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Kubernetes Creators' Enterprise IT Startup Heptio Raises $25M

Wants to make Kubernetes more accessible for enterprises, looks at broader IT transformation and hybrid cloud

The Kubernetes-based startup, Heptio, announced this week that it has completed a $25 million Series B funding round led by Madrona Venture Group and joined by Lightspeed Venture Partners and Accel Partners. This comes less than a year after a first round raised $8.5 million, bringing the total raised to $33.5 million.

"This new funding accelerates our growth and enables us to look beyond Kubernetes to support businesses' IT transformation efforts in a hybrid-cloud world," said Heptio CEO, Craig McLuckie, in a statement. "We are excited to partner with investors who share our enthusiasm and support our vision to bring cloud native computing to all IT organizations."

Heptio's back story, to borrow from Humphrey Bogart and Dashiell Hammett, is the stuff that dreams are made of.

The company's founders, CEO McLuckie and Joe Beda -- along with Brendan Burns, who's now with Microsoft -- developed Kubernetes, the popular Linux container orchestration platform, while at Google and released it to the open source community, where it's now part of the Cloud Native Computing Foundation, a Linux Foundation Collaborative project that McLuckie helped start. Since then, McLuckie and Beda have been able to take the "little" project they helped create and parlay it into a rewarding career.

In business since last November, the Seattle-based startup launched its first product, a set of tools for configuring Kubernetes called Ksonnet, in May. That was followed in August by the release of Ark, for disaster recovery, and Sonobuoy, a diagnostics tool. In addition to developing software, the company offers services to enterprises seeking to adopt Kubernetes.

"Kubernetes really speaks to systems engineers, but there is a huge body of work to do to make it truly accessible to engineers who don’t necessarily have the time to ‘dig into’ the details of the project," McLuckie said in a blog post after the funding round's close. "Upstream versions of Kubernetes remain inaccessible to many from an operations and accessibility perspective. It is still too hard to deploy a Kubernetes cluster, qualify whether it is conformant, and stitch it into the fabric of enterprise IT systems."

As part of the latest funding round, lead investor Madrona Venture Group's managing director, Tim Porter, will take a seat on Heptio's board.

"Joe, Craig, and the talented team they have built at Heptio are already seeing incredible reception for their approach to making Kubernetes accessible for the enterprise," he said. "Being in the cloud capital of the world in Seattle, we know this is the ideal team to accomplish Heptio's mission of providing the standard for cloud native operations and enterprise app delivery in a multi-cloud world."

The funding will be used to hire more engineers to develop more Kubernetes-related products and services. In addition, the company has plans to expand into Europe and Asia.

TAGS: Startups
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