Typesafe Nets $14M to Deliver Development Tools for the Cloud and Multi-Core Computing Environment of the Future
Ten years ago, developers rode their fixie bikes uphill to work, both ways, in the snow, then used simple and familiar programming languages to ply their trade. To aging developers, today’s environment must look like Mars, highlighted by the game-changing two-headed monster of distributed cloud-computing and multi-core, parallel hardware platforms.
A self proclaimed “software stack for applications that scale,” Typesafe has been the platform provider of choice in this new environment. Its tools are used by many of the world’s most highly trafficked Web properties including Twitter, LinkedIn, Amazon, and Foursquare. Today, the Cambridge, Massachusetts-based startup announced a $14 million Series B round of funding led by Shasta Ventures, with participation from Juniper Networks’ Junos Innovation Fund, as well as existing investors Greylock Partners, and former Verisign and Oracle executive François Stieger.
“Today’s environment requires new ways of building software and different tools,” says Greylock Partners’ Donald Fischer. “Typesafe has all the underpinnings of a really important foundational company.”
Shasta Ventures managing director and new Typesafe lead investor Jason Pressman echoed that sentiment. “I see much more longevity for Scala than other recent languages,” he says. “It’s really the next generation, integrating all features of object oriented languages. It could be the next Java.”
The Typesafe Stack offers cloud and multi-core tailored performance, scalability, and reliability through a 100 percent Java compatible software suite that combines the Akka middleware framework, the Play Web framework, and the Scala programming language.
The latest architecture offers significant benefits, but requires previously unnecessary programming methods to take advantage of them. These are the tricks that the open-source Scala language was designed for.
Typesafe co-founder and chairman Martin Odersky was the creator of Scala which he launched in 2001. He then subsequently founded Typesafe in 2011 to further commercialize its use. “The previous generation application architecture came from sequential computing and it is running out of steam,” Odersky said previously.
“Ruby, Python, and other languages have done well in Web startups, but not enterprise,” adds newly-hired Typesafe CEO Mark Brewer, who previously ran operations for VMware and SpringSource. “We’re going after the same developer as companies like VMware, Cisco, IBM, and Covalent.”
Unlike other recent programming languages, Scala and Typesafe are fully Java compatible. This means that programmers don’t need to be convinced to start over, abandoning previous code, tools, and libraries.
In a new partner case study, Typesafe and LinkedIn discuss the the professional social network’s use of Scala and the Play 2.0 component of the Typesafe Stack for its core social graph and other critical components. With most of its server-side code written in Java, the company had two primary objectives: to reduce the time for developers to make changes, reload, and test new code; and to improve the scalability and efficiency of cloud resource usage.
According to Typesafe:
“For developers, a killer Play feature is its ability to dynamically recompile the application when they press “reload” in the browser. LinkedIn developers save their changes in their editor, switch to the browser, and press reload. If there are compilation errors, they show up right in the browser. If the build succeeds, the new page shows up. This simple feature saves countless hours when developers are working to get a web application just right.
“[Further, Play] supports asynchronous requests, meaning it does not require you to tie up a thread while requests are in progress…This greatly reduces memory requirements for an outstanding request…[Also,] Play has a stateless design, meaning it does not rely on server-side session state. Instead, session state is kept in a cookie and is therefore available to any server node that receives a request.”
Just over a year since its launch, Typesafe is well ahead of where many thought it would be. The company currently operates at 50 percent subscription and 50 percent consulting services, a ratio Brewer says it took SpringSource five years to achieve. “The market has spoken that its looking for this type of platform change,” he says.
With its latest financing, Typesafe plans to focus on go to market efforts, including developer marketing and evangelism, as well as sales. The company will continue to advance its product on both the open source and commercialization sides. Typesafe could be profitable with no further financing, although with the size of the opportunity ahead, its investors have shown a desire to prioritize growth over near-term financial results.
“Typesafe has exceptional engineering and management teams and is making meaningful advancements within the software development community,” says Shasta’s Pressman. “Ultimately, we want to be ubiquitous in the relevant use cases. We have a tremendous support and adoption among current developers, but we have an opportunity to continue building relationships within this community.”
As Greylock’s Fischer appropriately concluded, “The trends are aligned such that Typesafe’s technologies are in a unique spot to solve today’s problems. It’s simply a matter of execution.”