Graph Database Startup Vesoft Seeks Funds at $1 Billion Value

Vesoft Inc. is planning a new funding round that could bolster the Chinese graph database technology startup’s valuation to almost $1 billion, according to its founder and Chief Executive Officer Sherman Ye.

The new capital can help the three-year-old firm commercialize its product Nebula Graph and expand beyond China, Ye said, declining to provide more details on the latest fundraising plan. The startup intends to open its first overseas office in Silicon Valley this year, he added.

“We plan to talk to more U.S.-based investors who can help us tap global markets and clients for Nebula Graph,” Ye said in an interview last week.

The entrepreneur founded Vesoft in 2018 after previously working for Facebook Inc. and Ant Group Co. The startup has raised $20 million from investors including Matrix Partners China, Source Code Capital and Redpoint China Ventures, according to Ye.

Vesoft, which has about 70 employees, counts Tencent Holdings Ltd., Meituan, Kuaishou Technology and NetEase Inc. among its clients, according to its website.

Graph technology involves mapping the relationships between entities such as organizations, people and transactions. Such technology could facilitate rapid contextualization for decision making in 30% of organizations globally, according to research firm Gartner Inc.

Neo4j Inc., another company that specializes in graph technology, in June raised $325 million in a series F funding round that brought the company’s valuation to more than $2 billion. Other major players in the field are Tiger Global-backed TigerGraph and Dgraph.

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