Careers at Couchbase
Couchbase’s mission is to make it easy for developers to build enterprise applications on NoSQL.
In 2009 executives at Northscale founded Membase, a company focused on developing commercial support for the Couchbase Server, a NoSQL key-value database that uses memcached technology. That same year the company CouchOne was founded to provide commercial support for the Apache CouchDB open source project, a NoSQL document database. In 2011 Membase announced it was merging with CouchOne to form a company named Couchbase. The aim of the combined entity was to fuse the strengths of the two systems to create a high-performance, easily scalable document-oriented NoSQL database.
The following year saw two major project announcements -- Couchbase Server 1.8 in January 2012, and Couchbase Server 2.0 in December, which had many new features including indexing and querying, incremental MapReduce, cross datacenter replication, and a JSON document store. The next few years after that saw numerous infusions of funding -- $25 million in August 2013 in a round led by Adams Street Partners; $60 million in June 2014; and $30 million in March 2016 in a round led by Sorenson Capital. Couchbase has raised $146 million in seven rounds of funding with nine investors as of 2016. The company’s clients now include many of the world’s biggest brands.
Business model of Couchbase
Couchbase has a segmented business model, which recognizes customer segments with slightly different needs. Its two customer groups are as follows:
- Non-Commercial Developers: The company offers this group Couchbase Server Community Edition. It does not include the latest bug fixes and its binaries have not been subjected to the iterative test, fix, and verify Quality Assurance cycle that is a part of the Enterprise Edition release process. Users can receive assistance through manuals, forums, and mailing lists on the website.
- Commercial Developers: The company offers this group Couchbase Server Enterprise Edition, which represents its most production-ready release. It has features not available in the Community version that supports enterprise clients with heavy production deployments running in data centers and/or public clouds. A paid annual subscription to the product gives users a commercial license, technical support with service-level commitments, and technical support and hot fixes for older releases.
Couchbase offers two primary value propositions: accessibility and brand/status.
The firm’s database is designed to be highly scalable and deployable across many machines. This means that applications running on Couchbase Server can serve numerous users simultaneously. Further, its configurable cross data center replication feature helps increase data locality and availability.
Couchbase benefits from a strong reputation. It is viewed by many industry analysts as the performance and scalability leader among NoSQL vendors, making it competitive with legacy vendors such as Oracle. Its clients include many members of the Fortune 500 across a wide range of industries; these include General Electric, Citibank, Verizon, Nike, and Disney.
Couchbase’s main channel is its website, through which it markets its offerings. The company also promotes its products and acquires customers through frequent participation in trade shows and conferences.
Moreover, it hosts several “Couchbase Days” annually, a free day-long educational event consisting of presentations and hands-on workshops about Couchbase Server.
Couchbase’s customer relationship is primarily of a self-service, automated nature. Customers utilize the service through the main platform while having limited interaction with employees. That said, there is a strong personal assistance component as enterprise clients globally have access to round-the-clock support through 24x7x365 service level agreements.
Couchbase’s key activities focus on platform management. The company’s business model entails running its proprietary database and making improvements through a variety of additions, such as the integration of third-party applications.
Couchbase maintains “Couchbase Partners”, a program in which it partners with database solution specialists and connects them with customers to help them improve their business. The types of specialists it works with include software and hardware vendors, system integrators, and cloud providers.
Couchbase provides program members technical training and sales tools such as white papers, solution briefs, and data sheets. Program benefits include cross-promotion of joint offerings, participation in the company’s online events and conferences, and use of the Couchbase logo. Program partners include Google, Microsoft, Intel, Accenture, Informatica, and Wipro.
Couchbase’s main resource is its proprietary software platforms, Couchbase Server and Couchbase Mobile.
It relies heavily on its human resources, namely its engineering staff and technical support team, the latter of which has significant experience in complex database and enterprise software operations.
Lastly, Couchbase has strong financial resources in the form of its many investors, who include Accel Partners, Adams Street Partners, Ignition Partners, Mayfield Fund, North Bridge Venture Partners, Sorenson Capital, and WestSummit.
Couchbase has a value-driven structure, focusing primarily on providing strong personal service. The company’s biggest cost driver is likely its customer support operations, a fixed cost, due to the extent of the service it provides its enterprise clients. Other major expense drivers are in the areas of product development and administrative expenses, both of which are fixed.
Couchbase has two main revenue streams: product subscriptions and training fees.
The company offers three subscription levels for its products: Silver, Gold and Platinum. While it does not make pricing amounts for each option available, it indicates that pricing starts at $5,600 per node. Subscriptions are offered to customers on an annual and multi-year basis.
The company also offers a training program called “Couchbase Learning Services”. Through this offering, clients receive instruction from an expert in NoSQL application development and administration. The courses are hands-on and lab intensive, and are available in both in-person classroom and virtual formats. Pricing generally ranges from $1,000 to $3,000 per course.
info: Bob has over 25 years of high-tech experience. Prior to joining Couchbase he served as Chairman and CEO of Transitive. Before that, he acted as President and CEO of Tality Corporation and held several management positions at Cadence Design Systems.
info: Ravi holds a M.S. in Mathematics from the University of Delhi. He previously held senior technical and management positions at Oracle, BEA, Siebel, Informix, and HP. He oversees product development and delivery at Couchbase.
info: Doug previously served as the CMO of Telerik, a provider of mobile development and cross-platform tools. He has led many tech companies to higher growth, and is an expert in helping enterprise software firms establish market leadership.
info: Sujain holds an MBA from Columbia University and a B.S. degree in Engineering from Delhi Institute of Technology. His past positions include SVP and CFO of Model N and VP of Finance and GM of Software Vertical for NetSuite, Inc.
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