Chinese tech giant Alibaba made headlines this week. The Chinese e-commerce giant made some massive investments in the Open Source database Startup MariaDB to better compete with AWS and Microsoft Azure in the hotly contested cloud computing market.

According to TechCrunch, the Chinese tech giant leads a $27 million investment for the European open source database server company MariaDB. The tech website also added that Alibaba would contribute $23.6 million of the investment round, which will put MariaDB’s market valuation to around $354 million.

As part of Alibaba’s major investment, Alibaba engineer Feng Yu will join the board of MariaDB. TechCrunch said that the latest investment could benefit Alibaba’s growing cloud business. The Chinese company is currently working to gain a formidable presence in the European market.

About the database startup

Founded in 2009 and based in Espoo, Finland, MariaDB (formerly known as SkySQL) is the company behind MariaDB, one of the fastest growing open source databases on the market today. Originally founded by the same people that brought MySQL, the startup provides MariaDB Server and complementary products MariaDB MaxScale and MariaDB ColumnStore that can be used for large, mission-critical computing environments.

According to CrunchBase, MariaDB has already raised a total of $98.41 million in investment funds from venture capitalists and investors. The company’s investors include Alibaba, California Technology Ventures, European Investment Bank (EIB), Finnish Industry Investment Ltd., Intel Capital, OnCorps Inc., OpenOcean, Runa Capital, SmartFin Capital, and Spintop Ventures.

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The startup has been so attractive to the Chinese tech giant due to its significant presence in the database market. The database firm claims to have around 12 million global users of its open source database server. The company’s core database offering is used in private, public and hybrid cloud environments. MariaDB is also the default in a high number of Linux distributions, which include Ubuntu, Red Hat and SUSE.

Alibaba made some big investments to better compete with AWS and Azure

Alibaba is no stranger when it comes to the startup world. The tech giant has made some big investments in the startup world, backing Lazada, Tokopedia and unicorn startup Paytm.

As reported earlier by Bloomberg, the company is currently scouting locations for a second data center location to better compete in the highly lucrative cloud computing market, an area dominated by the US-based cloud giants Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure. The cloud computing market is just one area Alibaba is focused on as it searches for the new source of revenue. The goal is to lessen the dependence on its core e-commerce business.