Exclusive: This Startup Just Nabbed $5 Million to Solve a Thorny Software Problem

Deploying business software has gotten very complex.

Backplane, a startup that says it can help companies manage the complex software deployments of the cloud computing era, has emerged from stealth with $ 5 million in seed funding—and a service it says can ease the headaches of deploying new-age software.

Now that nearly every business, whether it’s a media company or an automaker, also builds its own software for its website or employee sites, the pain of building and running business software is ubiquitous.

San Francisco-based Backplane says its newly available Backplane Core service will help those companies manage how their data flows whether it ends up running on Amazon Web Services amzn or some other cloud data center, internal data centers, or all of the above.

Company founder Blake Mizerany was the first engineer hired at Heroku, a popular software development platform purchased by Salesforce crm for $ 212 million seven years ago and, more recently, CoreOS, so he knows a lot about how software is built.

Related: This Respected Tech Exec Is Leaving Salesforce for Amazon

With companies using software containers, mixing and matching various services, and putting their processes in various clouds, the problem is how to manage an efficient and secure data flow between on-premises data centers and various clouds.

That’s a lot of complexity. Companies now have to think about what’s running in various cloud data center regions and virtual public clouds (VPCs) within those configurations. (VPCs are computing resources in a shared public cloud and cordoned off for use by a single customer.)

“Customers would ask how we did this at Heroku, and my sad answer was that we had to build all our own load balancers and proxy servers and let them spread traffic across data centers to the cloud,” Mizerany tells Fortune. The truth is that most companies don’t want to have to worry about that stuff, so the new Backplane Core service, available as of now, will take that off their plate, he says.

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Byron Sebastian, Heroku’s former CEO and a former senior vice president at Salesforce, advises the company. The explosive changes in how software is built and deployed—much of it the work of companies like Heroku— has caused a bit of what he calls a “hangover.”

Related: Microsoft Expands its Azure Cloud Data Centers

“How do you manage all these different services? How do they find and secure one another? Right now, the answer to that is a lot of difficult manual labor,” Sebastian says. “Blake’s idea is to put more power into the hands of technologies and let them manage the network connectivity.”

The big promise of Backplane Core, he continues, is it will give customers one dashboard to manage that data flow, regardless of where it happens.

The seed round was led by Baseline Ventures with a contribution from Harrison Metal. Backplane and its nine employees will use the funding for further investment in sales, marketing, and product development.

Tech

Exclusive: This Startup Just Nabbed $5 Million to Solve a Thorny Software Problem

Deploying business software has gotten very complex.

Backplane, a startup that says it can help companies manage the complex software deployments of the cloud computing era, has emerged from stealth with $ 5 million in seed funding—and a service it says can ease the headaches of deploying new-age software.

Now that nearly every business, whether it’s a media company or an automaker, also builds its own software for its website or employee sites, the pain of building and running business software is ubiquitous.

San Francisco-based Backplane says its newly available Backplane Core service will help those companies manage how their data flows whether it ends up running on Amazon Web Services amzn or some other cloud data center, internal data centers, or all of the above.

Company founder Blake Mizerany was the first engineer hired at Heroku, a popular software development platform purchased by Salesforce crm for $ 212 million seven years ago and, more recently, CoreOS, so he knows a lot about how software is built.

Related: This Respected Tech Exec Is Leaving Salesforce for Amazon

With companies using software containers, mixing and matching various services, and putting their processes in various clouds, the problem is how to manage an efficient and secure data flow between on-premises data centers and various clouds.

That’s a lot of complexity. Companies now have to think about what’s running in various cloud data center regions and virtual public clouds (VPCs) within those configurations. (VPCs are computing resources in a shared public cloud and cordoned off for use by a single customer.)

“Customers would ask how we did this at Heroku, and my sad answer was that we had to build all our own load balancers and proxy servers and let them spread traffic across data centers to the cloud,” Mizerany tells Fortune. The truth is that most companies don’t want to have to worry about that stuff, so the new Backplane Core service, available as of now, will take that off their plate, he says.

Get Data Sheet, Fortune’s technology newsletter

Byron Sebastian, Heroku’s former CEO and a former senior vice president at Salesforce, advises the company. The explosive changes in how software is built and deployed—much of it the work of companies like Heroku— has caused a bit of what he calls a “hangover.”

Related: Microsoft Expands its Azure Cloud Data Centers

“How do you manage all these different services? How do they find and secure one another? Right now, the answer to that is a lot of difficult manual labor,” Sebastian says. “Blake’s idea is to put more power into the hands of technologies and let them manage the network connectivity.”

The big promise of Backplane Core, he continues, is it will give customers one dashboard to manage that data flow, regardless of where it happens.

The seed round was led by Baseline Ventures with a contribution from Harrison Metal. Backplane and its nine employees will use the funding for further investment in sales, marketing, and product development.

Tech

Blockchain Startup Digital Asset Raises $40 Million

The startup is funded by some of the world’s largest banks.

Digital Asset, a blockchain startup funded by some of the world’s largest banks, has raised $ 40 million as it expands globally.

The funding round was led by Jefferson River Capital, the family office of Tony James, president and chief operating officer of private equity firm Blackstone, Digital Asset said on Monday.

The round brings the total raised by Digital Asset, which is led by former J.P. Morgan banker Blythe Masters, to $ 110 million.

The company also said it had hired Clyde Rodriguez, a former co-chief technology officer of hedge fund Two Sigma Investments as chief information officer and CTO of engineering.

Blockchain, which first emerged as the software underpinning cryptocurrency bitcoin, is a shared record of transactions that is maintained by a network of computers on the internet.

Related: J.P. Morgan Is Launching a Payments Network Using Blockchain

Financial institutions have been investing millions of dollars in the technology in the hopes that it can help them cut costs and simplify some of their back office processes.

Founded in 2014, New York-based Digital Asset is one of the most high profile startups in the nascent blockchain industry and is focused on developing technology for financial institutions.

The funding will be used mainly to grow the company’s team, which is 130-strong globally, Masters, the company’s CEO, said in an interview. She did not say how many people would be hired, but noted that the team could also grow through acquisitions.

“As we head into 2018 we will seek to grow both to continue the existing projects we are working on to bring them into production and to take on new ones,” Masters said.

Related: IBM and Stellar Are Launching Blockchain Banking Across Multiple Countries

In early 2016 Digital Asset raised more than $ 60 million from large financial institutions including Goldman Sachs Group gs , J.P. Morgan Chase & Co jpm , CME Group, Deutsche Boerse and Citigroup c .

Digital Asset’s clients include Australian stock exchange ASX, also an investor, and the Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation.

The ASX is assessing whether to use Digital Asset’s technology to replace its clearing and settlement system, which would constitute one of the most ambitious blockchain projects yet. It is set to make a decision in December.

While Digital Asset has focused on using its technology in financial markets, Masters said the company would not exclude other sectors in the future.

“I wouldn’t rule it out because the technology lends itself, but we are very focused on what is not a small market segment,” Masters said.

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Indonesia's first ever IPO by a startup draws robust investor interest

JAKARTA (Reuters) – E-commerce firm PT Kioson Komersial Indonesia Tbk drew strong investor interest for Indonesia’s first ever IPO by a startup, and its shares surged on their trading debut in very thin volumes on Thursday.

The response to the IPO could potentially pave the way for more technology companies in Southeast Asia’s biggest economy to follow in Kioson’s footsteps and list in the domestic stock market.

Kioson raised 45 billion rupiah ($ 3.3 million) by selling 150 million shares, or 23.1 percent of the company’s total share base, at 300 rupiah each. The offering was more than 10 times over-subscribed.

The stock surged as much as 50 percent on its debut, but volumes were very thin with just over 10,000 shares traded.

Indonesia’s startup scene is booming as investors are lured by the youthful demographic of the country of 250 million people, who are increasingly buying anything from tickets to electronic gadgets online.

President Joko Widodo has also aimed to increase broadband access in the sprawling archipelago.

Kioson CEO Jasin Halim said the company previously received offers from venture capital and private equity funds, but decided to go for an IPO because of a difference in valuation.

“The path that startups take is normally to look for venture capital, angel investors and so on…We feel that by taking the IPO route, that’s the method that is the most fair and transparent,” he told reporters. “Let the market value our company.”

On top of showing that an IPO could be an alternative method to raise funds for startups in Indonesia, Kioson also offers retail investors a chance to take part in the capital market and benefit from the “hyper-growth” of startups, Halim said.

Kioson operates an “online to offline” business model, which allows customers to make online purchases and pick up their orders at the ubiquitous kiosks, locally known as “warungs”, across Indonesia.

The company had tied up with 19,000 kiosks as of September, and plans to raise that to 100,000 by 2019, Halim said.

Kioson plans to use the proceeds from its IPO mainly to acquire online vouchers firm PT Narindo Solusi Komunikasi.

Andi Boediman, co-founder of venture capital firm Ideosource, told Reuters he expects more startups to take the IPO route in Indonesia as they could get better valuations from local investors who are more familiar with their products.

“With products that are offered in Indonesia, it’s easier to build a positive perception in Indonesia than to introduce it in other countries,” said Boediman, whose venture capital firm had invested in online retailer PT Bhinneka Mentari Dimensi. (reut.rs/2yJnoHQ)

PT M Cash Integrasi, which distributes online vouchers through its physical kiosks, is also planning to raise up to 300 billion rupiah by offering a 25 percent stake in an IPO. M Cash is a unit of PT Kresna Graha Investama Tbk.

Reporting by Eveline Danubrata; Additional reporting by Cindy Silviana; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman

Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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