Fermyon raises $20M to build tools for cloud app dev • TechCrunch
Matt Butcher and Rado Mate have been working on container technologies for years, “containers” in this context referring to software packages that contain all the elements necessary to run in any environment, from desktop computers to servers. As engineers at Deis, and then DeisLabs once Microsoft acquired it in 2017, their team explored the container landscape and built the Helm package manager as well as Brigade and other tools.
During the trip, they encountered countless problems with containers – speed and cost. The setbacks led them to founding with a handful of DeisLabs veterans fermion, which closed today in a $20 million Series A funding round led by Insight Partners with participation from Amplify Partners and angel investors. Fermyon offers a managed cloud service, Fermyon Cloud, which allows developers to quickly build microservices, or portions of applications that run independently, but together (for example, if one microservice fails, it won’t crash the others).
“Fermyon is building the next wave of cloud services on top of WebAssembly,” Butcher said, referring to the open standard that allows web browsers to run binary code. WebAssembly was originally written for the browser, and has all the features intended for an excellent cloud computing platform… [Its] The combination of features got us excited. Fermyon set out to build a set of tools that would enable developers to create, publish, and then run WebAssembly binaries in the context of the cloud.”
Butcher argues that WebAssembly outperforms containers in a number of respects, such as startup time and compatibility across operating systems including Windows, Linux, and Mac as well as hardware platforms such as Intel and Arm. It also asserts that it is more secure, because it can safely execute untrusted code.
To explore the possibility of replacing the WebAssembly container, Fermyon developed Spin, an open source development tool for creating WebAssembly cloud applications. Fermyon Cloud is an evolution of this business, providing a platform where customers can host those applications.
Fermyon Cloud allows developers to create and run up to five web applications or microservices in a hosted environment for free. In addition to hosting applications, the service provides version management, registry access, and application configuration from the web console.
Butcher said that with employees now in Europe, Asia, Australia and North America, Fermion’s focus continues to build its open source business ventures. He added that Fermyon Cloud will expand into an “enterprise-ready” commercial offering in the coming months, as Fermyon looks to double its staff of 20 by mid-2023 — focusing on product, marketing, developer relations and community roles.
“We are in a good position to weather the macroeconomic storms because of the funding we are announcing today,” Butcher said, while declining to reveal revenue figures. “[We] We have enough money for several years.”
To date, the Colorado-based Fermyon has raised $26 million.