Wish upon a shooting star

Development framework Meteor gets $11m funding

Elliot Bentley
meteor.1

Spring Framework creator Rod Johnson is behind the “revolutionary” web development platform.

Yet another another promising web service has been pumped full
of cash – this time development framework Meteor, which has
secured just over $11 million
despite only launching its first
preview seven months ago.

Meteor is a tool for development of applications that run entirely
client-side, programmed entirely in JavaScript. Originally named
Skybreak, it has seen a rapturous reception – described by one
user on Hacker News as “nothing short of revolutionary”.

The client side and server both use the same APIs, and data
synchronization occurs immediately, allowing users to work directly
on the server and have direct database access from the browser
itself.

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Whilst this pure JavaScript open source platform might not be the
most interesting thing for Java developers, what is intriguing to
note is who has been given a board seat – Spring Framework creator
Rod Johnson.

After stepping down from his role at SpringSource, many wondered
what future endeavours lay in store for the father of the Java
application framework. Whilst it might be a different language
entirely, his expertise in getting Spring off the ground when the
Java world was in a lull, could be mightily important to Meteor’s
rise.

The majority of the cash has been stumped up by Andreessen
Horowitz, the venture capital company who have invested in some of
the biggest names in the web. Last month the company made headlines
with a record-breaking
$100m investment in GitHub
, the “social network for
developers”.

So, what’s the business plan? Meteor is, after all, free and open
source, and will continue to be, the company has promised. Instead,
income will come from an enterprise version of the software
referred to as ‘Galaxy’ – although this is “a long distance in the
future”.

For now, they are promising to focus on Meteor, with the money
being invested in not only the product’s development, but
supporting the Meteor community by running conferences and
publishing their own books. “Our goal is ubiquity on the scale of
SQL, Apache, or Java,” writes CEO Geoff Schmidt. With a start like
this, we wouldn’t be surprised if they achieved their goal.

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