Behind the Investment – Fermyon

Sixteen years since AWS launched EC2, the cloud has become a complex ecosystem that can be daunting to developers trying to deploy applications. WebAssembly (Wasm), a binary executable format, offers a glimmer of hope for a simpler new world where developers can “ship once, run anywhere” with many security, performance, and cost benefits. With recent advances in the WebAssembly community, there is an opportunity to use this new technology to simplify application delivery — and we believe the team at Fermyon can do just that.

Now, we are excited to announce that we are partnering with Fermyon on this journey by leading their $20M Series A.

What’s WebAssembly?

WebAssembly is a binary instruction format that allows you to convert code from various programming languages (e.g., Rust, Swift, Python) into a format that can be run on any browser or virtual machine.

Wasm was developed by Mozilla engineers to run inside the browser because it efficiently ran computationally intensive tasks like running video games, streaming television shows, and using complex design tools such as Figma in a browser.

Enthusiasm for Wasm is now shifting to server-side applications — i.e., Wasm as a highly portable mechanism to run code directly on VMs or bare metal. Similar to how containers did not replace VMs but found a space where they were better suited, we believe WebAssembly modules live side by side with containers — offering a more compelling solution than containers in many scenarios.

What’s Fermyon?

Fermyon is a new company that develops open source and commercial products for WebAssembly and helps steer the Bytecode Alliance aimed at creating open standards for the Wasm ecosystem. Their first open-source product, Spin, launched in March to make building Wasm microservices easier for developers. This week at Kubecon, the Fermyon team launched Fermyon Cloud.

Fermyon Cloud is a PaaS for WebAssembly micro services. Their team eloquently defines a PaaS as a “cloud-based hosting environment into which a developer can deploy their own application, and have the platform manage configuration, deployments, releases, logging, and other operational concerns.” By building a PaaS around Wasm, Fermyon can provide unprecedented performance, cost, security, and most importantly, simplicity for developers. This approach is especially exciting today at a time when the cloud has become complicated, and there is a newfound desire to simplify operations.

We have been so impressed by Matt, Radu, and the entire Fermyon team who have become key thought leaders and community advocates in the WebAssembly world. Congratulations to the team on launching Fermyon Cloud. We’re thrilled to welcome Fermyon into the Insight family!

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