The first wave of SaaS is 20 years old. Today, the SaaS model dominates. But we’re seeing the emergence of a different type of next-generation software company. A new wave of companies that is responding to the changing needs of customers by innovating their architecture. Very simply, they liberate the database from the application.
In license software, the database ran alongside the application on-prem. In SaaS, the database runs next to the application in the cloud. But what if you freed customers from this constraint, and gave the customer the choice of where to run each? Suddenly, the customer is in control of their data in a way they never can be with SaaS.
Customers can choose where to host the database, how to secure it, monitor it, ensure it complies with new data privacy regulations, limit access, and service it. They can run it in their cloud, in a VPC or on premises.
Meanwhile, the application is delivered as any other SaaS app. It’s updated just as quickly. Even better when the app is open source. Customers can audit the code, fork it to customize it, and embed it wherever.
We’ve been looking for companies building software this way. Today, I’m thrilled to announce our investment in and partnership with Mattermost.
Mattermost embodies this new wave of software companies. They deliver open source messaging to secure enterprises and DevOps teams. They work with Uber, USAA, Department of Defense, ING, Bristol Meyers, Virgin, Samsung and many others.
We’ve spent a long time getting to know Ian and the terrific team at Mattermost. In that time, we’ve been impressed by three things. First, the recognition by the most demanding teams that this new data architecture satisfies their requirements. Second, how this model has propelled the business to far larger revenue than typical at a Series A. Third, the explosive distribution of open source also applies at the application tier, not just infrastructure.
If you’re a developer looking for a high performance, secure messenger, or you work in an enterprise that values control over data, give it a whirl.