Amazon Web Services isn’t the only cloud computing game in town, and one of its competitors just got a lot stronger: Joyent has rasied $85 million from a surprising source — Spanish phone company Telefonica. European private equity firm Weather Investment II also participated.Joyent actually began offering its public cloud service a few months before Amazon, according to CEO David Young — “although we didn’t call it cloud.”
While AWS is used by a lot of high-profile startups, Joyent has more than 30,000 customers, including big names like LinkedIn, gaming service Kabam, and one of the big airline reservation booking systems, Sabre. (It also powered Twitter in the early days.)
Young claims that Joyent’s solution is better than Amazon’s because it was built for the cloud from the beginning, and provides more flexibility for developers. “We understood from the very early days that the cloud meant multitenancy, and that customers would be using solution in ways we couldn’t predict. Amazon took a different approach and mined the old tech junkyard, it borrowed old technology like Linux and hypervisor technologies to build its cloud.”
Young says the new deal will fund Joyent’s international expansion, and it’s more of a partnership than a straight funding deal — Telefonica will offer its own cloud services based on Joyent’s stack.
The company has now raised more than $100 million. Previous investors include Intel Capital and Dell.
The latter is a bit of a strange fit, as Young thinks that the move to cloud computing will eventually hurt brand-name hardware companies like Dell. “If you’re a company that takes someone else’s core nnovations and then packages them into solutions, that’ll be problematic for Dell over time.” Other companies he thinks will have trouble making the transition: IBM, Oracle, and Cisco.