Meteor Development Group (MDG) raises $11.2 million in funding from Andreessen Horowitz and others to fund development around the open-source Meteor Web app development platform.
Meteor Development Group (MDG), the company
behind the Meteor open-source project, which produces a platform for building
software applications, has announced $11.2 million in funding led by Andreessen Horowitz.
Also participating in the Series A
round of funding was Matrix Partners and others, while a veritable
"dream team" of enterprise technology leaders, including Rod Johnson, the creator of the Spring Framework
and founder of SpringSourcenow part of
VMwarewill advise the company.
Applications written with Meteor run
on a user's own computerinside their browser or on their mobile deviceand fetch
any needed data from cloud services, which represents a sharp break from the
model of Web applications for the past 15 years, where applications run on
distant Web servers. Running the application on the user's computer gives a
smoother, more responsive experience that is increasingly expected by
consumers. Companies like Google, Facebook and Twitter use this technique in
their flagship products, but it is typically out of reach for most developers
because it takes months of work even for a team of experts, MDG officials said.
The Meteor Project is a
collaboration between a group of developers who are experts in building this
new kind of application. Its goal is to put the new technology in the hands of
everyone. Because the Meteor platform is open source, any person or company may
use it for free, or modify it to suit their needs. And Meteor apps can be
"We want to create the
universal standard for writing this kind of application, and that will only
happen through broad industry cooperation," said Meteor co-author Matt
DeBergalis, in a statement. "It's clear to everyone that we need something
new. Will it be Meteor? What we see today is that it is open-source developers
who drive the technology that is ultimately adopted everywhere else in the
industry. So it depends on whether the open-source community chooses to rally
The new funding comes in the form of
a Series A investment in Meteor Development Group, a corporation controlled by
Geoff Schmidt, Matt DeBergalis and Nick Martin, the original authors of Meteor.
The company will use the money to support Meteor development and grow the
Meteor community, and plans to sell a complementary set of enterprise-grade
operations management tools to large organizations that are using Meteor.
the most popular programming language for Web development, and Meteor is
scalability, Meteor is a great platform for enterprise Web development,"
said Peter Levine, general partner, Andreessen Horowitz, in a statement.
"We are delighted to be partnering with Geoff, Matt and Nick as they build
out the next-generation Web development tools."
In a blog post
language on the GitHub hosting service for software development projects.
however, is that it was designed to be a client-side language, leaving all the
back-end server implementation to other languages, Levine said in his post.
The result is that cloud-based Web applications take way too long to develop
due to the sheer complexity and brittleness of the environment. Without Meteor,
everything from security, to multi-tenancy, to latency, to database access
requires special APIs and custom development, and developers need to know at
least two languages.
Yet, Levine continued, The Meteor
framework solves all of these problems. Meteor makes real-time application
development dramatically faster and more approachable. It gives developers a
server code use the same language and API, enabling the same code to be run on
both the client and server. The result is real-time, cloud-based Web apps that
are scalable, secure and distributed by design.
Thus, the healthy investment in the
startup. We see this technology as fundamentally important to the future of
the Web, Levine added. Through this investment in Meteor, as well as our
recent investment in GitHub, we at a16z are excited to
help developers build the next generation of applications.
Meanwhile, in a separate post, David
Skok, a general partner at Matrix Partners, indicated that Meteor
might be the next Ruby on Rails. He said, Every once in a while a new
application development framework comes along that dramatically accelerates the
way people create applications. Those rare platforms that excite developers
ultimately revitalize software development and spur new creativity. Though it's
still early, Meteor appears to be the next big thing in Web application
development as it is clearly delighting both expert and novice developers.
In his own post on the Meteor Website, Schmidt, CEO of MDG,
said the $11.2 million gives the company certainty because no matter what
else happens in the world, the core team will be able to focus entirely on
Meteor for several years, without taking on consulting work or trying to create
some other application on top of Meteor to sell. The high valuation of the
round eliminates any possibility of a talent acquisition. And we control the
company's board. So, everyone in the community can be certain that Meteor will
be around for the long haul.
And though Meteor will always be
free and open source, eventually MDG plans to deliver a commercial product
named Galaxy, Schmidt said. Galaxy will be a product that the operations
department at a large company might buy, he said. It'll be an
enterprise-grade, multi-tenant hosting environment for Meteor apps. In other
words, it'll let you run a private, centrally controlled meteor deploy-like
service for your company, on your own hardware. You'll be able to manage how
your apps are distributed across your data centers, perform capacity planning,
and enforce controls and policies that are appropriate to your organization.
Google and Facebook have these toolswhy shouldn't your organization?
However, the MDG agenda for the next
few years is to:
Make Meteor the best platform for writing most any kind of app. This is an
enormous job and will continue to consume almost all of our energy. Our goal is
ubiquity on the scale of SQL, Apache or Java.
Create opportunities for Meteor developersfor example, encourage companies to
adopt Meteor, creating jobs. We want to make you famous and get you paid.
Support the Meteor community. This includes everything, from publishing books
and organizing conferences, to being responsive to bug reports and pull requests,
to finally making some cool T-shirts.
Rod Johnson will join the company's
board. Skok and Levine will serve as special advisors to the company.
Previously, Skok built the enterprise sales strategy for JBoss, the open-source
Java application server, while Levine is the former CEO of Xensource, which was
acquired by Citrix Systems.
"Rod, David and Peter are our
dream team," Schmidt said in a statement. "They know more than anyone
else about building open-source technology for the enterprise."
"Today, we're in the midst of
the biggest architectural change since the rise of the Web. Traditional Web
application architectures don't cut it anymore, as users expect a better
experience," said Johnson in a statement. "I believe that Meteor can
lead this transformation in Web technology, and I'm excited to join their board.
Meteor not only enables Web developers to develop rich applications spanning multiple
client types, it makes Web development fun again."
Andreessen Horowitz led the Series A
financing, which included significant participation by Matrix Partners. Other
investors include Maynard Webb, who sits on the boards of Salesforce and Yahoo;
Paul Buchheit, author of Gmail; James Lindenbaum, co-founder of Heroku; Dustin
Moskovitz, co-founder of Facebook; Alexis Ohanian, co-founder of Reddit; Y
Combinator; Ron Conway; Yuri Milner; and Aaron Iba, co-author of EtherPad.
Darryl K. Taft covers the development tools and developer-related issues beat from his office in Baltimore. He has more than 10 years of experience in the business and is always looking for the next scoop. Taft is a member of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and was named 'one of the most active middleware reporters in the world' by The Middleware Co. He also has his own card in the 'Who's Who in Enterprise Java' deck.