With the Nimbella acquisition, DigitalOcean expands its serverless capabilities

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Serverless solutions, which allow developers to write code without worrying about the underlying infrastructure required to run their applications, are becoming increasingly popular as developers look for ways to simplify creating software. DigitalOcean announced today that it had acquired serverless startup Nimbella to expand its existing offering in this space. The companies did not disclose the terms of the agreement.

Nimbella provides the company with a platform for developing serverless applications based on the open-source container orchestration platform Kubernetes and Apache OpenWhisk, an open-source serverless development platform.

Nimbella’s capabilities are referred to as “Function as a Service” by DigitalOcean CEO Yancey Spruill, who took over two years ago to simplify serverless development in an open-source context for its target customers. “Serverless capabilities relieve developers and businesses of a significant portion of the infrastructure burden, which we absorb. We’ll give our customers more tool configurability, which will relieve them of burdens and allow them to move faster,” he said.

In practice, Nimbella CEO Anshu Agarwal explains that they provide a specific set of tools for developing sophisticated serverless applications and connecting to other DigitalOcean services. “The capabilities that we will be adding to the DigitalOcean portfolio are a fast solution, a function as a service solution that also integrates with the underlying DigitalOcean services [like] managed databases, storage, and other services that make it easier for a developer to develop full applications, not just addressing events,” Agarwal explained.

According to Spruill, this was not the company’s first foray into serverless computing. That started last year when it offered its first serverless tooling, but it wanted to expand on that, and Nimbella fit the bill.

DigitalOcean is a cloud infrastructure-as-a-service and platform-as-a-service provider aimed at individual developers, startups, and small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs). While DigitalOcean’s $318 million 2020 revenue was a drop in the bucket compared to the $129 billion cloud market, it demonstrates that there is still money to be made even with a small slice of that pie.

The companies did not discuss the deal’s terms, the number of employees involved, or even Agarwal’s title when the deal closed, but the plan is to fully integrate Nimbella into the DigitalOcean portfolio and eventually make it a DigitalOcean-branded product sometime in the first half of next year.