IBM acquires Y-Combinator alum and In-Q-Tel-backed Cloudant

This morning, IBM announced that it had acquired Boston-based NoSQL innovator Cloudant. Cloudant is best known for its database-as-a-service (DBaaS) products that allow users to harness the power of big data without getting bogged down in the process of navigating backend web infrastructures. The company is also heavily involved in the open source database community Apache CouchDB.

Cloudant was part of the 2008 Y Combinator class and has raised over $15 million from Avalon Ventures, In-Q-Tel, Samsung Ventures, Rackspace, Toba Capital, and Devonshire Investors (which is a private investment arm of Fidelity). All those who invested in the company were involved in last year’s $12M Series B round of funding.

Of note is the investment from In-Q-Tel, which is a venture capital firm connected to the Central Intelligence Agency. In-Q-Tel has been backing Cloudant since 2012.

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Numbers from today’s deal have not been disclosed.

An IBM spokesperson said the acquisition adds to the company’s launch of BlueMix, its new platform-as-a-service, today. Cloudant’s DBaaS will be offered as part of BlueMix, which enables developers to create apps in the cloud.

IBM also said that Cloudant will be part of the newly formed Information and Analytics Group led by Bob Picciano. The company has spent more than $17 billion in over thirty acquisitions to establish itself as one of the key players for business analytics. The company said that business analytics has already become close to a $16 billion business for IBM, on course to hit the company’s goal of making it a $20 billion business by 2015.

Sean Poulley, IBM’s vice president of Databases and Data Warehousing, said in a press release that IBM is leading the charge in helping its clients take advantage of big data, cloud and mobile.

“Cloudant sits squarely at the nexus of these three key transformational areas, and enables clients to rapidly deliver an entirely new level of innovative, engaging and data-rich apps to the marketplace,” he said.

Cloudant chief technology officer and co-founder Adam Kocoloski said the company’s acquisition would allow it to continue its work for both customers and the open source community.

“Joining IBM allows Cloudant to innovate faster than ever before, and IBM’s track record in open source software gives us complete confidence in our ongoing collaboration with the Apache CouchDB project,” he said in a statement. “Cloudant could not have found a better home than IBM.”