Wish upon a shooting star

Development framework Meteor gets $11m funding

Elliot Bentley

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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