If January is any indication, the Portland startup scene is in for an interesting year. First, Janrain announced a big round of investment. Now, Puppet Labs has landed a $30 million strategic investment from VMware.
This brings the total funding for the company into the neighborhood of $45.5 million.
The new money is going to help Puppet Labs hire the kind of talent they need and give them the wherewithal to remain a strong, independent management company.
Cofounder and CEO Luke Kanies sees the current IT environment as ripe with opportunity for his company:
We think all of these changes—cloud, DevOps, and the consumerization of IT—pose major challenges to the IT management software incumbents, but they are the Puppet Labs’ sweet spot. Fundamentally, this new partnership is about enabling Puppet Labs to continue growing, to keep us in the best position to fill the gap left by the lack of adaptation by the incumbents.
It also marks an important step forward for this new generation of tech startups in Portland. Puppet Labs—then known as Reductive Labs—was one of the first early stage startups in recent history to draw investors investors outside the state into our ecosystem. Some of those investors—True Ventures, for example—have remained active in the Portland startup scene, funding companies like Urban Airship, as well.
“We think there’s a real opportunity for a public company, a new great company, to be standing shoulder-to-shoulder with these incumbents [like BMC Software, CA Technologies and IBM],” Luke told Mike Rogoway at The Oregonian. And echoed the sentiment in his post announcing the investment:
Looking further out, it’s clear that the disruptive nature of virtualization and cloud, DevOps, and the consumerization of IT create the need for a new, stand-alone IT management company with a different approach. It’s an approach that empowers great people rather than boxing them in, enables rapid change versus gating it, that aligns IT with business goals, that makes great IT operations a competitive advantage. With a tailwind of an engaged and growing community, innovative products, $46 million in total capital raised, and best of all, lots of delighted, paying customers, we will be that company.
With their current trajectory, that seems like a pretty good bet.