Famo.us Raises $25M to Help Users Make Apps with JavaScript

fam-300x234Kara Swisher reports on Recode, “Famo.us, an unusual programming startup that allows users to make nifty mobile apps using JavaScript, has raised $25 million in additional funding and added high-profile investor Jerry Murdock to its board. The new round comes after two others — one for $1.1 million and another for $4 million. About $20 million of the new round is in exchange for equity, while $5 million is debt. Along with Murdock — whose investments via Insight Venture Partners have included Nest, Flipboard and Twitter — Samsung Ventures and Javelin Venture Partners are also participating, the company said. The San Francisco-based company is aimed at using JavaScript, the sometimes disrespected programming language, to create a product that is easy to use by a range of developers, even non-techies. To help promulgate that, Famo.us also offers a free online ‘university’ where anyone can learn to program using its tools.”

Swusher continues, “As Famo.us wonkishly describes it: ‘Famo.us is the only JavaScript framework that includes an open source 3-D layout engine fully integrated with a 3-D physics animation engine that can render to DOM, Canvas, or WebGL.’ Translation: Building a platform offering easy-to-use tools to make prettier and faster mobile apps that work across all devices.While a lot of this offering is free, CEO Steve Newcomb said — much like development startup GitHub does — Famo.us will eventually expand into other more lucrative arenas aimed at enterprise, such as analytics, testing and payment services. In an interview — after the company he co-founded, semantic search company Powerset, was bought by Microsoft for $100 million — Newcomb said he was attracted to JavaScript because it was an underappreciated programming language that works across a lot of devices.”

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Image: Courtesy Famo.us