WebAssembly pioneer Fermyon Technologies has raised $20 million in Series A funding lead by Insight Partners. The company also released its Fermyon Cloud PaaS offering as an open beta.
Fermyon Cloud aims to make deployment of WebAssembly-based applications and microservices fast and easy. Using Fermyon’s Spin build tool, applications are compiled and packaged for WebAssembly, which can then be deployed immediately to Fermyon Cloud. Fermymon’s toolchain handles all of the infrastructure configuration and deployment steps needed to get application code into production, freeing application developers from needing to know anything about the underlying infrastructure.
WebAssembly has its roots in the browser, an is optimized for high-security and low-resource consumption. By bringing WebAssembly to server environments, applications can enjoy the same optimizations while using a common codebase to deploy to a variety of environments: Cloud, Edge, IoT, or any combination.
Fermyon builds on these concepts to bring WebAssembly into the datacenter and the cloud. Fermyon hopes to deliver on the “write once, run anywhere” promise of Java but with the ease-of-use of Heroku. It helps to remove friction from application development by relieving developers of the need to think much about infrastructure.
“With Fermyon Spin, developers can quickly create WebAssembly microservice applications and now with Fermyon Cloud, developers can go from a blinking cursor to a deployed application in less than two minutes. This is the promise of WebAssembly realized in the cloud: fast development, fast deployment, fast execution,” said Matt Butcher, co-founder and CEO of Fermyon, in a statement.
Fermyon’s approach is compelling for several reasons. The complexity of container-based micro-services makes both development and operations challenging. Reducing the complexity of operations and deployment removes friction and cost from both application developers and infrastructure management teams.
WebAssembly also provides performance and resource enhancements due to its low-overheads. For high-scale environments, such as AI/ML workloads, the savings could be substantial. I’ve gone so far as to suggest that AI/ML could be the ‘killer app’ for WebAssembly platforms like Fermyon.
While WebAssembly on the server is still a new idea, multiple technologies are aligning to provide a compelling case for a wide range of workloads. Fermyon is well-placed to both capitalize on enthusiasm for this emerging category and to shape the direction of the category to its benefit.
If Fermyon can execute well on providing tangible value to application developers and the businesses they support, their growth could be explosive. The early reaction to Fermyon Cloud at this week’s KubeCon + CloudNativeCon North America suggests that Fermyon’s has done well so far.
My estimation is that Fermyon’s timing is neither too early, nor too late. The market is poised for a shift to WebAssembly for at least a few workload types. If WebAssembly companies can deliver on the promise of the technology, the market opportunity will be very large indeed.