GGV Leads $30M Series A1 in Neon: The Database for a Serverless World

CEO Nikita Shamgunov (right) with the full Neon team

Now that “every company is a technology company,” software development has become a high-stakes, winner-takes-all game. As a result, developers everywhere prefer flexible open source and API platforms that make it faster and easier to build and deploy top-quality applications.

On the front end, developers have moved en masse to serverless deployment and hosting platforms such as Vercel* and Netlify. However, up to this point, they’ve lacked the back-end platforms to match this innovation. Existing databases aren’t built cloud native and won’t scale to match the needs of modern, serverless web apps and websites.

That’s why GGV is so excited to be leading a $30 Series A1 investment in Neon, the world’s first truly serverless, multi-cloud, open-source database. Neon separates the storage and compute functions to create a truly affordable and compelling cloud native Postgres, the popular open-source database. 

A dream team

Neon’s technology is impressive, but we don’t just invest in products—we invest in people. And the founders of Neon are a dream team. CEO Nikita Shamgunov is well-known for building amazing database products. His 20-year career includes being co-founder, CTO, CEO, and Chief Strategy Officer at SingleStore, a database for complex analytical and transactional workloads that he grew to over a $1B valuation, as well as stints as a database engineer at Microsoft and Facebook. Nikita’s co-founders, Stas Kelvich and Heikki Linnakangas, have been key contributors to Postgres. Nikita is already building a wider developer-focused team with deep engineering, product, and go-to-market experience.

Sid Sijbrandij, CEO of GitLab Inc., on Using Open-Source for Transparency and Remote Work Founder Real Talk

Sid Sijbrandij is the CEO of GitLab Inc., the one DevOps platform that allows teams to collaborate, create, and deliver software in a single application. Before founding GitLab Inc. in 2012, he worked on recreational submarines and taught himself to code, going on to work at the Dutch Ministry of Justice and Security, where he did version control software around lawmaking. GitLab Inc. was founded on Sid’s love of programming and a desire to create an open-core company. Fully remote from day one, GitLab Inc. is one of the largest companies to operate this way, with more than 1,700 employees across 65 countries. In this episode, Sid talks about open source, his community, and company transparency, along with the GitLab Inc.’s recent IPO—and what it means for the future.
  1. Sid Sijbrandij, CEO of GitLab Inc., on Using Open-Source for Transparency and Remote Work
  2. Nikita Shamgunov, CEO of Neon, on Providing the Fabric That Runs the Internet
  3. Ryan Johnson, Founder & CEO of Culdesac, on Leveraging Technology to Build Car-Free Neighborhoods
  4. Bruce Felt, CFO of Domo, on Bridging the Gap Between Strategy and Execution
  5. Steve Harvey, CEO of BitSight, on Finding Insights Amongst Vulnerability

Developers in the driver’s seat

Why does the world need Neon right now? Because application development is changing before our eyes. Companies in every sector—from finance and healthcare to manufacturing, transportation, and retail—are hiring legions of developers, trying to build killer apps to get ahead. It used to be that mostly tech companies hired large development teams, but now nearly every company must build and integrate software into the very fabric of their businesses.

With so much competition for their services, developers are in the driver’s seat, and they want to use tools that make their lives easier and their code better. Developers want collaborative, scalable platforms that help them quickly build and deploy applications, and these solutions are often open source, serverless, and API-based. 

On the front end, several such tools are already widely used, but on the back end, databases are often stuck in the old world of proprietary frameworks hosted on servers. Developers create nimble apps and websites, but then struggle to connect them to legacy databases. Neon’s serverless platform solves this bottleneck problem, leveraging Postgres to bring the best of modern front-end software development workflows to the database world. Neon empowers developers with global reach, performance at the edge, and an optimal user experience. 

Bottoms-up adoption

The real way to tell if a developer platform is a hit is simply to see if developers are using it and with Neon, all signs point to a continued surge in adoption. Since Neon launched in June, more than 5,000 developers have already signed up for the waitlist to access it, and it has exploded in popularity on GitHub. Developers are particularly excited for Neon’s unlimited branching capability, which brings the CI/CD workflows they love into the database world, and its lightning-fast startup time that gets new databases and branches up and running in under two seconds. Neon is capturing developer mindshare from the bottom up and has a real chance to become the default serverless Postgres database—ultimately displacing Oracle and other legacy databases in the world’s biggest enterprises.

We’ve been investing in enterprise software companies for over two decades, but we still get extremely excited when we see a new platform that’s breaking the mold and has the potential to transform how companies operate their tech stacks. Neon is one of those industry-changing technologies, and we’re thrilled to welcome Nikita and the entire Neon team to the GGV family!

*Represents a company in GGV’s portfolio

A version of this article originally appeared on LinkedIn.

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