Posted on December 2014

Why we invested in Datical

In November 2013, Mercury led a $3 million Series A round in Datical. Based in Austin, Datical is creating “DevOps for Databases.”  Datical is an important investment for us as it was the first investment in our third fund (Mercury Fund III), and our first software investment in which we are backing repeat Mercury entrepreneurs – Robert Reeves, Daniel Nelson, and Pete Pickerill.

Mercury first backed Robert, Daniel and Pete in their first startup, Phurnace Software.  Phurnace automated web application deployment in physical environments, virtual images and cloud computing providers.  We led Phurnace’s Series A round of financing in 2007 from our first fund, and the company was acquired by BMC Software within 24 months of our initial investment.  Phurnace launched at a time when the DevOps movement was in the “early innings”. While application deployment software has existed since the first batch scripts were written, the pressure to build and deploy applications quicker and more efficiently has been building with the ubiquitous of SaaS and Cloud computing.

Fast forward to today, and most developers will agree that the need has never been greater for deployment tools that bring management, developers, and, most importantly, DBAs, onto the same page.  Since 2006, Nathan Voxland has been working to solve these issues with his popular Liquibase open source project. When Nathan teamed up with the Phurnace founders, Datical was born.  The company’s mission is to create a truly Agile Database Automation solution that makes DBA’s lives easier while fully integrating their activities into popular agile application deployment processes and tools. For extremely complex development environments, with large development teams working under furious schedules, a solution that can bring everyone together is absolutely essential. With our funding, Datical has built that tool on top of Liquibase to operate in the most stringent regulatory environments.  Our go-to-market customers are some of the largest healthcare and banking companies in the world, and we expect this customer base to continue to grow as word spreads about the efficiencies these enterprises are gaining with Datical’s platform.

Datical fits squarely into one of Mercury’s core software investment themes – NextGen Enterprise – the convergence of DevOps, Open Source and Big Data.  While Mercury has experience investing in DevOps; we also have experience in building on, extending and commercializing Open Source tools with our investment in Infochimps (acquired by CSC) in 2010 to commercialize Cluster Chef.  It’s no coincidence that Phurnace, Infochimps, and Datical all hail from Austin, a hotbed for launching enterprise software tools that includes Tivoli (IBM), and BuildForge (IBM).  In addition, these tools, and DevOps in general, truly had its start with the launch of Houston-based BMC Software.

We are now excited to see Datical take the next step forward with Derek Hutson taking over as CEO.  Derek was previously VP Sales at BuildForge and most recently President of Hart Intercivic. In conjunction with Derek joining Datical we have doubled down and led a fresh $1.5M round in the company as we continue to gain more enterprise customers.

You can read more about the news here.

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