Shippable has raised an $8 million Series A, coming on the heels of an initial $2 million seed round in December.
The company believes it has found a niche in the Docker application container space: the shipping. Its platform is an on-ramp to using containers for enterprises helping them simplify software development workflows. It provides continuous delivery, containerized. The round will go toward further development of its offering and marketing.
Docker containers package applications and dependencies into a single package so that they are portable. It means not having to worry about the nuances of infrastructure configuration, translating into a quicker development cycle.
Shippable can abstract containerization itself and provide continuous delivery. It automates staging environments and helps teams identify bugs instantly. The solution was natively built on Docker and runs on Amazon Web Services.
Continuous delivery is a popular software development method that includes a lot of automation of testing, integration, and deployment processes. Shippable's idea is to provide an “ideal lab” that reduces an enterprise’s test and development lab footprint.
The company said that traditional continuous integration tools only help automate unit tests. Shippable brings in automated functional testing with instant, on-demand test and development environments that are containerized replicas of production.
Customers have been responding to this continuous integration and delivery message. After launching version 2.0 in September, the number of users jumped from 8,000 to 25,000, and the number of businesses giving Shippable a spin rose from 400 to 1600.
The round was raised preemptively, said co-founder and CEO Avi Cavale. A large portion of the December round remains, however the company is making a big push in terms of engineering ahead of exiting beta.
Shippable is going after hybrid infrastructure needs, addressing enterprise pain points like governance and control over "shadow IT." It is focused squarely on enterprises and helping them remove the roadblocks they have in their workflows.
Cavale said that smoothing the entire delivery process is generally trickier inside the enterprise. “The deployment inside an enterprise behind the firewall is a lot more challenging,” he said. “Enterprises are using a lot of legacy products, which we had to take into account and build compatibility and integrations for. Using Docker helps quite a bit.”
Enterprises are increasingly looking to DevOps in order to bring in more agile development. “DevOps is a culture, not a tool,” said Cavale. “We don’t go to them and say ‘we can help you do DevOps.’ We talk about how long it takes to ship a single change.” The major selling point behind the platform is making that “shipment” fast, easy, and secure.
Customer growth is attributable to general interest in containers. The cloud giants are championing containers as part of their service offerings (most recently Google, for whom containers have been an integral part of running its own infrastructure for years), and now enterprises are figuring out how to leverage the much-hyped technology effectively in practice.
The company isn’t building a source control, so it can partner with the likes of GitHub. Shippable can push into container hosted platforms. In terms of service providers, Cavale said they were a bit of a lagging indicator. “They tend to come in after enterprises,” he said.