Q&A with Cloud9 co-founder and CEO Ruben Daniels
SUB: Please briefly describe Cloud9, and the value proposition you bring to the market.
SUB: Who do you consider to be your competition?
Daniels: As the first commercial Development as a Service, or DaaS, platform featuring debugging, collaboration, and mobile access, we are in a unique position. Our main competition comes from legacy desktop tools, such as TextMate, VI, and Emacs. The core of developers still follows the Eclipse/Java model, which doesn’t directly compete, since it lacks cloud-based development and integration. Other cloud services out there at this time are simply projects, not commercial platforms.
SUB: What are the primary differentiators Cloud9 offers that distinguishes you from the competition?
Daniels: None of the aforementioned competitors come remotely close to our refined UI and the number of developers both creating the product and using it. Furthermore, these competitors seem to have a much less aggressive roadmap for collaboration, partnerships and actual features than Cloud9 IDE. As of now, these others are not competing, however they do aim for a similar space as we are.
SUB: How are you marketing/promoting Cloud9?
Daniels: We started out with a very successful kick-off at Demo Spring this year. We are using a mix of progressive media coverage and word-of-mouth buzz with targeted social coverage. Thus far we received a fair amount of thought leader and enthusiast blog recognition, a growing presence of passionate followers and fans on Twitter and Facebook, that have been leading to actionable clicks, paving the way for broader recognition.
SUB: What was the inspiration behind Cloud9?
SUB: When was the company founded, and what were the first steps you took to establishing it?
SUB: You recently closed a $5.5 million Series A funding round. How do you plan to use the funds?
Daniels: We will employ the funds to consolidate our leadership in the emerging cloud-based Development as a Service (DaaS) segment of the $8 billion application development market. The new funds will accelerate support for multiple languages, platforms, and cloud/mobile SDKs. To reach the ambitious development goals, we will expand our Amsterdam development team and open a new U.S. headquarters in San Francisco.
SUB: Why was now the right time to raise outside funding?
Daniels: We had a core team ready to tackle an ambitious development plan. The added funds enable us to step on the gas by again expanding our Amsterdam development team, and by opening our new U.S. headquarters in San Francisco.
SUB: Do you plan to raise more funding in the near future?
Daniels: While I wouldn’t rule that out should new opportunities arise, our current funding round, together with revenues from our growing customer base, should be sufficient for the foreseeable future.
SUB: What have the biggest challenges been so far to building Cloud9?
Daniels: Deciding what to do first. In moving to a cloud-based development model there are so many exciting ways to make developers more efficient, that we’re like kids in a candy shop. For that reason, it was critical to lay out a comprehensive development plan, while keeping a close eye on user feedback.
SUB: Where do you see Cloud9 in about a year from now?
Cloud9 – www.cloud9ide.com