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Eucalyptus raises $30M in venture capital

By   /   Wednesday, April 18th, 2012  /   Comments Off on Eucalyptus raises $30M in venture capital

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Eucalyptus Systems has raised $30 million in fresh venture capital from the same firm that funded Netflix and Twitter, bringing the Goleta-based cloud computing software company’s total capital raised to date to $55.5 million.

Eucalyptus was founded in 2009 by a team of computer scientists led by UC Santa Barbara professor Rich Wolski. It makes open-source software for building private computing clouds that can interact with public clouds such as those provided by Amazon Web Services, or AWS. So-called hybrid clouds are useful for companies who need cloud computing to crunch large amounts of data but need some of that data kept behind their own walls for security reasons.

Menlo Park-based Institutional Venture Partners led the funding round, planting Steve Harrick on the Eucalyptus board of directors. Existing investors Benchmark Capital, BV Capital and New Enterprise Associates also joined in the funding round.

Eucalyptus CEO Marten Mickos, who encountered Institutional Venture Partners back when he was CEO of database firm MySQL, told the Business Times that the funding will go toward bolstering the current Eucalyptus headcount of 80. Eucalyptus opened an office in China last year and has seen an explosion of use of its software, Mickos said.

“We have plenty of cash remaining from our previous round, but at the same time, we like to play for the long term and prepare for everything,” Mickos said. “For us to respond to that customer demand, especially in India and China and Europe, we need more people. Our customers are saying to us, ‘We are now deploying Eucalyptus around the world in our organization — are you ready to support us?’”

Eucalyptus got its start as a research project to tie together several private data centers at universities and the public AWS cloud to crunch massive amounts of weather data. By 2009, Wolski’s team decided to commercialize the product as open-source, meaning that a basic version is free, but a business-class version includes support services and consulting services from the team that designed the software.

The company’s current users include InterContinental Hotels Group and Raytheon and government customers such as NASA and the U.S. Department of Defense.

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