Venture capital firm makes 'unsolicited' bid for MariaDB buyout

Venture capital firm Runa Capital has made a bid for MariaDB, the database company which endured a disappointing IPO last year and is still in discussions for additional funding.

The database-as-a-service biz, which counts Nokia, Samsung and ServiceNow among its customers, received an "unsolicited non-binding indicative proposal" last week, according to stock market documents released.

The proposal, on behalf of Runa Capital and its other investment affiliates, is to acquire 100 percent of the issued ordinary shares of MariaDB other than those shares already owned by Runa. The offer was made under Irish Takeover Rules, meaning it has not necessarily committed itself to making an offer.

"The Board of MariaDB is reviewing and taking advice regarding the Possible Offer. The Possible Offer may or may not lead to an offer being made for the entire share capital of the Company. There can be no certainty that any offer will be made. A further announcement will be made if and when appropriate," the company said in a Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filing [PDF].

The Register has approached MariaDB for further comment.

In March, MariaDB told investors it anticipated that the money raised by database subscriptions and services would not be enough to meet its projected working capital and operating needs.

"We are currently seeking additional capital to meet our projected working capital, operating, and debt repayment needs for periods after September 30, 2023 ... Going forward, we cannot be certain when or if our operations will generate sufficient cash to fully fund our ongoing operations or the growth of our business," it said.

The move followed a December 2022 IPO, which generated $104 million in funding and $18 million through private investment in public equity through the special purpose acquisition company that enabled the flotation.

Also in March, the company said it was unable to secure additional cash from investment "warrants" issued, because the shareprice had dipped below a set $11.50 threshold.

July saw the New York Stock Exchange notify MariaDB that it was not in compliance with its listing manual after the company's share price dropped below $1 over a 30-day period.

In August, MariaDB reported $13.0 million in total revenue for the third quarter of fiscal 2023, a 22 percent revenue hike on the same quarter a year earlier.

At the time, the company said it was in "advanced discussions with a large commercial bank about a loan facility that includes both a term loan and a revolving credit facility," and that "other funding alternatives are also under discussion, and we are confident that we will find sufficient funding with the right party or parties on acceptable terms." ®

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