Commercial Open Source Software Company Acquia Raises $8.5 Million More

Acquia, a Boston-based commercial open source software company that provides a set of tools and network services for the Drupal social publishing system, has raised $8.5 million in third-round funding. The financing comes from existing investors North Bridge Venture Partners and Sigma Partners together with Acquia CEO Tom Erickson.

The Series C round brings the company’s total of capital raised to $23.5 million and comes at a time when Acquia is experiencing massive growth in terms of customers and partners.

The additional capital will be used to expand operations in the US and Europe and the further development of SaaS and platform-as-a-service offerings for Drupal, the company says.

Acquia offerings for Drupal include website hosting, custom distributions, a search platform, training and professional services. Acquia also markets Drupal Gardens, an easy-to-use publishing and management platform for relatively basic Drupal sites, and Drupal Commons, social business software for community sites.

Acquia says it’s seeing massive adoption in the enterprise space, helping companies like Red Hat, The Economist, Intuit and Thomson Reuters build, deploy and operate their corporate websites, social communities and intranets.

The company claims to have tripled its customer base in 2010, attracted over 220 partners across the entire system and gone from 30 to 70 full-time employees.

Acquia is keen on pointing out that it gives back to the Drupal community in a big way – the creator of the social publishing system happens to be the company’s cofounder and CTO Dries Buytaert – and says 30% of its R&D team currently works directly on Drupal 7.

Acquia even publishes a site called Drupal Myths which it uses to “set the record straight on the countless benefits of Drupal, dispelling many of the fallacies that continue to be spread by less innovative proprietary vendors”.