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Ex-YouTube and Dropbox Engineering Powerhouse Teams with Co-Creator of Vitess to Launch PlanetScale: The Easiest Way for Enterprises to Scale Transactional Data

With $3 million in backing from SignalFire and an all-star lineup such as YouTube founder Steve Chen, PayPal, Slide and Affirm founder Max Levchin, Quora CEO and former Facebook CTO Adam D’Angelo, MuleSoft founder and CTO Ross Mason, Dropbox’s Former CTO Aditya Agarwal, Google’s Director of Engineering Parisa Tabriz and a dozen more, enterprises can now run the world’s most scalable relational databases with Vitess, just like YouTube, Slack and Square Cash


San Francisco – WEBWIRE

Today, PlanetScale announced $3 million in seed funding from SignalFire and a dozen top tech and infrastructure vets. The company, now launching out of stealth, is a relational database platform aimed at helping companies horizontally scale data in the cloud. Brought forth by the creator of Vitess, the most proven database sharding solution, PlanetScale allows businesses to operationalize Vitess to scale, protect, access, and derive insights from their data. 

With digitally-stored data expected to double every two years for the next decade, the success of a business is contingent on its ability to parse meaning from this exploding data. This is especially true when it comes to transactional data: be it making a purchase with a debit card or booking a hotel room through an app, transactional data provides real-time insights into customer engagement, service availability, and model profitability. Transactional data enables companies to uncover hidden patterns and correlations to optimize performance. Current database solutions lack the ability to scale to meet consumer usage and enterprise demand. 

That’s where PlanetScale comes in. The company makes it possible for brands to scale, organize, access and get value from their data.

Here’s how PlanetScale works:

  • Meet database demands even in hypergrowth. Fast-growing companies typically explore, then outgrow, solutions like adding more hardware and in-app sharding, to meet their database needs. PlanetScale helps companies grow beyond that by operationalizing Vitess which powers companies like YouTube, Square Cash, Slack and GitHub. 
  • Make on-demand changes. Business needs change every day, there is no reason why your database should not keep up with the complexity. PlanetScale makes deploying Vitess clusters a breeze, by managing your database deployments inside Kubernetes, enabling seamless scaling, and providing automated operations of databases.
  • Keep your existing infrastructure. Based on industry-standard MySQL, PlanetScale does not require you to make major changes to your infrastructure. PlanetScale sits on top of standard MySQL, allowing database administrators and engineers to use the standard SQL they know and love while extending what they can do with it.
  • Cloud native container operations. PlanetScale makes it easy for companies to take their database needs to the cloud. Vitess was one of the first distributed database systems to run on Kubernetes. PlanetScale technology makes it easy for any company to spin out Vitess clusters on Kubernetes. 

“Data is the beating heart of every software application today: accounting for everything from social media posts to records of every digitally purchased item, it provides invaluable insights into your application performance. So when it comes to making sense of that data, it’s not if but how,” explained Ilya Kirnos, Founding Partner and CTO of SignalFire. “Jiten and Sugu are legends and know firsthand what companies require to be successful in this booming data landscape. With their expertise, PlanetScale is uniquely positioned to help businesses scale their databases to handle the most demanding applications”

Today, companies founded on data like Github, Square, Slack and JD.com have already scaled beyond limitations with Vitess, the open source project founded by Sugu at Youtube in 2010. Vitess is now hosted by CNCF (Cloud Native Computing Foundation) that also hosts Kubernetes and many other prominent cloud native projects.

“Slack is in the midst of a major migration of the MySQL infrastructure at the core of our service, driven by the need for an architecture that scales to meet our  growing demands while maintaining  a stable and performant service that executes billions of MySQL transactions per hour”, said Michael Demmer, Principal Engineer at Slack. “We needed a solution that would offer a familiar full featured SQL interface, and wanted to continue to use MySQL as the backing store to maintain our operations knowledge and comfort level. Vitess has proven to be a great solution for our needs and is successfully serving critical production workloads at Slack.“

As one of Elon Musk’s first engineering hires at X.com, PlanetScale’s CTO Sugu Sougoumarane is an industry veteran and database whisperer. While at PayPal, Sougoumarane managed the data infrastructure teams, launched the company’s India office and grew the team to more than 500 engineers in 12 months. After that, Sougoumarane was tapped by YouTube to create the company’s global scalability strategy and while there, he partnered with an early YouTube and PayPal engineer, Mike Solomon, to solve YouTube’s scaling problems. Together, they co-created Vitess, the open source system for scaling large MySQL databases now used by Slack, Square, and GitHub as the foundation for their database clustering systems.

When Google acquired YouTube, Sougoumarane met his longtime friend and now PlanetScale’s CEO Jitendra Vaidya who was one of the first engineers to move from Google to YouTube post-acquisition and the engineer who helped YouTube scale its Vitess capabilities. When Vaidya first transferred from Google to YouTube in early 2007, the site had roughly 100M views a day. By the time he left in 2012, YouTube was well over 2 billion views a day -- Vaidya and his infrastructure team made it possible for the company to handle this growth. Following that, Vaidya joined Endorse.com as their Lead Engineer, an Accel-backed startup before Dropbox acquired it. There Vaidya worked in various frontend and backend groups until September 2017. Despite working at separate companies, both realized early on that in order for companies to succeed, businesses had to be able to scale, leverage and gather insights from their data, mainly when it came to real-time, transactional data, and now together they intend to solve it. 

“In the last months, we’ve worked to explore and extend the applications and benefits of Vitess to suit even more business needs, and that’s how PlanetScale came to be,” explained co-founder and CEO of PlanetScale, Jitendra Vaidya. “We provide the operational infrastructure, training, and support businesses need to leverage the scalability power of Vitess with ease.” 

The team’s mastery hasn’t gone unnoticed. 

”As enterprises move away from expensive, commercial databases to Open Source alternatives like MySQL, they need the kind of high-availability, scale-out solutions pioneered by the big Internet companies,” remarked Raymie Stata, Founder, Start Smart Labs and Former-CTO of Yahoo!. “The PlanetScale team brings that capability to market with their solution based on Vitess.io.“ 

Ross Mason, founder of Mulesoft, had a similar experience: “Vitess.io is one of the most impactful OSS projects I know, taking years of investment by enterprises into MySQL and making it scale,” he explained. “PlanetScale nurtures the open source community while providing commercial solutions to fulfill a critical enterprise need.”

Led by SignalFire, the company’s $3 million seed round boasts a star-studded investor group, including YouTube Founder Steve Chen; Dropbox’s ex-CTO Aditya Agarwal; Google’s ‘Security Princess’ (now ‘Browser Boss’) and Director of Engineering Parisa Tabriz; Affirm  Co-Founder & CEO Max Levchin; MuleSoft Founder & CTO Ross Mason; Quora CEO Adam D’Angelo; GitHub Head of Platform Sam Lambert; Prasanna Srikhantha; Coda Co-Founder and CEO Shishir Mehrotra; Investor, Advisor and former SVP of Engineering at Yelp Mike Stoppelman;  Start Smart Labs Founders Ellen Salisbury and Raymie Stata; South Park Commons Founder Ruchi Sanghvi; and Box Group. Chris Aniszczyk, VP and CTO at Cloud Native Computing Foundation and the Linux Foundation also stands as an advisor to the company.  

“Google has one of the most unforgiving software production environments in the world due to its scale and security requirements,” remarked Parisa Tabriz, Director of Engineering at Google. “The engineering team at PlanetScale is bringing to market database technology that was forged in that demanding environment and has stood the test of time.

To learn more about PlanetScale and experience a demo go to planetscale.com.

About PlanetScale 

PlanetScale is a relational database platform aimed at helping companies horizontally scale in the cloud. Founded by the creators of Vitess, MySQL industry’s most proven database sharding solution, PlanetScale allows businesses to operationalize Vitess to protect, access and derive insights from their data. Founded by a pair of infrastructure veterans formerly of Google, Youtube, and Dropbox, PlanetScale empowers leading companies to organize, access, and get value from their data at scale. For more information, visit www.planetscale.com



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