Last week Palo Alto, California-based startup Jelastic, which offers a cloud-based hosting platform for Java application developers, announced that it has secured an investment from Maxfield Capital, a $100 million Russian venture fund that focuses on the IT and Internet segments.
The startup, which has Ukrainian and Russian roots, also announced the appointment of Silicon Valley veteran John E. Derrick as the company’s new CEO.
Jelastic presents its platform-as-a-service (PaaS) as the latest in Java hosting cloud platforms – “the only zero-code-change PaaS on the market that automatically scales any Java or PHP application.”
“In contrast with early generation Java computing platforms, such as Google App Engine, Heroku, or Windows Azure, which required developers to manage virtual machines or adapt their applications to work in the cloud, Jelastic uses only standard software stacks, eliminating worries about code changes or lock-in,” the startup claims.
The startup claims to currently be partnering with 21 web hosting providers “from more countries than any other cloud platform in the market.”
Jelastic plans to use the additional capital to boost both R&D and sales operations and to support its ongoing global growth.
Bridging Skolkovo to Silicon Valley
Jelastic is a resident of the IT cluster of Skolkovo, the international tech hub close to completion on the outskirts of Moscow.
In April of last year, the startup secured $2 million from Russian funds Almaz Capital Partners, and Foresight Ventures. In December 2010, Jelastic received seed funding from Runa Capital, a Moscow-based fund that operates internationally.
Maxfield’s investment amounted to “more than $1 million,” said Alexander Turkot, Maxfield Capital’s founder and Managing Partner, in an exchange with East-West Digital News.
Maxfield Capital launched earlier this year with Russian businessman Viktor Vekselberg – the owner the Renova Group and the President of the Skolkovo Foundation – as its main LP. The fund is managed by former Skolkovo IT cluster director Alexander Turkot, along with Oleg Kuzhikov and Alexander Lazarev – three high tech professionals with strong background in Silicon Valley, Israel, and Russia.
The fund focuses on early stage investment as well as seed stage companies via an in-house seed program. Its first investments went to international used machinery marketplace Machinio.com, sponsorship management platform Sponsorhub, and DialMyApp, a Russian-Israeli startup that defines itself as an Android mobile application generator for businesses.
Maxfield is currently considering new investment opportunities in Russia, USA and Israel as well as several European countries.
“We invest in projects with a ‘Russian point of view,’ i.e. where we can add value to enter the Russian market or leverage Russian tech expertise and resources,” Turkot said.