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Introducing Acquia: Dries Buytaert’s Drupal start-upMatthew Aslett, December 10, 2007 @ 10:16 am ET
This is old news for those in the Drupal and content management communities, but for some reason has not got a lot of attention from the wider open source industry: a few days ago Dries Buytaert announced that he is forming his own Drupal start-up, called Acquia.
Buytaert has teamed up with Jay Batson, who founded Pingtel and continues to advise the company following its acquisition by Bluesocket, to form Acquia, which will offer annual subscriptions for software and services based around the Drupal web content management system.
Not surprisingly, there are already rumors of some hefty investment heading in Acquia’s direction (UPDATE – The rumors were true, Acquia raised $7m from North Bridge Venture Partners, Sigma Partners and O’Reilly AlphaTech Ventures – UPDATE). There is also some discussion on the choice of name.
According to Buytaert: “Acquia’s software products will include a number of Drupal distributions — for community networks, digital media properties, corporate websites, and others. In addition to providing Drupal distributions, Acquia will build the Drupal-tuned analogue of the Red Hat Network, over which we can deliver a wide variety of electronic services intended to be useful to people developing and operating Drupal websites.”
While details are thin on the ground at this stage, Buytaert has also put together an FAQ in which he provides more insight into the company and promises not to let it interfere with the independent development of Drupal or the activities of the Drupal Association. Quite how far he is prepared to go to protect that independence is obvious from this statement:
“The entire team at Acquia strongly believes that Dries must be able to effectively lead the Drupal project where the community wants it to go – and not negatively affect the project due to our own needs. He must be able to continue to make technical decisions independent of Acquia’s commercial interests to preserve the overall health of the community and the project. Therefore, Dries is expressly permitted to make decisions within the Drupal project that may not always be in Acquia’s best commercial interest. “
While the point is made that any decision in the interests of Drupal must be in the wider interests of Acquia, it would be fascinating to hear how potential investors respond to the above statement.
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