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Boston based Acquia (newssite), provider of products and services for Drupal, announced yesterday that it has finalized US$ 8.5 million in financing. Acquia will use the funding to expand operations and increase investment in software as a service (SaaS) and platform as a service (PaaS) offerings for Drupal.

Funding Details

Acquia received the large investment from existing investors North Bridge Venture Partners and Sigma Partners together with Acquia CEO Tom Erickson. The company hopes the funding will propel Drupal into the lead of the open source content management market. Since inception in 2007, Acquia has amassed US$ 23.5 million of funding from venture capital. The investment has allowed Acquia to grow from 30 to 70 employees and host more than 24,000 sites on its cloud platform in the last year.

Products and Services

Acquia provides a free Drupal distribution that bundles several Drupal modules with a one-click installer. The distribution reduces the amount of effort required to get the content management system installed and functional. In addition, the company has expanded on the core open source model by offering several commercial services including:

  • Training
  • Consulting Services
  • Support
  • Drupal Gardens - a software as a service platform
  • Drupal Commons - a free social community building solution
  • Remote Administration

The goal of these offerings is to help companies adopt Drupal with increased speed and ease.

Continued Growth

Drupal is the chosen platform for many popular websites including The Economist, Examiner.com and The White House. As its popularity continues to grow so will the number of websites using a Drupal platform. Drupal now powers more than 1% of the web and has continued expansion since its initial development in 2000.

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Drupal 6 Growth
 

The dramatic growth in Drupal use is propelling growth in Acquia as well. To ensure continued improvements, Acquia dedicates 30 percent of its research and development staff to work on Drupal 7.

Tied to the rise in Drupal utilization, Acquia tripled its customer base in 2010 and acquired over 220 partners. They also signed 100 enterprise customers to Acquia Hosting and have in excess of 550 support customers.

The company is also accelerating growth of their world-wide operations by hiring engineering, sales, marketing and technical staff in different parts of the world and an expansion planned for Europe in 2011.

Acquia appears to be having success at commericialization of an open source platform. With a business model similar to RedHat and Wordpress.com (newssite), Acquia is one of the latest companies proving that an investment in open source can indeed prove to be profitable.