Acquia raises $7 million series A

Today we announced that Acquia has raised $7 million from a group of venture capital (VC) firms. That's a wonderful vote of confidence in Drupal, and a testament to the incredible opportunity that lies before all of us. And it means that Acquia is going to be able to help the Drupal community make Drupal even better.

So you're probably thinking: "Wow, that's a lot of money! What are you going to do with it all?". Well, we're going to do what we said we would do earlier this month: build a company that develops a number of Drupal distributions and that offers electronic services that make Drupal easier to use and manage. The funding allows us to quickly bring together a world-class team, rent office space, buy equipment, etc. Starting a great company is not cheap, especially if you have big dreams and plans. In fact, Jay summed up our goals nicely.

Working with Jay to get this capital secured was an incredible experience: strolling around the areas where VCs all put their offices in Boston and on Sand Hill Road in California, doing the work to show market opportunity, create business plans, working up the courage to pitch investors in partner meetings, and working with the lawyers on the mountains of paperwork. I certainly learned a lot about what investors look for, how they make decisions, etc.

One of the things I'm really proud of is the quality of the investors that Jay and I managed to attract. Just like investors are extremely selective with regard to the companies they invest in, we have been picky about the VC firms that we wanted to work with. There have been few businesses that have tried to do what we're about to do, and so I'm really happy that we found investors that really "get" open source.

Now the money is in the bank, our first challenge is to build out the rest of the Acquia team. Many of our people will be working on things other than Drupal. They'll be building and testing services we plan to provide over the Internet, providing support to our customers, and evangelizing and building awareness for Acquia products and Drupal in general.

However, a good number of Acquia people will be working 100% on Drupal, alongside the rest of the community. This is an important investment, because Acquia succeeds only if Drupal succeeds, and we're going to do our part. We'll contribute code, QA testing and other important things like user experience design, marketing, documentation, etc. We'll talk more about our plans in the near future.

All in all, I think it's a great time to be a Drupal user.

Comments

Ryan (not verified):

Well, that's pretty much incredible. A hearty congratulations - what a Christmas gift (for you and Drupal)! : )

December 19, 2007 - 14:49
Wim Mostrey (not verified):

Wow, that is a lot of money! ;)

That's really great news. It's not only a great time be a Drupal user, it's a great time to be a Drupal contributor.

December 19, 2007 - 14:54
Bart (not verified):

That's great news! Really!!

December 19, 2007 - 15:30
Tom Rogie (not verified):

Nice things Dries!! GO Drupal GO!!

December 19, 2007 - 15:47
beenthere (not verified):

Congrats, but be careful:

The funny thing about VCs is that when they give you $7 million they expect $14 million or $21 million or more in return. And they usually expect it pretty quickly. When things are not going their way, they have a tendency to force changes. And the goal of those changes is ALWAYS to find a way to make more money, more quickly, regardless of the principle's of open source, Drupal, or Dries.

I have seen it happen over and over again, both in companies that I have been personally involved with and in the public sphere. Anyone who doesn't see that VC can quickly turn into a poison pill has not been paying attention. So I'd be lying if I said I wasn't worried . . . not today, not tomorrow, but 2 years from now when Acquia isn't meeting earnings goals and the VCs start getting big ideas on how to change that, principles be damned.

Congratulations again, with fingers crossed.

December 19, 2007 - 16:20
Sudheer (not verified):

First of all my hearty congratulations, Dries. I hope Acquia will deliver what you said before.

@beenthere: Just in case the principles start dictating terms or the company gets sold out we Drupal users and contributors need not worry. We can always fork Drupal and get the code moving in the proper direction.

December 19, 2007 - 19:07
Vondeken (not verified):

A fork is killing for a project. Do not even consider going there.

December 20, 2007 - 11:16
Bockereyer (not verified):

One thing is proven here, Drupal is a great CMS otherwise the VC's wouldn't put their money on the table. But you have a point, VC's want to earn money, a lot and fast. I hope in due time they sell their shares to a company that has the future in mind and not only making a quick buck.
Hopefully Dries can prove that company's can do extremely well in providing services and added value to open source software.

December 21, 2007 - 11:14
Khalid -- 2bits (not verified):

Congratulations Dries. Wish you all the success.

But, you have your priorities reversed. Before the team, before the office space, and before equipment, you have to get two important things. One is a blonde (rats, you already have that one!). That leaves only the Porsche then!

You are too young for a midlife crisis though. I guess you stick to your plan then ...

December 19, 2007 - 16:24
Tj Holowaychuk (not verified):

Very nice to hear! I hope that investment goes well to serve both Drupal and your startup, we have a very exciting future ahead!

December 19, 2007 - 18:21
Anonymous (not verified):

Does this mean we get a _real_ backend (=theme), good asset handling, non sucky forms into Drupal ?

December 19, 2007 - 18:55
xamox (not verified):

Props, it's nice seeing a Open Source project being VC funded, although, what is the business model exactly? How do they expect to get ROI?

December 19, 2007 - 19:56
Ryan (not verified):

Music sales... Drupal Drupal Drupal Drupal Druuuu-pal. :)

December 19, 2007 - 20:00
John (not verified):

Possibly the funniest comment in the history of Drupal :D

December 19, 2007 - 22:23
BryanSD (not verified):

For those that may not get the joke, check out:
http://www.lullabot.com/audiocast/the_drupal_song
http://drupal.org/node/132582

BTW Dries...congratulations. It's pretty cool to get to watch a start-up actually start-up from the beginning! Thanks for the posts, they're pretty insightful on some of the work required to starting something like this.

December 20, 2007 - 04:01
Mario Olckers (not verified):

Congratulations! I'm a Drupal n00b but am learning more every day n your process is similar to what we're experiencing am the moment. Proud to offer your product as value added service in our company

December 19, 2007 - 21:06
Wim Leers (not verified):

Awesome, Dries! :) I'm sure you and Jay will do incredible things with Acquia, and as a result, also for Drupal.

Go Acquia! Make Drupal kick more ass! :D

December 19, 2007 - 21:09
Emil Sotirov (not verified):

Are you going to do what Automattic did with Wordpress - like... drupal.com... :)

December 19, 2007 - 21:37
John (not verified):

This is really amazing, congratulations!

December 19, 2007 - 22:25
Ben (not verified):

Congrats!

I think this might be a big step. As you guys are smart people you respect and support the community - as most of the active contributors did grow in into drupal this might be a key factor. Nice to hear that investors share your thoughts on this one.

I really hope you are documenting the ongoing in the next years - I'll watch that with pleasure!

(please excuse my engrish)

December 19, 2007 - 23:10
Marc Robinsone (not verified):

"Great power comes great responsibility."

Or, should I say: "good capital comes further possibilities."

We're looking forward to your success. Thanks for sharing the Drupal experience with us!

December 19, 2007 - 23:21
Gunnar Langemark (not verified):

Congratulations! It's so cool to see that you will now embark on a new Drupal adventure, and if past track record tells us anything, you will also be tremendously successful in pursuing this goal.

Happy New Year, Dries.

Best
Gunnar

December 20, 2007 - 14:43
Geshan (not verified):

Great news man, keep up the good work.
GEshan

December 21, 2007 - 06:17
Steven Buytaert (not verified):

Just like investors are extremely selective with regard to the companies they invest in, we have been picky about the VC firms that we wanted to work with.

Dries, VC's tend to invest money in people, not in companies. It's a token of appreciation on what *you* have accomplished already, and Jay.

Full steam ahead and make sure you equip the guys in the watch tower with goggles.

December 21, 2007 - 09:39
Sami Khan (not verified):

Happy New Year! Making Drupal produce multi-millions in profits is a difficult task, and all I can say is that I wish you best of luck! If anyone can do it without ruining the GPL dynamic of Drupal, I think it's Dries.

December 21, 2007 - 18:20
Drupal .de (not verified):

Great - Drupal best free CMS :)

Gruß aus Deutschland !

December 22, 2007 - 14:53
Anonymous (not verified):

I don't like venture capitalism at all. Incidentally, www.naomiklein.org is running Drupal.

January 2, 2008 - 00:05
Ivane Gegia (not verified):

Congratulations! It's really good when there's money to be invested in open source projects whilte it gives profit to business people(I mean theres more motivation I think for business people to put money[and this is good for project] in open source while it gives them good profit) the most important thing is to do all this stuff(as Sami Khan sad) without ruining the GPL dynamic of Drupal.

As for Georgia, where I live, after these news more and more people think about moving to drupal as their main cms for web site development.

Good Luck!

January 27, 2008 - 19:43

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