Business

Turkish engineers get $2.5M for Hazelcast, an open source in-memory data grid for Java

Above: Hazelcast's founder Fuad Malikov at the DEMO conference

In Turkey, a group of five engineers developed an elegant solution to tackle one of the biggest challenges for Java developers.

This solution, dubbed Hazelcast, is designed to prevent enterprise applications from drowning in data. Developers need a better way to manage all this data, while ensuring that the application can perform and scale.

“An app can run simultaneously on hundreds of machines, which makes life very complicated for developers,” said Salil Deshpande, a managing director at Bain Capital, the firm that invested almost $2.5 million today. Bain was joined by existing angel investors, including Golden Gate Software’s Ali Kutay.

With Hazelcast, “automatically these data structures in applications are aware of each other,” Deshpande, explained. “That’s the way to scale up data access.”

Editor’s note: A Hazelcast engineer built a 48-node data center out of Lego and Raspberry Pi computers to demonstrate the technology for JavaOne next week.

Hazelcast has developed a “drop­in library” that any Java developer can use to build in-memory applications in a matter of minutes. Applications running Hazelcast will dynamically cluster and create a single system view.

Hazelcast is an open source solution, which was designed to replace expensive products, like Oracle’s decade-old Coherence software, Gigaspaces and VMware’s GemFire.

When the company first launched in April 2012, its first bluechip customers included Mozillo and Cisco. Since then, it has grown its base of enterprise customers to include some of the largest financial firms.

Hazelcast’s founders are on a mission to commoditize the in-memory grid space altogether, and replace it with open source technology. On Github and on its website, the technology is being downloaded by developers at a rate of 70,000 instances per month.

Java experts have come on board to help Hazelcast with its sales and marketing efforts, and to help the company land major enterprise contracts. Bain Capital Ventures’ Deshpande is a former open source developer himself. He will join the board of directors, along with Rod Johnson, founder and chief executive of SpringSource (a Java application framework acquired by VMware).

Deshpande told me that many venture firms were angling to fund Hazelcast, but the entrepreneurs were impressed by his track record of funding disruptive open source companies, including ZeroTurnaround, Engine Yard, SpringSource, G2One and MuleSoft.

This week, founders relocated to Palo Alto, Calif., the heart of Silicon Valley. The majority of the developers will remain in Turkey.


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