Meet Tobie Morgan Hitchcock, CEO & Co-Founder Of SurrealDB

Tell us about SurrealDB


SurrealDB is a startup which is shaking up the database industry. Its goal is to improve the application development process by offering a multi-model cloud-native database platform which enables developers to effortlessly build modern real-time apps faster and cheaper – by reducing the need to worry about backend infrastructure and build complicated APIs and database layers, and without being forced into using a single data model or cloud platform. In addition, advanced security and access permissions are handled right within the database itself, which also includes indexing for artificial intelligence workflows, and machine learning inference and model processing.

The company closed a seed round in November 2022 that came in at $6 million, led by New York-based FirstMark Capital.





How did you come up with the idea for the company?


In 2015, after several years of building various and very different cloud-based software-as-a-service systems, my brother Jaime and I wondered if there was a faster way to build and scale applications. We began to conceptualise and plan the Surreal database requirements, drawing inspiration from the many types of databases employed in our previous projects. We felt sure that we were not the only developers who sought a seamless platform from which we could create exceptional apps while being able to query data in different ways (tabular, document and graph), establish secure permissions and connectivity, and sync data online and offline. The reception which SurrealDB has received since its release proves that we were right!



How has the company evolved over the last couple of years?


From its start in 2022, SurrealDB has seen a formidable trajectory on Github – showing the fastest adoption in the history of databases. We have had a record level of interest, growth and open-source traction, and are committed to making SurrealDB freely available for all development, pre-production and production use. Our initial hiring of staff was able to benefit from the developer community who had contributed to and involved themselves with the database from its conception.

Since the release of our 1.0.0 version in September this year, we are seeing an increasing number of large companies and institutions (including Global 2000 and government organisations) using SurrealDB in both pre-production and production environments.


What can we hope to see from SurrealDB in the future?


We are focusing on several aspects, not just surpassing the performance of other leading database stores! A key consideration for us is to improve the experience of developers – by enabling quicker development times, but perhaps more importantly to simplify functionality and enhance access semantics. Another important aim is to ensure that SurrealDB integrates with the wider data ecosystem – other data platforms, ORMs, API interfaces, authentication services, real time streaming platforms, data visualisation tools … the list is endless. Finally, we shall be introducing SurrealKV, our own native embedded key-value storage engine, which will enable transactional and analytical data to come together in a single data store or cloud.