ElasticBox, a Mountain View, Calif.-based startup founded in 2011 and focused on simplifying application development, launched on Wednesday and announced $9 million in venture capital from Nexus Venture Partners and Intel Capital. This is the company’s Series A round; its seed investors are Andreessen Horowitz and Sierra Ventures.
ElasticBox’s technology is similar to some previous platform-as-a-service offerings, only it doesn’t concern itself at all with infrastructure. Developers can pick and choose the components their applications need (e.g., web server, database, Hadoop, OS), define the dependencies between them, and share their configurations with others. They can dictate how those applications deploy using tools like Chef (pictueed above) or Docker, and ElasticBox claims all of this can be changed with relative ease using its interface.
“You could decouple the application and take it to any infrastructure of your choice,” Co-founder and CEO Ravi Srivatsav said.
Among ElasticBox’s early customers is Netflix, which uses the service to help make its internal IT department function more like a cloud computing provider. Netflix is well known for running its streaming service on the Amazon Web Services cloud, and Srivatsav said it’s trying to mimic some of that cloud-like composability and simplicity for internal developers. ElasticBox has other large customers in the financial services and pharmaceutical industries, he said.
From a business perspective, ElasticBox is kind of unique in that it was developed initially to target enterprise customers rather than developers, like many similar services do. Srivatsav said the company began with a paid version and added a free community edition later on after realizing the importance of gaining support at all levels of the IT chain.