Drupal monetizing platform Acquia closes $30 million venture capital round and plans European expansion

The enterprise arm of the open-source web platform Drupal has closed its Series E funding round and pocketed $30 million (£19 million) of capital.

Software entrepreneur: Dries Buytaert founded Acquia six years after Drupal

Software entrepreneur: Dries Buytaert founded Acquia six years after Drupal

Acquia has taken its fundraising total to $68.5 million (£43 million) following a $30 million round led by new backer Investor Growth Capital.

The deal also sees return contributions coming from existing investors North Bridge Venture Partners, Sigma Partners, Tenyana Capital as well as additional new supporters Goldman Sachs and Accolade Partners.

Speaking exclusively to GrowthBusiness, Jim Shaw, general manager EMEA for Acquia, says that the past 12 months has seen 77 per cent year-on-year growth in European bookings.

'In this time we have also expanded the European team to 40 staff, over 20 of whom are based in the UK,' he adds.

'The UK continues to be our strongest European market with customers from a wide range of sectors including media, publishing, entertainment, government, higher education and high-tech.'

Acquia, which has its UK headquarters in Oxford, was founded in 2007 by Dries Buytaert and Jay Batson. Buytaert was the Belgium entrepreneur behind the establishment of Drupal, a free and open-source content management framework which is reportedly used as a back-end system for 2.1 per cent of all websites worldwide.

Profiled by GrowthBusiness back in April, Buydaert said, 'For Drupal to get to the next level it needed to be successful in the enterprise, to help larger organisations use it: so that's why we started Acquia.'

Prior to its latest funding, Acquia had raised $38.5 million across four investment rounds. Its fundraising efforts began in 2007 when it netted $7 million. Transactions worth $8 million, $8.5 million and $15 million then followed in 2009, 2010 and 2011.

As part of the latest deal, Investor Growth Capital managing director Jose Suarez will join the Acquia board of directors.

Shaw says that in the context of the EMEA market, the $30 million funding will be used to accelerate Acquia's geographical expansion into territories including DACH (Germany, Austria and Switzerland) and the Middle East.

'In response to enterprise demand for innovative and open platforms for their digital teams, we will also be using the funding to continue our work building unified content, community and commerce solutions to enhance everyday web experiences.'

Suarez comments, 'Investor Growth Capital was drawn to Acquia's vision to help digital marketing organisations in the Global 2000 harness the innovation and agility to open source Drupal.

'We believe the web is changing, and that Acquia is uniquely positioned to help global brands create and manage immersive, multi-channel digital experiences.'

Acquia and Drupal founder Dries Buydaert on how he is monetizing the open-source platform