Eric and I have known each other since 2000 when we worked at a startup, Speedera, where he was a cofounder and VP Engineering. It often felt like Speedera went through every possible startup experience: running from Internet boom to bust; from lots of cash on-hand to no cash; from scary litigation to fun times like taking the entire company on trips to Hawaii (twice!); and, finally, being acquired by Akamai. We weathered each challenge, enjoying the up times and surviving the tough ones, and came out as a coherent and resilient team. We loved the culture that we built at Speedera, loved working with each other, and held out hope we could do it again. So, when Eric was ready to fire up his next venture after 12 long years, I was thrilled when he asked me to jump in from the get-go. I had worked at 4 startups, all of them have been successful, but I had always delivered that success for other people’s ideas: so when the opportunity knocked to be – a founder – there was no question that I would say ‘yes’.
The startups that I worked at were all acquired by large companies; although each acquirer was a different company one reality stood out in each transaction: in no time that nimble, family-like startup culture rapidly morphed into a slower, more methodical, less personal big corporate culture. We agreed from the start that if we were going to do something together, we would build a company that would stand on its own and have a chance to establish, evolve, and maintain the same culture and philosophy that it was founded on. More than anything else, this is why we decided to start this journey.
While we were on our quest for advisors and other folks from the serverless space, little did we know that two of the brightest minds on the east coast were working on a similar idea. Not only did we connect with Rodric and Perry, we discovered that they, too, they had left their comfortable jobs and were in the same phase as us. Perhaps it’s destiny that brought us together: we don’t just have complementary skill sets, but a shared vision of, and commitment to, building a company with the right culture, a place where the best and the brightest would like to come to work every day.
Rodric and Perry were the co-creators of the serverless open-source project OpenWhisk at IBM Research (now Apache Openwhisk). They led the design and implementation of its core architecture, tooling and runtimes. Given that Eric has a deep well of experience in developing and running large-scale distributed systems, and I’ve been deeply embedded on the business side of distributed computing and cloud services, this was a clear case of complementary capabilities coming together to build something unique: the sum is so much greater than the sum of its parts. From my perspective this is something a little more than a dream team, as I’m not entirely sure I could have dreamed up something so naturally aligned.
We also have an excellent group of investors who share our dream of building a great company together: Ashmeet Sidana from Engineering Capital, Nilanjana Bhowmik from Converge, Serik Kaldykulov from Elefund, and the Swildens Brothers!
So now we are in this together at “Nimbella.” Nimbella comes from Nimbus (cloud) + Bella (beautiful in Spanish & Italian); for those keeping score at home, it is also a beautiful butterfly. Of course, like any self-respecting startup, we chose this name in no small part because .com was available! However, as time passes, we believe you will come to agree that it melds perfectly with our mantra of Making Your Cloud Beautiful.