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Database startup Vertica Systems, which is the brainchild of Ingres creator Michael Stonebraker, has quietly racked up $16.5 million in Series B funding as it prepares to enter the market for grid-based data software with potential uses in data management and security.

The round, which was co-led by Kleiner Perkins and New Enterprise Associates, also included existing investors Bessemer Venture Partners and Highland Capital Partners.

Vertica was founded in 2005 by former Infinity Pharmaceuticals, vice president Andy Palmer and Stonebraker, who was the main architect of the Ingres relational database management system and the object-oriented Postgres database. Stonebraker and Palmer are now Vertica's CTO and CEO, respectively.

The CEO's current project is still deep in stealth mode, though spokeswoman Janice Brown confirmed that Vertica is developing a grid-enabled relational database management system. This will run on Linux-based hardware.

The Andover-Mass.-based vendor is touting this software as a way for users to run fast SQL queries for applications such as data warehousing, business intelligence, and analysis of customer data for fraud detection, spending patterns, and the like. The software, which is called Vertica database, is in trials with a number of early adopters, according to Brown.

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