Built to Last: Part 2

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4 min read

MapR has been running a “built to last” business model since its founding. I discussed this in 2013, when I wrote “Built to Last: How MapR’s Business Model Supports That Goal.” We continue our “built to last” strategy and invest our resources to provide customers the best data platform in the industry. In May 2015, Jefferies Software Research Analyst John DiFucci published “The Value of Growth.” DiFucci’s thesis is that while growth is important, all growth is not equal. The intellectual property MapR brings to market drives partnership with our customers, and what DiFucci would measure as “good growth.”

MapR is executing on the software strategy that best serves our customers in the short and the long-term horizon. The combination of engineering investments in the Apache Open Source community with patented technology results in the industry’s only converged data platform including Hadoop and Spark that addresses the needs of the maturing big data market. At MapR, we’ve always over-weighted engineering investments as compared to marketing. Rather than immediately spend significant dollars to market the company in 2009, we dedicated our resources to engineering for two years prior to launching our first product in June 2011. MapR engineering innovations over the past 6-½ years fuel our customers’ abilities to implement their Hadoop and Spark-based use cases with a converged data platform that supports their broader NoSQL, publish/subscribe event streaming and Distributed File and Object Store requirements. With the MapR Data Platform, companies avoid having to implement multiple silos with managing multiple data copies. In open source, we were early to market with the Apache Spark projects, we provide the industry an acclaimed Apache Hadoop distribution, and are leading the market with the Apache Drill and Myriad projects.

The result of our emphasis on intellectual property is a fundamentally strong business model. We execute a high growth model, growing at over 100% annually with 20% quarter-to-quarter growth and are exceeding our plan by a large margin. We’ve fueled this growth while holding our cash burn fairly constant over the past 6 quarters. After raising $144M from top tier investors, we are adequately capitalized to double the company, again, over the next fiscal year. While doing all of this, we have had over 200K unique visitors to our MapR On-Demand Training and community sites.

In contrast, Hortonworks has already filed to raise a $100M secondary public offering to cover its staggering cash burn and GAAP losses. The public market so far has responded negatively with the HDP share price dropping over 36% since filing the secondary offer. The elevator conversations at the recent 18th Annual Needham Growth Conference were that growth is important, but cash flow is too. That has been the norm in the market for decades. Growth at all costs is a fad briefly occurring in the Internet, real estate and “unicorn” bubbles.

The big data market is healthy and growing. The “grow at all costs” with undifferentiated technology is once again proving to be unattractive and raises concerns by investors and customers.

So expect MapR to continue heavily weighting engineering to fuel Apache projects and further our patented converged data platform. The results of these investments is a sustainable and high-growth business model that provides comfort and confidence to our customers that MapR will be around in the long term to provide technology to meet their data needs.

This blog post was published January 20, 2016.

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