interest in PostgreSQL by going the private equity route.

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With interest in PostgreSQL exploding, EnterpriseDB has chosen the private equity route to expand its business. The company is being acquired by Boston-area PE firm Great Hill Partners, with existing EnterpriseDB investment firm Catalyst Investors retaining a minority stake. The deal was announced at the company's annual user conference today, an event where serial database inventor, Turing Award winner, and MIT Professor Dr. Michael Stonebraker gave a keynote rich with database history.

And as part of that history, the company announced that Stonebraker, the original architect of Postgres and cofounder of Tamr, will be coming on board as an advisor. Accompanying him, fellow Tamr cofounder Andy Palmer is joining EnterpriseDB's board of directors along with Catalyst's Todd Clapp.

Otherwise, the current top management team, led by Ed Boyajian, will be staying in place. The company was one of the first vendors to deliver commercial product atop PostgreSQL, which Stonebraker created as a relational answer to Ingres back in the 1990s. As we noted last year, PostgreSQL has been the Zelig of databases; around for over 30 years, it was probably the most common database that you never heard of.

When EnterpriseDB debuted nearly 15 years ago, it positioned itself as a nearly compatible alternative to Oracle. In the meantime, it has been joined by a bevy of players, including each of the major cloud providers, that are delivering platforms based on PostgreSQL. As its space has grown crowded, EnterpriseDB's challenge has been differentiating itself, and more specifically, just getting heard over all the noise.

But it comes into the PE deal with some momentum. In 2018, revenue grew 40% year over year, and the company has had 37 straight quarters of subscription growth.