Nebula, a company that allows businesses to deploy large private cloud computing infrastructures has raised $25 million in Series B funding led by Comcast Ventures and Highland Capital Partners with Kleiner Perkins, William Hearts II, Maynard Webb, Scott McNealy, and Innovation Endeavors participating. Also joining the round are Google’s first three investors, Andy Bechtolsheim, David Cheriton and Ram Shriram.
Founded by Chris Kemp, the former CTO of NASA and OpenStack co-founder; Nebula allows businesses to create a private infrastructure and data systems. As Kemp explained to TechCrunch’s Semil Shah earlier this year, Nebula’s infrastructure is similar to Amazon Web Services and runs behind your own firewall in your own data center environment.
Basically, the Nebula private cloud system allows any business to easily build a massive private computing cloud from hundreds or thousands of inexpensive servers. At Nebula’s core is the OpenStack technology, explains Kemp, which allows you to take many computers in data center and treat it as one big system. Kemp adds, “Nebula allows you to manage a data center like the cloud.”
“We are very excited to have an opportunity to make a significant investment in this round,” said Peter Bell, General Partner at Highland Capital Partners, in a release. “We believe that Nebula and OpenStack is at the nexus of a historical shift in enterprise computing.”
A number of companies in different sectors are betting on Nebula’s technology, even though the offering is still in private beta. Kemp says companies in technology, financial services, media, biopharma, and others are using Nebula.
For example, a biotechnology company is taking data off of gene sequencers and processing this locally using Nebula. Financial exchanges generate a large amount of sensitive data, and Nebula allows for an on-premise infrastructure that acts and behaves like Amazon Web Services.
“We’re tying to provide a lower cost, easy-to-deploy alternative to on-premise legacy systems,” Kemp says.
Part of Nebula’s secret sauce, says Kemp is also the talent the company has attracted. Currently Nebula has around 50 engineers including Dave Withers, former Dell Executive and Senior Vice President of Field Operations; Jon Mittelhauser, Netscape co-founder and VP of Engineering; four OpenStack project technical leads, and the engineers responsible for a large percentage of the code in OpenStack.
Part of the funding will be used to grow the team. The investment will also be used towards the product, including building a petascale test system, and to accelerate development and testing.