MongoDB’s successful IPO: a new generation of startups emerging in New York

Maria Teresa Cometto —  October 20, 2017 — Leave a comment

Congrats to New York-based  MongoDB that went public on the Nasdaq on Thursday, finishing the day at $32.07, up 34 percent above its IPO price of $24.  The IPO netted $192 million for the company and valued it at about $1.18 billion – wrote TechCrunch -. By the end of the day’s trading, the market cap was about $1.6 billion.

The MongoDB team celebrates their IPO at the Nasdaq MarketSite in Times Square


MongoDB was backed by Sequoia Capital, Flybridge Capital and Union Square Ventures. This is what we wrote in 2013 about MongoDB in “Tech and the City”, chapter 19 “Beyond Consumer Web: What’s Next?”:

“In the first 10, 15 years of the Internet, New York became very strong or even dominant in the consumer-facing Internet companies’ world. But in enterprise software, San Francisco is still the dominant place for now. Nevertheless, you’re starting to see the 10gens of the world come up,” notes Kevin Ryan, co-founder of 10gen, often cited as an example for a new generation of startups emerging in New York.
The product 10gen is famous for, MongoDB, is an open source software for managing databases whose genesis is linked to the New York advertising world. In fact it was developed starting in 2007 by the co-founder and former chief technology officer of DoubleClick, Dwight Merriman, with one of DoubleClick’s R&D engineers, Eliot Horowitz.
Fred Wilson recalls the birth of MongoDB: “It came out of the scalability problems that DoubleClick had. They were serving 70-80% percent of the display ads on the Internet, and, as the Internet kept growing, they had to serve more and more display ads and constantly ran into problems, taking the technology of that time and getting it to operate at the scale they needed it. So they believed that someone had to create an Internet scale database from the ground up. The founders of MongoDB just happened to live here in New York, they got this experience working for DoubleClick and said, ‘This is a problem that has to get solved,’ and they went on to solve it in New York. That’s a company that you more likely would see in Silicon Valley, but the fact that they were successful in creating that company here suggests that you can build that kind of company in New York, and there probably will be more of these kind of companies here. But it’s still not the thing that New York is known for, and it won’t probably be for quite a while.”
Ryan is more confident: “The perception is still that for hardcore technologies you need to be in San Francisco, but that perception is going to change in the next few years. The talent is here, and 10gen is the first example of such a company. Six years from now, I bet there will be three other companies in New York, probably from people who worked at 10gen at some point, young engineers who broke off and started their own thing that will add to the growth in that area. San Francisco is in its seventh generation of entrepreneurs, while New York is in its second or third, so of course we’re much smaller than San Francisco in enterprise software. It really boils down to talent.”


Maria Teresa Cometto