July 19th, 2010

Puppet Labs proves Portland open source startups can find funding (to the tune of $5 million)


Puppet Labs proves Portland open source startups can find funding (to the tune of $5 million)

It’s always nice to hear about Portland startups securing capital. It’s downright exciting when you hear that a local open source startup is getting funding.

And that’s the case today with Puppet Labs—the makers of a leading open source server configuration management and provisioning solution—as they announced that they have closed a $5 million second round, led by Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers.

A little over a year ago, Puppet (then called Reductive Labs) announced that they had secured $2 million in capital and that they were relocating the company to Portland. Today, marks another step forward for the growing company.

But what exactly does Puppet’s solution do? Well, it helps companies like Twitter deal with their massive farms of servers, quickly and easily. Or as Puppet puts it:

Puppet is an open source data center automation and configuration management framework. Puppet provides system administrators with a simplified platform that allows for consistent, transparent, and flexible systems management.

Puppet lets System Administrators spend less time on mundane tasks and instead focus on managing their infrastructure strategically.

And with the growing number of massive Web applications with massive user bases and technology implementations, that’s a really good space in which to be. Investors recognize that. And they’re putting their money where their mouth is.

“Puppet is backed by a large community and thousands of users. Sys admins everywhere know and love Puppet because it makes their life easier,” said Kevin Compton, Partner at Radar Partners and new Puppet Labs board member, in a press release. “Puppet Labs is uniquely positioned in the market and has a tremendous opportunity because it’s going up against legacy systems or manual, do-it-yourself processes that have to be written from scratch for each system, every time. Puppet is a platform to automate that entire procedure.”

According to Mike Rogoway over at The Oregonian, Puppet will be dipping its toe in the proprietary waters, as well.

Puppet, formerly called Reductive Labs, plans to use the money to ramp up its engineering team. It will add a vice president and several more developers to improve its software, according to chief executive Luke Kanies, and lease bigger offices within the city.

The company will also release a major update to its software today. And Kanies said Puppet will soon add proprietary options for specific applications.

“The main goal of this funding round is to begin offering commercial software to complement our open source” products, [CEO Luke Kaines] said.

For more information on the funding, read the Puppet press release. Or read the additional Puppet coverage from ReadWriteWeb, Xconomy, VentureBeat, peHub, and GigaOm. For more information on the company and its solutions, visit Puppet Labs or follow PuppetLabs on Twitter.

Background that may help (or may not)

12 Responses to “Puppet Labs proves Portland open source startups can find funding (to the tune of $5 million)”

  1. Thomas says:

    Wonderful news!

  2. Jeff Katz says:

    This is indeed great and encouraging news and congrats to the Puppet Labs team. The only thing wrong with this news is once again the seemingly non-existent local venture capital community not playing a role in funding local start-ups

  3. Luke Kanies says:

    Thanks for the congrats, Rick. We’re very excited with the round, and we’re especially excited because Kevin (who was acting CEO of Citrix in Ft. Lauderdale) has reiterated a commitment to growing in Portland.

    Jeff – truth to tell, we never even tried to talk to a Portland VC firm. I don’t see any reason to tie our venture backing with our geographical area; I’d rather work with the best, and Kleiner, True (who have also backed Urban Airship here in Portland), and Kevin Compton fit that bill.

    Funds are available for great companies anywhere in the world. It’s always harder to close the deal when you aren’t camped in their backyards, but it’s usually better in the end.

  4. [...] the full story from TechCrunchIT.com by clicking here. Also see local coverage of the story from SiliconFlorist and the Oregonian. SHARETHIS.addEntry({ title: "Portland Software Company Takes $5 Million in [...]

  5. Jeff Katz says:

    Luke: Fair statement about wanting to work with the best (and you did!). It just seems the start-up vs. VC community here is often stuck in neutral.

    Congrats again to you and your team!

  6. Luke Kanies says:

    Jeff – heh, you should try doing it in Nashville, where I was before. And there’s always a danger of local VC being active enough to be interesting but not helpful enough to be good. I’ve heard this about Austin’s VC market.

    I prefer the VC community to be either fantastic or easily routed around, and if Portland can’t be the former then I’ll take the latter.

  7. Amber Case says:

    Awesome. Just awesome. Great business model too! This is going to become something more and more companies need, especially successful ones.

    Great to see this happen.

  8. [...] So when Jive announces that they’ve secured another $30 million in funding, I’m going to cover it. Because some of that cash is going to come through the Portland office. And because the investor—juggernaut Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers—just happens to be the firm that just dropped $5 million in Puppet Labs’ proverbial pockets. [...]

  9. [...] Puppet Labs proves Portland open source startups can find funding (to the tune of $5 million) [...]

  10. [...] startups get funding, it’s common practice for them to go into a series of build versus buy decisions in regards [...]

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  12. [...] Puppet Labs proves Portland open source startups can find funding (to the tune of $5 million) (11) [...]


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