Interactive Supercomputing Secures VC Funding
Funding to accelerate sales and marketing and R&D efforts
WALTHAM, Mass., Jan. 17 /PRNewswire/ — On the heels of a successful product launch last quarter, Interactive Supercomputing, Inc. (ISC) today announced it secured a $4.5 million Series-A investment. Flagship Ventures led the round, joined by Rock Maple Ventures and CommonAngels, a network of private investors and limited partners.
The new financing will accelerate R&D and sales and marketing efforts for ISC's Star-P software, the world's first "interactive parallel computing platform" which debuted at the Supercomputing Show 2005 in Seattle in November 2005. Star-P enables scientists and engineers to code algorithms and models on their desktops using familiar mathematical software packages and run them interactively on high-performance clusters without having to re-program the applications for parallel processing.
Ed Kania, managing director and chairman of Flagship Ventures, observed, "Computer vendors are now delivering massive and affordable computing power to technical computing users, but it is difficult to exploit this power due to programming complexities. ISC is delivering a solution which allows engineers, scientists and analysts to easily take advantage of this computing power."
According to Dennis Costello, managing director of Rock Maple Ventures, investors were bullish on ISC because they saw an opportunity to create a new category in the rapidly growing billion dollar technical computing market. "This M.I.T.-born technology is enabling scientists and engineers to finally take advantage of the world's most powerful computers to solve the complex problems, without wasting time creating custom software for parallel processing systems," he said. "Parallel computing is becoming mainstream, and ISC is ideally positioned to ride this wave."
"The funding comes at a time when the growth in the $8 billion market for high-performance servers for science and engineering is outpacing even the commercial server market," said Pete Peterson, ISC co-founder and CEO. "Driving this demand is the fact that even the most powerful desktop workstations can no longer handle many of the huge computational requirements of new mathematical models and algorithms. Yet very few commercial software applications are able to run at all on parallel computing architectures, let alone interactively. ISC is the first company to solve this problem."
The company also announced that computer industry veteran, Dr. William Strecker, would be joining the company's board of directors. Dr. Strecker was previously CTO at Digital Equipment Corporation and Compaq and a key developer of the cluster concept at Digital which is now the basis of most high performance computers today. Strecker is now a partner at Flagship Ventures and commented, "Today, there are two distinct technical computing environments: the interactive desktop, and the high-performance computing server. Star-P brings the two together, enabling the best of both worlds: the interactive and high-level interface of desktop tools, and the tremendous power of HPC servers."
Joining Kania, Costello, Peterson, and Strecker on ISC's board are co- founder, Dr. Alan Edelman, professor of applied mathematics at MIT; Professor Ed Roberts, David Sarnoff professor of management of technology at MIT and founder and chair of the MIT Entrepreneurship Center; and veteran high performance computing executive, Dr. John Mucci.
In conjunction with the Star-P launch last November, ISC announced a strategic distribution partnership with Silicon Graphics Inc. and a number of customers including the National Center for Supercomputing Applications, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the University of Connecticut, Wright- Patterson Air Force Base and the Ohio Supercomputing Center.
About Flagship Ventures
Flagship Ventures is an early-stage venture capital firm focused on creating, financing, and building innovative companies in the Life Science and Technology sectors. Headquartered in Cambridge, Mass., Flagship Ventures was founded in 1999 and manages $700 million in capital. Prior to its founding, Flagship's principals were involved as founders or investors in over 100 firms including: Adolor, AltaVista, Anesta, Antigenics, Aspect Medical, Astral Point, Celera Genomics, ChemGenics Pharmaceuticals, Color Kinetics, Chantry Networks, Cytyc, DataSage, Exact Sciences, IDEXX, PerSeptive Biosystems, Somatogen, Telecorp PCS and TripAdvisor. For more information, visit http://www.flagshipventures.com.
About Rock Maple Ventures
Rock Maple Ventures is uniquely positioned to build leading-edge companies through in-depth experience, focus on new investments and a proprietary network for business partnerships. With $80 million in capital and over 30 years of real-world executive, investment and entrepreneurial experience, Rock Maple Ventures is an active, value-added investor. For more information, visit http://www.rockmapleventures.com.
Named after Boston's historic public meeting grounds, CommonAngels is a group of 65 leading private investors and several dozen limited partners in two co-investment funds. Since 1998, CommonAngels has funded 30 companies with over $30 million from CommonAngels and over $100 million from co-investors. For more information, visit http://www.commonangels.com.
About Interactive Supercomputing
Interactive Supercomputing launched in 2004 to commercialize Star-P, the world's first interactive parallel computing platform. Star-P was developed from a foundation of six years of ground-breaking research by co-founder Professor Alan Edelman, Professor of Applied Mathematics at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and his team of researchers. The platform enables automatic parallelization and interactive execution of existing desktop simulation applications on high-performance computers. Based in Waltham, Mass., the privately-held company markets Star-P for a range of security, intelligence, manufacturing, energy, biomedical, financial, and scientific research applications. For more information, please visit the company's Web site at: http://www.interactivesupercomputing.com.