Whose Idea Was This? Amazon's Investment in Acquia

2 minute read
Virginia Backaitis avatar

Amazon threw a big chunk of change at Acquia yesterday. Perhaps it wants to stake its claim in the startup that provides commercial services around the open-source Drupal content management system before it goes public, which could happen as soon as later this year or in 2015.

Though neither company is disclosing the size of the investment, it certainly makes their relationship more symbiotic than it already was. Consider that Acquia runs on more than 8,000 AWS instances and serves more than 27 billion hits a month (333 TB of bandwidth a month).

Mutually Beneficial

Needless to say, it’s in Amazon’s best interest that Acquia’s business continues to grow.

And to that end, the investment could very well have been Amazon’s idea, especially when you take into account the $50 million that Acquia raised in May. It’s hard to believe that they would have blown through so much cash so quickly.

Learning Opportunities

In announcing the news on his personal website Dries Buytaert, Acquia’s co-founder and CTO linked to a post written by one of its investment partners that says:

The fact that this (the Acquia Amazon relationship) led to an investment is just icing on the cake. It was not the objective of the partnership, it just played out that way. Whereas so many startups look to bigger partners for investment as a starting point, I advise against it. So unless there is some absolutely obvious imperative that it must start with an investment, I highly recommend focusing instead on developing success in the market which proves to your potential partner why it would be in their interests to work with you. Better still let them approach you, that way you'll know you've really earned it.”

That being said, it’s also possible that Amazon wants a closer look at Acquia while weighing if it should buy it pre-IPO, as Acquia would be a nice AWS offering.