WebAssembly Platform Company Cosmonic Raises $8.5M Seed Funding, Launches PaaS


Platform company WebAssembly Cosmonic has raised $8.5 in seed funding in a round led by Vertex Ventures. It also launched a Platform-as-a-Service version of its WebAssembly distributed application development platform.

Cosmonic’s PaaS is built on the open source wasmCloud, currently a Cloud Native Computing Foundation sandbox project. It provides a message bus, based on the open-source NATS messaging system, to connect different instances of wasmCloud together, similar to a service mesh in Kubernetes. It also uses a hot-pluggable component model to define applications as a set of standardized components.

“We think of WebAssembly as a virtual machine for an individual process,” said Liam Randall, CEO of Cosmonic. “And then our idea was, just like the service meshes, to make common services available everywhere rather than putting authentication, distributed tracing, logging and metrics in each application separately. Why not include all the components common to each application (database drivers, security components, libraries) and make them available everywhere?

This idea grew out of Randall’s experiences as vice president of innovation at Capital One, where he oversaw the development and adoption of open source technologies.

“One of the things I realized was that we were looking at a fleet of 5,000 or more apps that we had built in-house, and over 95% of the source code was identical. Even more than that, it was just boilerplate that copied from app to app,” he said.

WasmCloud components provide a set of high-level functionality, defined by an interface or Contract-which describes the behavior of a component. Components with the same interface can be exchanged online. By combining this idea with a message bus, components can be made available from anywhere in the Cosmonic mesh. Applications become composable collections of standard infrastructure components made available anywhere in the mesh, combined with application-specific business logic.

Developers can focus on application-specific logic and spend significantly less time dealing with infrastructure issues, while platform teams can focus on building high-quality composable services than developers applications consume. The combination of hot-swappable components and automatic networking means that maintenance and changeover becomes a fully online activity.

“We want to build Cosmonic the same way AWS built its cloud,” Randall said. “When you build on Cosmonic, you use these composable blocks to build your apps. You can use the capabilities we provide, or you can expand our capabilities and add new things that weren’t there before. And you can build, test, and run the same code wherever you want: private cloud, public cloud, at the edge, wherever you want to go. »

Cosmonic focuses on customers who operate their own assets and are interested in distributed applications, more than those who focus on centralization in a single public cloud. Energy companies, manufacturing, financial services and other verticals that have large custom software needs and require a more hybrid or distributed approach.

A challenge for Cosmonic, and indeed for all new WebAssembly-focused businesses, will be interfacing with existing applications and data sources that don’t use WebAssembly. We’ve seen a similar challenge with the adoption of Kubernetes, as ephemeral, stateless workloads have given way to stateful workloads. Data is what makes important applications useful to a business, and that data lives in existing data stores.

“Docker really rode that wave, that most of what came into the cloud was just taking things that were already working and putting them in containers,” Randall said. “I’m sure someone will put Kubernetes into WebAssembly. But the vast majority of applications that will be developed will be greenfield on these new platforms. WebAssembly is the future of distributed computing.

I can’t wait to see the future arrive in real time.


Comments are closed.