Zend Bags $20 Million More in Venture Funding
September 5, 2006 Timothy Prickett Morgan
Zend Technologies, the commercial company that stands behind the open source PHP programming language and related development tools, has gone back to the well for its fourth round of venture capital funding.
Because the popularity of PHP is growing by leaps and bounds, Zend has had no trouble convincing venture capitalists to cough up $20 million to help Zend build for what one would presume is an inevitable public offering of its stock. There are mumblings on Wall Street that Zend could possibly go public toward the end of 2007, but the company would not confirm this rumor.
In this Series D round of investing, Greylock Partners lead the funding, and Moshe Mor, a partner at Greylock, secured a position on Zend’s board of directors as a result of the investment. Zend did not say how much money Greylock put up, but said that existing investors–that would be Azure Capital Partners, Index Ventures, Intel Capital, Platinum Venture Capital, SAP Ventures, and Walden Israel Venture Capital–all kicked in money in the Series D funding.
Zeev Suraski and Andi Gutmans, co-founders of Zend, said in a statement that the $20 million will be used to help the company expand into new geographies, speed up product development, and create the services infrastructure that is ultimately the revenue generator for Zend, since PHP is an open source product that is freely distributed. Zend has more than 15,000 customers who pay for commercial support for its development tools and various server add-ons when PHP applications are deployed.
To date, Zend has raised $36.7 million in venture capital in four rounds. It is somewhat unusual for a company to get four rounds of funding, and it is very unusual to get five rounds. So this $20 million is probably the rocket fuel that will get Zend to the initial public offering stage.