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Software, Web Firms May Dominate 2014’s IPOs [Jan. 2, 2014]

Submitted on
Thursday, January 2, 2014
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Boston Globe

By Michael Farrell

For the state’s tech workers who wear lab coats, 2013 was a big year. Ten Massachusetts biotech companies debuted on Wall Street. Now, it’s the tech workers in T-shirts’ turn.

At least a dozen Boston-area software and Web companies are poised to go public in 2014, taking advantage of a surging stock market where shares of major technology companies are climbing to new heights.

These won’t be wet-behind-the-ears startups, either. Last year’s IPO market featured many very young biotech companies, but the class of 2014 will probably include many seasoned tech companies, with established customer bases and profits, to boot.

Those getting ready for the public stage include some of the area’s fastest-growing and best-known Web companies, such as Wayfair LLC, a Boston-based seller of home goods, Care.com Inc., a Waltham company that has built a marketplace for dog walkers and home health care nurses, and Karmaloop Inc., an e-commerce company that sells urban streetware.

Lesser-known software companies also appear to be gearing up. There’s the software company Acquia Inc., which earlier this year hired the former top financial officer of Buddy Media Inc., a New York startup that fetched $736 million from Salesforce.com Inc. in 2012. And the cybersecurity firm Veracode Inc. brought on seasoned executive Ed Goldfinger, who helped take Zipcar public in 2011.

The Rise of Drupal and the Fall of Closed Source [Jan. 2, 2014]

Submitted on
Thursday, January 2, 2014
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OpenSource.com

By Jared Whitehead

The rise of Drupal coincides with a movement that values thoughtful collaboration over aggressive competition. Contrary to tmany proprietary software companies and products, open source projects tend to become increasingly user-friendly and the communities around them actively work to welcome newcomers to the fold. The driven and radical altruism of many open source communities offered this new movement the authenticity they hungered for and one-upped the commercial competition’s biggest selling point—affordability.

It wasn't long before the usability, affordability, and ideology driving the popularity of open source began to pose a major threat to the commercial software industry. At first, the industry reacted with indifference, but one infamous case wherein Microsoft released a series of attack ads against the open source giant OpenOffice revealed that open source was becoming more popular than anticipated. When members of the industry realized, however, that open source wasn’t going away, the market began to adapt. Software giants began their own open source projects, some as an attempt to court open source users and others as a way to promote further interoperability between systems. Open source communities began to influence new projects and the foundation of a new economic model.

A View From The Catbird Seat [Dec. 27, 2013]

Submitted on
Friday, December 27, 2013
,
BostInno

By Jay Batson

This year I switched from an active operating role as founder of Acquia to being a mentor and angel investor in early-stage startups. Between helping companies via Techstars, MassChallenge, and random introductions, I’ve tried to lend a helping hand to many, many dozens of companies this year. Which means I’ve gained a rare place among those who can see the local tech ecosystem from a high perch, and I have a couple of thoughts about our tech culture.

The growth in the number of startups in Boston since I founded Acquia in 2007 has increased phenomenally, and I see no end in sight. Credit what you wish – the emergence of AWS, the "Lean Startup," or the growth in angel capital – the result is that Boston is no longer only the birthplace of old mini-computer or networking companies. Rather, it has re-energized into a full startup ecosystem. These startups have created thousands of jobs in the city, and I’m really happy with where our tech community is at.

It’s particularly exciting to see the vast bulk of these companies locating themselves within half a mile of the Red Line, stretching from Davis Square to the Broadway stop in South Boston. Notably, unless they are in the Cambridge Innovation Center, most startups are no longer in Kendall Square, which has become the home of Big Companies. It’s great; I can bike from company to company in 10 minutes, making it the most geographically concentrated tech center in the country. (Thanks to the City of Boston’s Nicole Freedman for making Boston so bikeable!)

This extended “Red Line Tech Corridor” is what I think Boston will become known for, eclipsing the “128 Corridor." I don’t see this stopping in 2014, and predict most startups will rent office space in the Leather District, Downtown Crossing, Chinatown, or the A St. end of South Boston. (Rents in the Innovation District have quickly gotten too high for startups!) But this concentration in the historic downtown area will only happen if the buildings are updated with credible, fiber-based high-speed Internet. Amazingly, a ton of startup-priced vacant office space in these areas simply does not have fast network access. If the new Mayor wants a meaty, high-impact problem to tackle early in his new administration, here it is. This state of connectivity is embarrassing for the city.

IT Charts 'Cloud First' Route to Success

When a company is considering a new venture, where does it turn to find exactly the right combination of cloud services to make the project happen efficiently and economically?

Mark Weinstein believes the call should go to the IT department.

Weinstein is a "fractional CIO" who after working for more than 30 years for a variety of large financial firms, now acts as an advisor to smaller companies, helping them optimize the management of technology.

Acquia Won't Rush IPO [Dec. 19, 2013]

Submitted on
Monday, December 30, 2013
,
Computerworld

By Rohan Pearce

Boston-based Web technology company Acquia is heading towards an IPO but it's in no rush to go public according to Dries Buytaert, Acquia's co-founder and the creator of the open source CMS Drupal.

"For us [an IPO] is something that we're working on but it's not front and centre right now," Buytaert, the CTO of the Drupal services firm, said.

"We think it's a key milestone, but it's only just that as well: It's a milestone in a much longer path to building a significant independent company. So that's the reason I say we're not obsessed with it."

Earlier this year, the company hired Dennis Morgan as CFO, which is "obviously a key component for being able to do an IPO," the CTO added.

"In general we want to be an IPO-ready company such that we have the luxury to file for an IPO if we were to choose to," Buytaert said.

IT Embraces Cloud Apps to Improve Workflow

One member of the team wants to write and edit the plan as a Google Doc. Another has an outline in an iPad app. A third has notes in Evernote. And the presentation event will be hosted on Eventbrite.

Not only is everyone bringing their own device -- BYOD -- but they are making their own deals with cloud-based services.

Multiple applications featuring their own cloud appear to be cutting IT staffs out of the loop, but in fact, analysts say, all this new free-agency has created opportunities for more efficient, and more economical work processes.

2013 Year in Review: The Acquia Blog

For Acquia, 2013 has been a great year. We were named as the "Fastest Growing Private Company in North America" by Deloitte and a leader in Forrester's Social Platforms Wave. Another mark of Acquia's growth and success in 2013 has been the growing participation in our blog.

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