Yet another catch

Spring creator Rod Johnson joins Hazelcast board

Elliot Bentley

Australian entrepreneur adds in-memory data grid company to growing portfolio of startups.

Rod Johnson, creator of the Spring Framework, is to join Hazelcast, the company behind the in-memory data grid technology of the same name. The move is part of an investment round, which saw Johnson and Bain Capital Ventures together inject a total of $2.5 million into the startup.

Hazelcast was founded in Istanbul, Turkey in 2008 off the back of an open source project. The company has since opened offices in Palo Alto, and Bain Capital MD Salil Desphande claims that Hazelcast is “positioned to clean up in a market that Gartner says will be worth a billion dollars by 2016”.

The investment is particularly notable, however, due to the involvement of Johnson. The Australian developer and entrepreneur created the highly influential Spring Framework for Java in 2003, and cofounded SpringSource – later purchased by VMware – off the back of its success.

However, in July 2012 he announced his departure from VMware, and in effect Spring, to “pursue other interests”. He then set tongues wagging with a position on the board of Scala creators Typesafe in September (in which he continues to be “actively involved”).

Alongside Typesafe and now Hazelcast, Johnson has also invested in – and serves on boards of – the companies behind graph database Neo4j, real-time JavaScript platform Meteor and search engine Elastisearch. InfoQ report that news of a further two board positions will be announced “in the next few weeks”. [Corrected Sep 20]

It appears that, a year on from his departure, Johnson’s post-Spring plan isn’t just to help kill Java with Scala, but to spread his open-source business knowledge throughout the industry. And perhaps make some cash on the side while he’s at it.

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