Funding

Nodejitsu, Support for JavaScript of the Future, Raises $750K

nodejitsu Nodejitsu, Support for JavaScript of the Future, Raises $750KNodejitsu, a three-person start-up based out of General Assembly that’s basically bootstrapped themselves through a year of coding, just raised its first round of outside funding: $750,000, led by General Catalyst.

The Nodejitsu team is building a platform that takes advantage of the buzz around node.js, a relatively new technology that’s rapidly gaining popularity with developers. RRE Ventures and First Round Capital also participated, after Mr. Robbins was introduced to investors there through contacts at General Assembly.

If Node.js is as essential as Mr. Robbins, his co-founders and their investors believe, Nodejitsu could be looking at a major market and therefore a major exit. (Heroku sold to Salesforce.com for more than $200 million, for example.)

Nodejitsu is selling the picks and shovels in the current app goldrush–by letting Nodejitsu take care of the backend support, developers have time to focus on writing code. Nodejitsu is a cloud-hosting platform–similar to Heroku for Ruby or Google App Engine–that makes it easy for developers using node.js to host and scale their apps. It also acts as a marketplace for apps built with Node.js.

The company has had 2,600 beta testers eager to start using the early version, but Nodejitsu couldn’t afford to let them in. Now Nodejitsu is able to sponsor conferences and hire more developers, and the beta testers will start to see invites show up in their inboxes.

“Having the gun off my back is nice,” Mr. Robbins said.

Nodejitsu has a team of technologists: Charlie Robbins, who was recruited out of college to work at Microsoft; Marak Squires, one of the most active JavaScript  programmers in New York; and Paolo Fragomeni, who spends his free time doing research for MIT. The investors they worked with were more technical, he said, but they were mostly interested in the strength of the technology the team has built (Mr. Robbins doesn’t have a count for how many lines of code they’ve written, but he estimates they have something like 2,000 unit tests).

“They saw the technical merit in what we’re building and how things are changing. The technology is what I’ve been pitching,” he said. “It wasn’t so much a market play. People are starting to build more on Node.js because it’s superior and it solves these problems that have always existed. I/O has been done wrong for the last 30 years,” he said, referring to the fact that Node.js allows servers to react to specific events.

Nodejitsu is hiring senior JavaScript developers in New York who have experience with Node.js and they’re also looking for interns.

Nodejitsu was founded in April 2010, almost exactly a year ago. Betabeat gave Mr. Robbins and Mr. Squires the third degree a few months ago, before funding had been secured, and got their thoughts on JavaScript, Node.js and building a start-up.