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Coach Wei's new start-up, Yottaa, brings in $4 million from General Catalyst and Stata Ventures

Posted by Scott Kirsner  April 22, 2010 06:03 PM

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There's a party tonight at The Red House in Harvard Square to celebrate the close of a $4 million first round of funding for Yottaa, a Cambridge-based start-up founded by Coach Wei. The cloud computing company raised some money last October from Stata Venture Partners, and General Catalyst joined in to fill out the Series A round this week.

The company will focus, according to GC partner Larry Bohn, on small- to medium-sized businesses, offering free and subscription-based services like Web site security analysis, performance measurement, and content distribution, in competition with players like Symantec, Gomez, and Akamai. "It's an elastic way for companies to acquire not just infrastructure that they don't need to own, but geographically-disparate infrastructure," Bohn says. (The company is currently hiring a director of operations to help Yottaa build out that infrastructure.)

Wei tells me that the company's first service will roll out in a few weeks, helping companies diagnose problems with their Web site performance for instance, is the site bogging down because of a server issue, or some poorly-written JavaScript code? Yottaa's blog refers to Yottaa as "the performance analytics company." Wei says they haven't yet determined all the other services they'll offer, or exactly how the business model will work. 

Wei tells me the company has a dozen employees; half are based in Cambridge, and the other half in Beijing. 

"Coach is a terrific technical entrepreneur really very thoughtful," says Bohn, who'll join the Yottaa board. "I liked his thinking about how the cloud was going to change, and how he could help people who build and run Web sites." Bohn says he was introduced to Wei by Roman Stanek, founder of GoodData, another of his portfolio companies. 

Wei remains chairman of his prior start-up, Burlington-based Nexaweb, which helps large companies get their legacy applications working on the Web. The chief technology officer at Yottaa, Bob Buffone, also worked with Wei at Nexaweb, as chief architect.

(A yotta is a unit prefix which echoes the numerical name of a certain search engine.)

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Scott Kirsner was part of the team that launched Boston.com in 1995, and has been writing a column for the Globe since 2000. His work has also appeared in Wired, Fast Company, The New York Times, BusinessWeek, Newsweek, and Variety. Scott is also the author of the books "Fans, Friends & Followers" and "Inventing the Movies," was the editor of "The Convergence Guide: Life Sciences in New England," and was a contributor to "The Good City: Writers Explore 21st Century Boston." Scott also helps organize several local events on entrepreneurship, including the Nantucket Conference and Future Forward. Here's some background on how Scott decides what to cover, and how to pitch him a story idea.

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