So what exactly do they do? That is a tough one, unless you understand the intricacies of MySQL, relationship databases and forks. Not the ones you eat with, but the software development kind. Basically MariaDB is an independent copy of MySQL (fork) that was started by ex-MySQL execs over concerns that Oracle, who acquired MySQL, might take unexpected directions with the development.
MariaDB was started by Monty Program AB from Sweden but they later merged with SkySQL in April 2013, and by doing so - reunited the key members of the original MySQL AB team.
Since the merger, MariaDB's market share has been increasing so much so that it is expected to become the favoured SQL technology in Linux distributions such as OpenSUSE and Fedora. For the more technical ones of you, it is favoured by many developers and admins for its performance, security and compatibility with multiple storage engines. Some users of it are: Google, Mozilla, Wikimedia Foundation, Web of Trust and Red Hat Enterprise Linux.
According to Patrik Sellner, the CEO of SkySQL the "Adoption of the MariaDB database server has grown explosively in the last year. With the help of our loyal user base, we have built up significant market share when compared to other open source database technologies. We have raised this latest round of investment to enhance MariaDB’s position as the world’s fastest growing open source relational database and to continue to foster a vibrant community around the project."
With the investment, SkySQL plans to deliver commercial solutions that will enable enterprises of different sizes to run MariaDB databases at scale. Especially if they combine the technology behind SkySQL with MariaDB.
The $20 million investment was led by Intel Capital and included Finnish Industry Investment, Open Ocean Capital and Spintop Private Partners in the round.