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San Francisco startup Heroku has been rolling out tools to help developers build, deploy and scale web applications, and it has gotten some pretty positive buzz in the process. But that’s just the beginning, says co-founder James Lindenbaum. Heroku has now raised a $3 million first round of financing led by Redpoint Ventures, and that means the company can “start to build out some of the rest of our vision,” Lindenbaum says.
Heroku’s offerings are based in the Ruby on Rails framework, and they include in-browser tools to simplify the application development process, automated deployment through Amazon web services and, most exciting, application programming interfaces (APIs) that are the first to allow developers to edit their applications in the Internet cloud using any tools they want. Since Heroku first launched in October, those offerings have attracted more than 10,000 developers who have built more than 12,000 applications, Lindenbaum says. There’s still a waiting list, too, although Lindenbaum hopes to make the company’s test products fully available to the public soon.
That’s particularly impressive for a team of three guys, and the company is already working to expand the team. With a larger staff and more financial resources (the startup was incubated by Y Combinator) , Heroku is ready to tackle other parts of the development process. Lindenbaum won’t give me too many specifics, but he says future releases will tie into the founders’ big goal of making the app development process easier and more accessible. That’s likely to include products related to collaboration, products focused on businesses and an emphasis on linking Heroku’s community of developers.
Lindenbaum adds that there’s one thing that probably won’t change — the company’s focus on Ruby on Rails. (The field has seen two other recent investments from Benchmark Capital alone. Both companies — New Relic and Engine Yard — could be seen as Heroku competitors, particularly if the startup continues to expand its service.)
“It’s the best language and framework for accessibility,” he says.
Undisclosed angel investors also participated in the round.