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Engine Yard Closes $15 Million in Series B Financing

by Mirko Stocker on Jul 13, 2008 |

After receiving $3.5 million in January from Benchmark Capital, Engine Yard now closed a Series B financing round of $15 million led by New Enterprise Associates, Inc. (NEA), with participation from Amazon.com and current investor Benchmark Capital.

"Engine Yard's exceptional track record and substantial mindshare within the open-source community position the company to be at the forefront of two key emerging markets in the computing space: Ruby and Rails and cloud computing," said NEA's Mr. Sonsini. "I look forward to working with the Engine Yard team to build the business and take the company to the next growth stage."

The new funding will help Engine Yard accelerate its business, bolster R&D of their forthcoming cloud computing cluster platform, and continue to drive innovation with its Ruby open-source projects, Rubinius and Merb.

"Ruby and Rails are gaining traction in the enterprise, as companies look for alternatives to Java and .NET that would free up resources, speed up development, and get them to market faster," said Lance Walley, Engine Yard co-founder and CEO. "Engine Yard is committed to delivering the deployment infrastructure, services, and in-house expertise to take Ruby and Rails applications to the cloud. We're pleased that NEA and Amazon.com share our vision and, through their investment, have committed to helping Engine Yard execute on this vision."

InfoQ talked to Engine Yard's CTO Tom Mornini. We wanted to know, if hosting will still be Engine Yard's core business:

Hosting is very near and dear to us, as it has allowed us to understand Ruby and Rails deployment in a very intimate way. We live Rails deployment in the cloud day to day, and that has given us very deep insight into Ruby and Rails application deployment on cloud computing architectures.

Our plan since the series A round has been to extract and generalize the knowledge and code we've created to efficiently operate Engine Yard.

We have been, and will continue to release that code as open source software, and fully intend to offer commercial support and, perhaps, commercial software that is composed of, and/or, works in conjunction with those open source offerings.

Are there additional services planned? (Perhaps something like Heroku or Morph AppSpaces)

The largest item that customers purchase from us is access to our 24x7 support organization. That organization is spread around the world and is 100% focused on Ruby and Rails deployments. This service ranges from environment setup, application deployment, scalability expertise, database tuning and maintenance, etc.

Engine Yard is 100% focused on providing the best set of talent and tools to allow customers to deploy their applications, as opposed to develop those applications.

What does this mean for Vertebra?

The new funding will definitely benefit the R&D we've been putting into Vertebra. Watch for the official launch of Vertebra later this year.

Many pundits have recently suggested that cloud computing needs a new set of tools to harness the capabilities of the cloud. We believe that Vertebra is an essential tool in that respect.

And what about Rubinius and Merb?

We'll continue to invest in these projects, certainly. Both projects have an active committer base already.

However, while the first round of funding allowed us to accelerate development and build a solid company structure, this round of funding is intended to allow us to continue operating as we currently do. We're pleased that our original series A investor and new series B investors have given us a vote of confidence on our series A performance!

Any final words on the future of Engine Yard?

Just that we're tremendously excited about Ruby and Rails. It's so exciting to be where we are and watch something new and important unfold in real time. It's also extremely gratifying to have a small influence on these incredible technologies.

Open source software is on the move. The business models are clear, and tools are improving dramatically, and companies enormous, large and small alike are flocking to the advantages of software built in the open by people who love it!

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