Univa secures $8M to speed its commercial grid software
IDG News Service - Open-source grid software start-up Univa Corp. has secured $8 million in venture capital backing, the U.S. company announced today.
Univa plans to use the money to accelerate the development of a commercial version of its software as well as to double its head count, according to the company's CEO.
The financing, in the form of Series A funding, was led by U.S. venture capital firms ARCH Ventures Partners and New World Ventures, with participation from Appian Ventures and OCA Ventures.
"Over the last year, I've been focused on figuring out exactly what it would take to get the software and the company squarely focused at the enterprise and government [markets]," Steve Tuecke, Univa's CEO and co-founder, said in an interview Friday. With the $8 million in funding under its belt, the company will be able to release Univa Global Enterprise, a commercial version of the open-source Globus Toolkit software, later this year, he added. Tuecke said the Series A funding should see Univa through into 2007.
"We have about 15 staff now, we expect by year-end it will double in size," Tuecke said. The additional employees will occupy engineering and sales and marketing positions at Univa, he added. The company is already receiving revenue from customers, but so far has only publicly named one organization it's working with, defense and aerospace giant Raytheon Co. Possible partnerships with IBM Corp. and SAP AG are "still in the works," according to Tuecke.
Univa's three co-founders -- Tuecke, Ian Foster and Carl Kesselman -- created the Globus Project in 1995, later renamed the Globus Alliance, where they developed the Globus Toolkit. The grid toolkit includes software services and libraries for resource monitoring, discovery and management along with security and file management.
Versions of Globus are being used at more than 1,000 sites around the world, accessing more than 40,000 CPUs (central processing units) and 10,000 TB of storage, according to Univa estimates. Major grids such as TeraGrid in the U.S. (See "TeraGrid project awarded $150M" )and the U.K. National Grid Service in England are using open-source Globus.
In December 2004, Tuecke and the other co-founders formally launched Univa as a software and services company to offer commercial implementations of Globus.
"Ian, Carl and I as founders of Globus deliberated for years about how to start a company," Tuecke said. About three years ago, they began to keep a watchful eye on the embryo grid software market to see if anyone would "Red Hat" Globus, in other words, take the open-source software and make a commercial distribution of it available.
"Over the subsequent
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