• Team from MySQL gets $9 million from investors including Intel
  • MariaDB names Michael Howard as CEO, Michael Widenius as CTO

MariaDB Corporation, whose open-source database software powers Wikipedia, received $9 million in equity financing from investors including Intel Corp.

Michael “Monty” Widenius, one of the lead developers and founders of MariaDB and MySQL, which was sold to Sun Microsystems Inc. for $1 billion in 2008, joins the company as chief technology officer. Michael Howard, previously the head of analytics company C9, was named chief executive officer. Espoo, Finland-based MariaDB’s total funding now reaches $40 million, including Intel’s participation from an earlier funding round in 2013.

The investment will be “a stepping stone” to add marketing resources, improve customer service and hire new technical talent, Howard said in an e-mailed response to questions.

“A portion of the investment will go to build features and products that no other database team is building today,” Howard said. “Monty is integral to this goal. He is the soul of the engineering team.”

Analytics, hacking and cyber security will be among topics MariaDB seeks to address, Howard said. The company estimates its database has about 9 million users. It’s included with every distribution of the operating system Linux and offered with cloud services hosted by Rackspace Hosting Inc. and Microsoft Corp.’s Azure.

MariaDB was founded as an offshoot, or fork, of MySQL’s database management system amid concerns for its open-source future after Sun was bought by Oracle Inc. Wikipedia is among customers who have migrated to MariaDB from MySQL.

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