Deno raises $21 million to launch fully managed fulfillment service – TechCrunch

Deno, the development company behind the eponymous Deno runtime, today announced that it has closed a $21 million Series A round led by Sequoia, bringing its total raised to $26 million. According to CEO Ryan Dahl, the new funds will be invested in expanding Deno’s commercial offering, Deno Deploy, while expanding marketing operations and exploring new business areas.

Deno is a runtime environment for JavaScript, TypeScript and WebAssembly based on the Rust programming language and the V8 JavaScript engine originally developed for Google Chrome and Chromium web browsers. Co-created by Dahl, who also created Node.js, Deno aims to provide a “productive” and secure scripting environment that can be used to manage servers, perform scientific calculations, and more.

A prolific engineer, Dahl launched Deno in 2019 with Bert Belder, the co-founder of StrongLoop, a company building tools and services on top of Node.js. “Overall, the company’s goal is to promote the use of JavaScript outside of the browser,” Dahl told TechCrunch in a Q&A email. “The main problem is how to tame the enormous complexity of the diverse and distributed infrastructure that is the Web.”

Dahl sees Deno as a continuation of Node.js, which allows developers to use JavaScript for server-side scripting (i.e. running server-side scripts to produce dynamic web page content). Deno seeks to address Node.js’ lack of interoperability, and unlike Node.js, it’s optimized for serverless computing, where cloud providers remove resource management from the server.

“We want [Deno] a JavaScript function that takes a request and returns a response, and we can serve it at scale indefinitely at zero cost – if traffic is low,” Dahl explained.

Deno the company contributes to Deno the open source project, which already has tens of thousands of weekly active users on GitHub. A full-time team of engineers works on Deno, fixing issues and bugs, and rolling out new versions. But Deno also sells access to the aforementioned Deno Deploy, a managed Deno service running on top of a network with 33 regions around the world.

Dahl considers Cloudflare Workers the closest competitor to Deno Deploy, followed by Vercel, Netlify, and Fastly. But Deno has landed a few wins so far, including collaborating with Slack to develop the latter’s next-gen dev platform.

Deno is also a member of an initiative between Node.js and Cloudflare to enable the transfer of applications between Cloudflare Workers, Deno and Node.js without the need for a rewrite, an exploit that is currently out of reach.

“There’s huge economic pressure to improve the infrastructure around the web — whether it’s browsers themselves or the servers that host websites or databases,” Dahl said. “[Our goal is to provide] very optimal and very cheap cloud services.

In addition to Sequoia, Four Rivers Ventures, Rauch Capital, Long Journey Ventures, Mozilla Corporation, and Shasta Ventures have backed Deno. The company currently has 17 employees and plans to hire 10 more by next year.

Margie D. Carlisle