Sqrrl Snags $5.2M To Commercialize The NSA’s Accumulo Database

Barb Darrow and Derrick Harris | GigaOM | October 21, 2013

Summary: New funding from Atlas Venture and Matrix Ventures will help the NoSQL database vendor push its product globally.

Sqrrl,  the big data startup founded by former NSA and cybersecurity techies, now has $5.2 million in Series A financing from Atlas Venture and Matrix Partners to build out its strategy. This money comes atop $2 million in seed funding it close in August 2012.

The Cambridge, Mass., company builds atop the Apache Accumulo NoSQL database, which the NSA developed (and still uses extensively) and open sourced in 2011. Sqrrl has been deploying its software — which adds additional analytic and UX functionality atop the Hadoop-based database that’s designed for scale and security — in customer accounts for the last year. The new money will fuel future development, and a new version of the Sqrrl Enterprise product also became available on Monday.

In a statement, Atlas Venture partner Chris Lynch said:

“It’s clear from Sqrrl’s traction in the market that large enterprises are in need of scalable, fine-grained security as the foundation to build their Big Data applications … Sqrrl is the authority on, and has succeeded in becoming the leader in, Apache Accumulo for the enterprise. With significant deployments underway, the company is positioned well to expand its global footprint.”

Sqrrl recently received a piece of possibly good news from Hadoop market leader Cloudera, which has decided to start supporting and developing Accumulo. Sqrrl wrote a blog post calling the move a validation for Accumulo’s technology and a boon for Sqrrl, as it sits atop the core database and in theory only benefits from more users who might then want additional capabilities.