Open Source Startup Meteor Gets $11.2 Million, Led By Andreessen Horowitz

by Ostatic Staff - Jul. 26, 2012

Among technolog-focused venture capital providers, Andreessen Horowitz swings a big stick. Marc Andreessen and Ben Horowitz have rarefied technology pedigrees, and the powerhouse investors have now announced that they're backing Meteor Development Group, the company behind the Meteor open source project, which produces a platform for building software applications. Andreessen Horowitz announced $11.2 million in total funding, with participation from Matrix Partners and others in a series A financing round.

The announcement provides details on what Meteor does:

"Applications written with Meteor run on a user's own computer -- inside their browser or on their mobile device -- and fetch any needed data from cloud services. This is a sharp break from the model by web applications for the past 15 years, where applications run on distant web servers. Running the application on the user's computer gives a smoother, more responsive experience that is increasingly expected by consumers. Companies like Google, Facebook, and Twitter use this technique in their flagship products, but it's out of reach for most developers because it takes months of work even for a team of experts."

Meteor apps can be written entirely in JavaScript, and Meteor Development officials say they will stay focused on leveraging the open source community.

"We want to create the universal standard for writing this kind of application, and that will only happen through broad industry cooperation," said Meteor co-author Matt DeBergalis, in the announcement. "It's clear to everyone that we need something new. Will it be Meteor? What we see today is that it is open source developers who drive the technology that is ultimately adopted everywhere else in the industry. So it depends on whether the open-source community chooses to rally around Meteor." 

Meteor Development Group is a corporation controlled by Geoff Schmidt, Matt DeBergalis, and Nick Martin, the original authors of Meteor.  Geoff Schmidt has a blog post up further explaining what his company will do with its funding, and noting that the company will go the traditional route of complementing its open source platform with a commercial offering:

"$11.2 million is a lot of money. What it gives us is certainty. No matter what else happens in the world, the core team will be able to focus entirely on Meteor for several years, without taking on consulting work or trying to create some other application on top of Meteor to sell. The high valuation of the round eliminates any possiblity of a talent acquisition. And we control the company's board....Meteor will always be free and open-source. Eventually, we plan to make a commercial product too, called Galaxy. Galaxy will be a product that the operations department at a large company might buy. It'll be an enterprise-grade, multi-tenant hosting environment for Meteor apps."