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General Information


Hertfordshire University, BS 1992
Computer Science

Former Companies

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John Merrells

John is an entrepreneur and software architect who enjoys building things.

His technical interests are information retrieval, cloud computing, and machine intelligence. In the past John has mostly worked within the domains of application specific database servers, semi-structured information systems, query processors, distributed systems, digital identity and asynchronous replication.

John considers himself a Yorkshireman, despite having being born in Scotland and going to secondary school in Singapore. He’s now been in California for 16 years, with a 2-year break in Oxford.

Whilst in Oxford John co-founded a startup incubator, Parthenon Computing. Parthenon helped accelerate a dozen companies in five years, with one spin out, and three acquisitions, including Secerno by Oracle and We7 by Tesco.

Previously John created the Berkeley DB XML product within Sleepycat Software, and promoted the open-soure project by building a vibrant community through speaking engagements, personal networking, and blogging.

John was also an architect of the Netscape Directory Server, which was subsequently adopted by Sun, AOL, RedHat, and HP as the foundation of their Identity Management Systems.

In his formative years John tested C/C++ compilers, wrote computer games, worked on a terminal emulator and helped build a voice mail system. His opportunities to learn from failure have included: Etime Capital, Sxip, and Cuil.

Once upon a time John was the Publications Officer of the ACCU, a non-profit organization dedicated to professionalism in software engineering, and for 10 years was the editor of their Overload journal.

John is a member of the ACM, the IEEE, the ACCU and holds a B.Sc. in Computer Science from Hertfordshire University.

Recent Milestones


Company Date Round Size Participants
Kidaptive 11/2013Series B$10.1M7



  1. Children’s Educational iPad App Maker Kidaptive Scores $10.1 Million Series B ( [edit]
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Last Edited 1/6/14

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