Re: Perl "competitor" Curl raises $52M

From: Gordon Mohr (gojomo@usa.net)
Date: Wed Mar 14 2001 - 10:33:34 PST


Key points from the presentation referenced by Rohit:

 * Founded Feb 1998, already raised $52mil & grown to
   147 employees -- 93 in engineering

 * Hope to charge by the GB of Curl served (!), on
   the theory that it's such a great bandwidth saver.
   So their basic sales pitch would seem to be:
   "Reimplement your (HTML etc) site in Curl, get all
   your users to grab the Curl plug-in, and pay us some
   fraction of the bandwith costs you're saving."

I don't buy it -- they'll face the same client-side
adoption barriers as Java, competition from the
Java and Shockwave installed developer bases for
their interactivity benefits.

If saving bandwidth on basic HTML pages was such a
big win, I'd expect high-volume website to have already
applied simple compression techniques on all the pages
they serve. (They haven't, have they?)

- Gordon

----- Original Message -----
From: Meltsner, Kenneth <Kenneth.Meltsner@ca.com>
To: Rohit Khare <Rohit@knownow.com>; <FoRK@xent.com>
Sent: Wednesday, March 14, 2001 8:30 AM
Subject: RE: Perl "competitor" Curl raises $52M

I played with this as a beta tester. It's pretty neat, but as many neat things, probably oversold. The biggest reason to like it
is that it brings Scheme/LISP to the Web (with some sugar coating), which is an excellent thing in my opinion.

But $1B/year? I don't think any infrastructure product can generate this much in royalties. From my limited perspective in these
matters, the LISP business foundered on the runtime royalty issue -- programs were developed under LISP and deployed in another
language if the runtime fees exceeded the cost of rewriting the program in another language.

Ken

-----Original Message-----
From: Rohit Khare [mailto:Rohit@KnowNow.com]
Sent: Tuesday, March 13, 2001 7:19 PM
To: FoRK@xent.com
Subject: Perl "competitor" Curl raises $52M

[Curl was an MIT LCS project to provide a more secure scripting
language for mobile code applications. -RK]

At 8:42 AM -0500 3/13/01, VentureWire wrote:
>Curl Names Ex-Reagan Science Advisor to Board
><http://venturewire.net/o_mailer.asp?sid=24736> <#24736x>
>CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (VENTUREWIRE) -- Curl, which makes software for
>Internet infrastructure, announced that George (Jay) A. Keyworth II,
>joined the board of directors. Currently Mr. Keyworth holds board
>seats as chairman of the Progress and Freedom Foundation and as
>chairman of the Keyworth Company, which helps companies develop
>strategies for growth. He also served as science adviser to former
>President Ronald Reagan. Founded in 1998, Curl has received a total
>of $52 million in three rounds of financing from Baker Capital,
>Capricorn Venture Partners, Equity Group Holdings, Investor AB,
>Polytechnos Venture Partners, Safeguard Capital Partners, and
>individual investors.
><http://venturewire.net/comp.asp?l=http://www.curl.com>http://www.curl.com

Faster, better, more interactive - these are the long-awaited
promises for an enhanced user experience on the Internet. The wait is
over. Curl is here to help organizations build and deploy the
next-generation of Web applications and sites.

Whether you write code for Internet applications, build Web sites, do
business using the Web or merely surf for interesting content, Curl
technology can have a deep and resonating impact on you.

Curl technology is composed of:

* Curl Surge
a browser plug-in for viewing Curl content, and
* Curl Surge Lab
a development environment for creating Curl content.

With the Surge Lab integrated development environment, developers can
express themselves by building applications and Web sites they only
imagined were possible. Using the Curl technology, businesses can
speed up download times, slash content delivery costs and express
themselves in totally new and dynamic ways to entice visitors and
keep them coming back for more.

What makes our software truly different from current Web solutions is
its ability to easily intermingle many types of content within a
single environment, simplifying the developers' task and expanding
their options to create smarter contentS fast. Curl's client-side
processing capability significantly boosts performance and improves
the online experience for business, e-commerce or entertainment. Just
about every Web site can benefit by using Curl technology.

[See their CEO's talk on the "$1B/yr" potential for runtime curl
plugin usage fees at
http://www.veracast.com/bas_techweek2001/webcasts/ID17202458.cfm ]



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