The Hottest New Cloud Computing Startup: Nebula
Startups in cloud computing attracting a lot of attention, both from the tech media and the investment community, are nothing new. While I have covered two such companies in earlier articles (See: Venture Capitalists Flock To Cloud Computing Startup and What Bromium’s Funding Means for Cloud Security), this site has carried several articles on such emerging companies in cloud computing ( Top 25 European Cloud Computing Rising Stars To Watch – Complete List and Archives: Startups).
What makes Nebula different from the flock is its impeccable pedigree. Consider the man behind the company – former NASA CTO Chris Kemp. Besides being a top-ranking executive at the nation’s premier scientific organization, Kemp has the experience of being behind the creation of a number of Internet businesses including Netran, Classmates.com, and Escapia. If Nebula CEO Chris Kemp is a relatively unknown name outside the tech community, Nebula’s investors certainly aren’t.
Nebula has raised money from Andy Bechtolsheim, David Cheriton and Ram Shriram – three of the earliest investors in the greatest tech success of recent times, Google. Other investors include such prominent names as venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, whose investments include Amazon.com, Sun Microsystems, Electronic Arts, Genentech, Intuit, AOL and Google, and Highland Capital Partners, which had earlier put its money on Ask Jeeves, MapQuest and Digg, among many others…
In addition to Kemp, other members of Nebula management have equally impressive resumes. These include VP of Engineering Devin Carlen, formerly CTO of Anso Labs, and VP of Business Development Steve O’Hara, formerly founder of Prime Networks, OnFiber and CoreLogic. Developers include former employees of Google, Amazon Web Services, Walt Disney and Microsoft.
So, what product is Nebula offering?
Effectively, what Nebula is offering is a “cloud in a box”, allowing the customer to build a private cloud with minimum customization, software integration and configuration complexities. Tracing its roots back to the Nebula project that was started by Kemp at NASA and then developed into OpenStack, Nebula’s product takes multiple open source technologies and integrated them into one service, which includes security and monitoring tools. The result is a product that is inexpensive to buy and easy to deploy. As John Doerr, partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers said, “Nebula will disrupt and democratize cloud computing.”
At the company’s official launch, Kemp remarked, “Until today, this computing power has only been accessible to organizations like NASA and a small number of elite Silicon Valley companies. We intend to bring it to the rest of the world.” Kemp’s record in technology in general and cloud computing in particular, the names who are backing Nebula, and Kemp’s assertion that he has turned down “tens of millions” from potential investors lead one to believe that Nebula may well be a cloud computing star in the making.
By Sourya Biswas