MariaDB’s Potential Sale To K1 Investment Management Signals The End Of SPAC Mania


The potential sale of MariaDB to K1 Investment Management for $37 million marks a significant turning point in the world of venture-backed startups. This deal serves as a reminder of the challenges and risks associated with SPAC mergers, which gained prominence during the last startup boom.

Key Takeaway

MariaDB’s potential sale to K1 Investment Management underscores the risks and complexities associated with SPAC mergers, serving as a cautionary tale for startups and investors alike. The company’s journey highlights the importance of realistic growth projections and financial prudence in the ever-evolving landscape of venture-backed businesses.

The Rise and Fall of SPACs

Special purpose acquisition companies, or SPACs, were heavily utilized in 2021 and 2022 to take numerous venture-backed startups public. However, the widespread use of SPACs resulted in lawsuits, bankruptcies, and substantial losses for shareholders.

MariaDB’s SPAC Journey

MariaDB, a serious business with a strong track record, raised nine figures over a decade. The company closed a $104 million Series D round alongside a merger with Angel Pond Holdings, a SPAC. Initially, MariaDB projected a substantial equity valuation after the merger, but the actual outcome fell short of expectations.

Challenges and Setbacks

Following the merger, the majority of shares held in Angel Pond were redeemed at a lower value, resulting in a significant reduction in the deal’s overall worth. MariaDB’s stock performance post-merger also failed to meet investors’ expectations, with the stock trading at a fraction of its projected value.

Financial Performance and Future Outlook

MariaDB’s financial performance post-merger did not align with its initial projections, leading to a significant delay in reaching its growth targets. The company’s revenue and annual recurring revenue (ARR) fell short of the forecast, placing it in a challenging financial position.

The Road Ahead

Despite some improvements in its financial metrics, MariaDB found itself in a precarious position, prompting the issuance of a “senior secured promissory note” to RP Ventures. The company’s breach of its rescue loan further limited its options, setting the stage for K1 Investment Management’s potential purchase of MariaDB.

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