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Typesafe Launches

Scala Creator Launches Typesafe to Commercialize Modern Application Platform for Multicore and Cloud Computing 

  • Company closes $3 million Series A financing led by Greylock Partners
  • Releases Typesafe Stack to accelerate Scala development
  • Announces advisory board including James Gosling, father of Java

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (May 12, 2011) – Typesafe, the Scala company, today launched with $3 million in Series A financing led by Greylock Partners. The company also introduced the open source Typesafe Stack, which integrates the most recent releases of the Scala programming language, Akka middleware and developer tools to simplify and accelerate software development with Scala. Typesafe is offering commercial support and maintenance through the optional Typesafe Subscription.

Created by Typesafe co-founder and CEO Martin Odersky, Scala is a modern programming language designed for today’s multicore hardware architectures and cloud computing workloads. Because it runs on the Java Virtual Machine (JVM), Scala offers complete interoperability with Java. Scala has a rapidly growing community of users and contributors, and is proven in production with some of the world’s most highly trafficked web properties, including Foursquare, LinkedIn and Twitter.

“The previous generation application architecture came from sequential computing and it is running out of steam. This shows in the middleware stack, too,” said Odersky. “With Typesafe, we’re introducing a modern software architecture that is designed for parallel and distributed computing, bringing huge advantages in scalability and reliability. Moreover, Typesafe is committed to ensuring Scala is 100 percent interoperable with existing Java investments in the enterprise.”

Greylock partner Bill Kaiser, who made his bet on open source as an early investor in Red Hat, commented on his investment in Typesafe: “With Moore’s Law now driving core counts instead of clock speed, we’ve entered the era of ‘Big Cores.’ Meanwhile, faced with the challenges of multicore and cloud computing, the Java platform is at a crossroads. Scala is the only proven alternative that solves these two computing challenges for big enterprises—and Typesafe is the only company, with its people and technology IP, that can take Scala to the mainstream.”

Greylock was joined in the Series A investment by individual investors including Chamath Palihapitiya, VP of Growth, Mobile and International at Facebook; Diane Greene and Mendel Rosenblum, founders of VMware; François Stieger, a former executive at Verisign, Broadvision, and Oracle; and Jeff Huber, SVP of Commerce & Local at Google.

“Scala has been a powerful programming tool for LinkedIn and has offered greater scalability and efficiency towards our programming efforts. We're glad to see the creators of Scala launch Typesafe to further invest in the next generation of programming languages,” said Chris Conrad, Engineering Manager at LinkedIn.

To underscore its commitment to extending the Java ecosystem through Scala, Typesafe also named to its board of advisors Java creator James Gosling and Java concurrency expert Doug Lea. Willy Zwaenepoel, distributed and parallel computing expert and professor at Switzerland’s top technical university (Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne – EPFL), rounds out the Typesafe advisory board.

A New Application Platform for Multicore and Cloud

The Typesafe Stack offers a modern architecture for building scalable applications that can handle multicore and cloud computing workloads. The stack is comprised of:

  • Scala: a general purpose programming language designed to express common programming patterns in a concise, elegant, and type-safe way. Scala smoothly integrates features of object-oriented and functional languages, enabling developers to be more productive and write more scalable code while retaining full interoperability with Java.  Scala version 2.9, available for the first time today, adds support for parallel collections that automatically “extract parallelism” to enable simple and effective use of multicore hardware.
  • Akka Middleware: Akka is an event-driven middleware framework for building high performance and reliable distributed applications. Akka decouples business logic from low-level mechanisms such as threads, locks and non-blocking I/O. Akka version 1.1, available for the first time today, builds on the recent 1.0 release by offering improved packaging, performance, and scalability.
  • Developer Tools: The Scala IDE for Eclipse provides a rich development environment with syntax highlighting, code completion, and integrated debugging. Scala IDE version 2.0, in beta today, was recently rebuilt from the ground-up by Typesafe for improved performance and stability.  Complementing the IDE, Simple Build Tool (sbt) automates compilation and dependency management of Scala and Java projects.

Alex Payne, former Platform Lead at Twitter and now CTO of online banking startup BankSimple, commented: “Scala played a critical role in improving the scalability and reliability of Twitter's backend services. At BankSimple, our team is using both Scala and Akka to build a flexible architecture that allows us to rapidly integrate with our partners and scale predictably when needed. We're happy to know that the brilliant people at Typesafe are supporting Scala and Akka with a comprehensive set of commercial services."

Support and Services from the Source

The Typesafe Stack is backed by Typesafe co-founders Odersky and Jonas Bonér, creators of Scala and Akka, respectively, and their team of engineers who are key contributors to those projects. Typesafe now offers optional commercial support and maintenance through the Typesafe Subscription. The company also provides documentation, training and consulting services to help extend the use and productivity of Scala in the Java ecosystem, protecting billions of dollars in investments that enterprise companies have made in Java technology and talent over the last two decades.

"We're entering a polyglot era in software development, driven by cloud and multicore systems architectures, as new languages emerge to challenge, and coexist with, the long hegemony of Java and .NET,” said James Governor, analyst at RedMonk. "Typesafe is a commercial business aiming to catalyze momentum around Scala, one of the languages building real grassroots interest and adoption at sites such as Twitter and The Guardian."

Typesafe will be participating in Scala Days 2011, the premier annual event for Scala enthusiasts, researchers and practitioners, at Stanford University on June 2-3, 2011.  Typesafe will also be offering Scala and Akka training courses on May 31 and June 1 at Stanford, preceding the Scala Days conference.

Additional Online Resources

About Typesafe

Typesafe, the Scala company, provides the most scalable software platform designed for the computing architectures of the future—multicore, parallel and cloud applications. It does this through Scala, the 100 percent Java-compatible programming language created by Typesafe co-founder and CEO Martin Odersky for modern computing architectures. The company’s Typesafe Stack provides a Scala runtime and Akka middleware solution with tools to accelerate Scala development. Typesafe provides subscription support, training and services for organizations ready to bet their software architecture on Scala. Typesafe is backed by Greylock Partners and headquartered in Cambridge, Mass. Visit: http://typesafe.com.

About Greylock Partners

Greylock partners with entrepreneurs to help them build market-leading businesses. Over the past 45 years the firm has worked with hundreds of companies, 150 of which have gone on to IPOs and 100 of which have gone on to profitable M&A events. Such companies include Ascend Communications, CheckFree, CipherTrust, Constant Contact, Decru, Data Domain, DoubleClick, Farecast, Internet Security Systems, Ikanos, Legato, Media Metrix, Millennium Pharmaceuticals, Openwave, Open Market, OutlookSoft, Polyserve, Red Hat, RightNow Technologies, Success Factors, Sun Edison, Tellabs, Trilogy and Wily Technology. Current Greylock portfolio companies include Airbnb, Cloudera, Data Robotics, Facebook, Groupon, Imperva, LinkedIn, One Kings Lane, Palo Alto Networks, Pandora, Picarro, Redfin, Workday and Zipcar. For more information about Greylock Partners, visit our Web site (www.greylock.com) or blog (www.greylockvc.com) or follow us on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/greylock) or Twitter (@GreylockVC).

Chantal Yang
LEWIS Pulse for Typesafe