Cloudant Raises $12M from Rackspace and Others, Opens SF Office

There’s some more fuel for the online database arms race today: Boston-based Cloudant has secured a new $12 million investment round.

The money will bankroll Cloudant’s general growth, which includes a new office in San Francisco, complementing Cloudant’s previous footprint in Boston, Seattle, and Bristol, England.

New investors in the new Series B round are Devonshire Investors, Rackspace Hosting, and Toba Capital. Previous investors Avalon Ventures, In-Q-Tel, and Samsung’s venture arm also re-upped for the new round.

Cloudant’s three founders were MIT particle physicists, and have been working on “big data” since way before it was cool—think Brookhaven National Laboratory and the Large Hadron Collider. The company was part of the summer 2008 group at Y Combinator, when the startup accelerator still had an outpost in Boston.

Cloudant’s service helps Web and mobile developers handle big, complex, ever-changing sets of data without having to constantly manage the software behind it all. That frees up developers to work on their actual applications, rather than tinkering with the guts that keep them running.

Like most things cloud-related, the competition in this field is spread out from big to small. Amazon Web Services has its own database products, and big computing companies are getting into the game, alongside a crop of startups hoping to rise to prominence.

With this latest bet of confidence from investors, it looks like Cloudant will be one of the upstarts continuing to the next round.

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