The Next Chapter for Fauna: $27M and New Leadership
When Matt and I founded Fauna, we envisioned a world in which every development team could ship an application to global scale without operational overhead, without scalability problems, without losing productivity, and without rearchitecting.
Thanks to the hard work of the Fauna team and our partners, that world is now real. 25,000 developers and growing now use Fauna to do exactly that. I feel privileged to be witnessing and contributing to what is clearly a revolution in development methodology and architecture.
We have begun calling this new architecture client-serverless. It is a return to a model where smart clients compose APIs individually and concurrently, instead of making coarse-grained requests to co-located application servers and databases. Applications now run in globally distributed web, mobile, and embedded clients, with hundreds of times the processing power that a server in a datacenter used to have. These clients expect their data services to be ubiquitously available, full-featured, and low latency.
Application Architecture Is Changing
Organizations of every size are adopting client-serverless development because it is transformatively more productive, both for new products and for augmentations of existing apps. Jamstack is one of the first application stacks that embodies this new approach.
This world is new, exciting, and messy. Complementary technologies include GraphQL, React.JS, Deno, RedwoodJS, and many others. Our partners like Netlify and Vercel are working hard to deliver the most productive development and deployment experience, and we are working to deliver the mission-critical database tier—not as a managed, provisioned infrastructure service—but as a simple API.
Similar to the way MySQL was foundational to the LAMP stack, FaunaDB is becoming foundational to the new client-serverless stack. We are proud to be the first mover in this space and our strong growth over the last 18 months reflects it. Nevertheless, we have a lot of work ahead of us to continue building FaunaDB and to help lift the ecosystem overall.
New Money and New People
That growth has led us to a new, $27M investment in Fauna from Soma Somasegar at Madrona Venture Group and Aaron Schildkrout at Addition Capital, along with our existing investors GV, CRV, and others. We are proud to welcome new angel investors as well, including Tom Preston-Werner, creator of RedwoodJS, and Roger Bamford, distinguished architect at MongoDB and Oracle.
I will admit that raising this round in the current global climate was not easy. We are grateful for the resolve and commitment of our new investors in the midst of the pandemic, and the hard work of the Fauna team, our customers, our community members, and others who assisted with the fundraising effort.
In addition to the fundraise, we have brought on additional executive leadership. Bob Muglia, former CEO of Snowflake, has joined us as executive chair. Along with Bob, Eric Berg, former CPO of Okta, has joined us as our new CEO. Bob brings a wealth of experience from taking both Snowflake and SQL Server to market, and Eric was key to Okta’s rise from 10-person startup to the publicly-traded security infrastructure company it is today.
To my surprise, being CEO of Fauna is the longest job I have ever had. I am an engineer at heart, and will be stepping into the CTO role where I can spend more time hands-on with the product and and with our partners. My co-founder, Matt, is stepping into a Chief Architect role where he can contribute more directly to the deep architectural innovations of Fauna like the transaction pipeline and the multi-tenant process scheduler.
I am excited to welcome Eric and Bob to the team. Fauna’s future is in good hands and our partnership has been very fruitful already.
Investing in You, the Developer
We will be focusing on three things as we continue to scale the company: improving the developer experience and making FaunaDB easier to learn, integrating more closely with our partners in the space to make building dynamic applications easier overall, and maturing FaunaDB and our business so that those applications, products, and companies making a bet on us and the client-serverless architecture can themselves mature and scale.
If you believe in a world of limitless global scale where building applications doesn’t require operating servers, overcoming the baggage of legacy technology, or paying monthly fees—a world where the developer is empowered directly to realize their product vision in code—please reach out to us. Because, of course, we are hiring.
Thanks for everything,
Evan and Matt