When venture capitalists open their wallets and hand out $3.3 million for a seed round, you have to figure the new company has some industry veterans with startup experience, and such is the case with Minio, an open source cloud storage product being built by veterans from Gluster.
Gluster was purchased by Red Hat in 2011 for $136 million.
The round is being led by Nexus Venture Partners and General Catalyst with Jerry Yang’s AME Cloud Ventures, Index Ventures, Mark Leslie, Brian Stevens, Ben Golub, Lanham Napier and Andrew Feldman also participating.
The company is building an open source cloud object storage project. The early components are in GitHub, and the money will be used to continue developing the various pieces of the project including Minio Server, Minio Client and Minio Libraries.
Minio’s founder, Anand Babu (AB) Periasamy says the goal is to provide a scalable, yet simple storage solution built for developers. The idea is to offer an open source alternative to Amazon S3, which is still compatible with the Amazon offering.
Minio hopes to democratize storage by offering feature parity with Amazon’s products in an open source package.
He believes that by placing the storage component at the application development level, it can simplify the storage component for the developer community and solve a common developer pain point by taking a minimalistic approach.
Jishnu Bhattacharjee, managing director at Nexus Ventures Partners sees this simplicity as a key component and one of the reasons his company is financing this project. He says if everything has become software-defined, why should there be this elaborate group to make sure the code runs at scale. Minio wants to put this part of the development process in the hands of the developers.
The company is targeting younger developers in particular, which it believes have different needs from the previous generation. Millennial developers demand 4 characteristics in cloud storage including the freedom to run their applications anywhere, easy API-based access, scalability from millions to billions of users and ease of operations, according to the company. Minio hopes to solve all of these.
Minio is not alone in the open source storage space. Swift and Ceph are also open source projects competing to solve the cloud storage problem, but Minio is trying to differentiate itself by looking at storage as a developer issue instead of one that belongs to IT and offering that simpler approach.
As an open source project, its first goal is to build popularity with the developer community, then much like OpenStack or any open source project, it hopes that customers who don’t want to deal with open source code will come to them for help
“If it’s a critical part of the stack, customers will pay,” Periasamy said.