Jolicloud, which is developing an Internet-hosted operating system for netbooks, has announced the completion of a $4.2 million first round led by Atomico Ventures with Mangrove Capital Partners. The financing will enable the start-up to accelerate the development of its software, which is currently in private alpha, launch its developer programme, and expand its network of partners.
Jolicloud was set up by Tariq Krim, the founder of Netvibes. The Jolicloud operating system transforms netbooks into devices that can access to the new generation of Web-based cloud computing applications.
The company says that while the world has entered a new era where computers are inexpensive, software is free, and connectivity is everywhere, these benefits are not being felt because of the numerous restrictions imposed by traditional software-based operating systems. Jolicloud makes the latest generation of Web technologies easily available on the most affordable computers, accelerating the movement to spread the benefits of cloud computing to everyone.
“Traditional operating systems find their roots in the late seventies and are built around software. But today, 90 per cent of our computing life is on the Web. Jolicloud was built with Web users in mind,” said Krim, who is also the company’s CEO.
Paris-based Jolicloud claims to have gained the support of highly accomplished Web pioneers and innovators, with Niklas Zennström, co-founder of Atomico Ventures, Skype, Joost, Kazaa and Joltid, taking a seat on the board. Michael Jackson, partner at Mangrove Capital Partners and former COO of Skype, will participate as an advisor. Entrepreneur Gilles Samoun, CEO of fotonauts and founder of Qualys will also join the board.
“Jolicloud is a classic example of a massive disruptive opportunity in a market where high risk has a potential to lead to a high return. Whoever gets it right will be very successful and this is what we love,” said Niklas Zennström. “Tariq’s successful background as a serial entrepreneur makes him well positioned to do this. He’s a great example of a new breed of European entrepreneur who is able to think big and execute well.”
“Jolicloud is poised to significantly change the way we use computers. The company’s founder is one of those rare people who understands what it takes to build a product with mass appeal. The early prototypes are encouraging and we look forward to being part of an adventure which we hope will bring low-cost computing with exceptional ease of use and high functionality to the millions of people who simply find existing products unexciting, expensive or difficult to use," said Michael Jackson.
Jolicloud is currently in private alpha and will be released as a public beta later this year.