Docker, the startup behind the popular Linux application container technology, just got a lot more wind behind its already full sails. The San Francisco company got $95 million from a group of investors in a Series D funding round.
Over the past two years or so, Docker has been one of Silicon Valley’s quickest-rising stars. It announced its first production-ready release with a bang at a sold-out DockerCon in San Francisco just last June.
Since then, the company raised a $40 million Series C round, made four acquisitions, and previewed its flagship commercial product, Docker Hub Enterprise, which is a central repository and management platform for Docker container images that can be hosted on infrastructure of the customer’s choice. Docker raised a $15 million Series B in January of last year.
Docker acquisition timeline:
- July 2014: Docker acquires a two-man London-based Orchard Labs, which hosts Docker containers in the cloud as a service and has an open source container orchestration tool called Fig.
- October 2014: Docker acquires Koality, a San Francisco-based startup whose software simplifies management of things like software versioning, upgrading, and updating.
- March 2015: Docker acquires Kitematic, a Canadian shop that makes it possible to run, build, and ship Docker containers on Macs.
- March 2015: Docker acquires SocketPlane, a Sunnyvale, California, startup whose software defined network technology enables sophisticated network management for containerized applications.
The startup, whose offices are in San Francisco’s financial district, enjoys wholehearted support of the big three public cloud providers Amazon, Microsoft, and Google. Microsoft, Amazon Web Services, and IBM have made strategic product investments in support of Docker.
Its products are based on its open-source container technology, which is also called Docker. While application “containerization” has been part of Linux functionality for a long time, Docker has figured out an elegant way to use this functionality that has been very popular with developers.
Its ultimate goal is to enable developers to write applications without worrying about what kind of infrastructure they are going to run on. The idea is to make it easy for a developer to deploy an application they wrote on their laptop in a test environment or in production, be it on bare metal or inside VMs in his or her company’s data center or on an infrastructure cloud the likes of AWS and Microsoft provide.
Many companies have been building tools that help use and manage Docker containers for complex applications that run across multiple containers securely and in multi-tenant settings (when multiple users’ applications share physical computing resources). These companies include Google, Microsoft, Amazon, IBM, Joyent, CoreOS, and Docker itself, among others.
The rate at which this ecosystem around Docker technology has been growing is both a sign and a reason for the company’s success. It now has a strong user base, which includes the likes of Groupon, Yelp, Spotify, BBC, and Goldman Sachs.
Goldman is also one of the new investors that joined the latest Docker funding round. Other new investors were Coatue and Northern Trust.
Previous investors Benchmark, Greylock Partners, Sequoia Capital, Trinity Ventures, and Yahoo co-founder Jerry Yang’s AME Cloud Ventures also participated.
Docker founder and CTO Solomon Hykes said the company’s aim was to provide a tool that will make possible applications that haven’t been possible before.
“We think [developers] are still looking for a platform that helps them build and ship applications in a truly standardized way, without lock-in or unwanted bundled features,” he said in a statement. “That is what we set out to build, and we are not yet content with what we have achieved so far.”
As enterprises build more and more software in-house, Docker (and many others) is seizing on the opportunity to sell tools to enterprise software developers. Goldman is a prime example.
“With the accelerating pace of digitization in the financial industry, the breadth, complexity, and diversity of our software and infrastructure services has grown materially,” Don Duet, global co-head of Goldman’s technology division, said in a statement. “The ability to manage and run business-critical technology at scale in an agile and adaptive ecosystem has become fundamental to our firm.”