Riak. Will Basho’s NoSQL database be closed?

There was a panic in Riak-lovers squad this summer. Thoughts about the topic and some more facts

As far as we know Riak – it’s distributed NoSQL database. Its main features are open code and freemium monetization model – free access for all of users, but with opportunity to buy useful functions and support.


Riak has as fans, as those, who found more comfortable data stores for their work.

Some time ago there was a danger, that Riak will be closed. The reason was that company-developer Basho declared as bankrupt. Company couldn’t save liquidity in $1.5 mln. In March 2015 BDCA had gave to Basho $10 mln, but in 2016 defaults continued and company was unable to rise to its feet. Since 2017 Basho has looked for a customer, besides, previous negotiations with potential customers had failed.
Last employees were dismissed in March 2017, and in May another company already was located in the Basho office.

More facts about Basho bankruptcy investigation.

Why is it happened?
Many of observers tend to think that everything began in 2014, when management was changed. Three key people left the company – CEO Gregory Collins, CTO Justin Sheehy and Chief Architect and original Riak author Andy Gross. The management has changed, sales has failed to meet expectations so the decision was to change the strategy. Engineers that had freedom to select part of work that they wanted to do before changes, now needed to work by classical methods with business priority.

Here you can see timeline of Basho life.

Also after changes of management, company politics became more aggressive: as in promotion of new products, as in hiring new employees. Basho tried to promote new products but this led to distractions from main product – Riak. This led to a reduction of regional managers and Basho started oriented on work with current customers, and stopped in searching new clients.

Some of eyewitnesses go deeper and say, that company problems started in 2012, when main investor Georgetown Capital Partners become rougher in control of the work. It changed philosophy of work and atmosphere in collective. On applications of some sources company stopped in their growth because of this.
Whatever the reason, we can consider, that this facts close enough. And there are no doubts, that in 2014-2015 many key employees and engineers that really good knew Riak, have left the company.

Read more opinions about reasons of Basho bankruptcy.


It was tense situation even for SoftElegance. This summer we had been working with our client and considering NoSQL solution to deal with million transactions per second. We had the main question: Riak or Cassandra? When we had conducted some tests, we understood that Riak was faster. And when we were ready to start work with it, we had read about bankruptcy and choose Cassandra.

Despite this, Riak users are interested in system support and continuing developing. And it will be. Bet365 acquires Riak. There were gossips about this, because British online gambling operator was supporting Riak as a technology before this. And Erlang Solutions published a mail about purchase.


So, we don’t know what exactly will happen with Riak in future, but what can we say for sure that it alive and it’s great for its users.

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