A Big Drop in the Bucket for Drupal

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you going to do about this—it’s been great as a community, but as it goes to the next level we need a different kind of organization behind it.'”

Acquia debuted on November 30, with the vision of supporting the Drupal community as it grows even larger. For example, the company will open a Drupal technical assistance center and will build its own equivalent of Red Hat’s Linux network, which the older company uses for jobs like distributing automatic updates and upgrades. “When I examine the landscape of open source projects that have had big impact on the technology industry, I’ve concluded that projects which have had the biggest impact (usually) have a well-capitalized company behind them,” Buytaert wrote on Acquia’s blog. “If we want Drupal to grow by at least a factor of 10, keeping Drupal a hobby project as it is today, and taking a regular programming job at a big Belgian bank is clearly not going to cut it.”

With the $7 million in Series A funding, Buytaert won’t have to take that bank job—the bank has come to him. North Bridge Venture Partners of Waltham led the round, with additional funds from Sigma Partners of Boston and San Francisco’s O’Reilly AlphaTech Ventures. Batson says the company will use the financing to staff up, to launch a few introductory services, and to market Drupal on a scale that’s been beyond the resources of the volunteer community. “We are going to build a really world-class team, number one, and build out an initial set of stuff to service the community, number two,” says Batson, who founded wireless voice-over-IP company Pingtel and sold it earlier this year to BlueSocket. “Number three, we will grow the visibility of Drupal beyond the people who know of it today.”

Acquia isn’t one of those completely random, made-up company names by the way. It’s reminiscent of aqua, as in water, and Drupal is an English transliteration of the Dutch word druppel, which means drop, also as in water. (How water relates to content management systems is a bit more obscure. Legend—or rather Wikipedia—has it that Buytaert originally called his software “dorp,” from the Dutch word for “village,” but mistyped it when he was checking for a domain name for the earliest version of the software, and liked the sound of “drop” better.)

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Wade Roush is a contributing editor at Xconomy. Follow @wroush

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