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  • Fermyon raises $20 million to build tools for cloud app development • australiabusinessblog.com

Fermyon raises $20 million to build tools for cloud app development • australiabusinessblog.com

Matt Butcher and Radu Matei spent years working on container technologies, “containers” in this context referring to software packages that contain all the necessary elements to run in any environment, from desktop PCs to servers. As engineers at Deis, then DeisLabs when Microsoft bought it in 2017, their team explored the container landscape, building package manager Helm, Brigade, and other tools.

During the journey, they faced numerous container problems, namely speed and cost. The setbacks spurred them and a handful of other DeisLabs veterans to get started Fermyon, which closed a $20 million Series A financing round today led by Insight Partners with participation from Amplify Partners and angel investors. Fermyon offers a managed cloud service, Fermyon Cloud, that allows developers to quickly build microservices, or pieces of apps that work independently, but together (for example, if one microservice fails, the others are not disabled).

“Fermyon is building the next wave of cloud services on top of WebAssembly,” Butcher said, referring to the open standard that allows web browsers to run binary code. “Originally written for the browser, WebAssembly has all the hallmarks of an excellent cloud computing platform… [Its] combination of features got us excited. Fermyon wanted to build a suite of tools that would allow developers to build, deploy and use WebAssembly binaries in a cloud context.”

Butcher argues that WebAssembly is superior to containers in a number of ways, such as boot time and compatibility between operating systems including Windows, Linux and Mac plus hardware platforms such as Intel and Arm. It’s also more secure, he says, because it can safely run even untrusted code.

To explore the container-replacing potential of WebAssembly, Fermyon developed Spin, an open source dev tool for creating WebAssembly cloud apps. Fermyon Cloud is the evolution of this work, providing a platform where customers can host those apps.

“Fermyon Cloud enables developers to… deploy applications written in different languages ​​(such as Rust, .NET, Go, JavaScript) and experience brilliantly fast performance,” said Butcher. “[A]anyone with a GitHub account can create cloud-native WebAssembly applications… The developer self-service paradigm reduces the friction of building applications by making it not only possible but easy for developers to write and test their code in a production environment – and then deploy the finished version to that same hosted environment.

Fermyon Cloud allows developers to create up to five web apps or microservices and run them in a hosted environment for free. In addition to hosting applications, the service provides release management, log access, and app configuration from a web console.

With employees now in Europe, Asia, Australia and North America, Fermyon remains focused on building out both its open source and commercial projects, Butcher said. Fermyon Cloud will grow into a “turnkey” commercial offering in the coming months, he added, as Fermyon aims to double its 20-strong workforce by mid-2023 – focusing on product, marketing, developer relationships and community roles.

“We are well positioned to weather macroeconomic storms thanks to the financing we are announcing today,” Butcher said, refusing to disclose earnings figures. “[We] have the money to keep us going for several years.”

To date, Colorado-based Fermyon has raised $26 million.

Shreya has been with australiabusinessblog.com for 3 years, writing copy for client websites, blog posts, EDMs and other mediums to engage readers and encourage action. By collaborating with clients, our SEO manager and the wider australiabusinessblog.com, Shreya seeks to understand an audience before creating memorable, persuasive copy.

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