Metacloud snags $10M to build its private OpenStack cloud

Metacloud, a Southern California startup, just netted $10 million in Series A funding to speed up its build out private clouds for corporate use. The round was led by Canaan Partners with contributions from existing backers Storm Ventures and  Jerry Yang’s AME Cloud Ventures.

Metacloud co-founders Sean Lynch and Steve Curry.
Metacloud co-founders Sean Lynch and Steve Curry.

Based in Pasadena, Calif., Metacloud says its OpenStack-based Carbon|OS will run on existing hardware to enable what it calls on-premise cloud-as-a-service for companies that want to provide self-service applications to their employees. Carbon|OS comes with a round-the-clock support option for that internal cloud infrastructure.

The company was founded two years ago by Sean Lynch, former VP of operations of Ticketmaster and Steve Curry, who once ran Yahoo’s (s yhoo) global storage operations and started talking up its private cloud vision at the OpenStack Summit a few months ago.

The cash infusion will help the team build out its private cloud vision faster. Lynch said via email that the company has focused on engineering from the get-go, and it’s now time to start talking it up. “We committed to building a superior product that would function reliably in the real world, and we didn’t worry much about marketing or sales. We’re always going to prioritize the technology and serving our customers well, but now we can do that while accelerating the growth of the company,” he wrote.

There are probably about a dozen different private and public OpenStack implementations on the market or coming soon — from  Rackspace(s rax), Nebula, Hewlett-Packard(s hpq), Dell, Cloudscaling, Red Hat, Piston Cloud (see disclosure), IBM, and  Ubuntu among others. There are also open-source clouds based on CloudStack and Eucalyptus with VMware (s vmw) entering the race with its new vCloud hybrid service. Looming beyond all of those is Amazon Web Services'(s amzn) burgeoning public cloud that is also making a play for enterprise workloads.

That’s a lot of cloud firepower and while there is growing demand for cloud services, it’s not totally clear that all of them will make it. Metacloud has impressive talent in scale out operations, and is targeting what could be a juicy part of the market  — companies that want cloud capabilities but don’t necessarily want to “go there” to an outside cloud. It’ll be interesting to see how all this shakes out.

Disclosure: Piston is backed by True Ventures, a venture capital firm that is an investor in the parent company of this blog, Giga Omni Media. Om Malik, founder of Giga Omni Media, is also a venture partner at True.