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June 14, 2022

Platform9: Why We Invested

Platform9: Why We Invested

Celesta Capital led the most recent financing round in Platform9. Here's why we invested in the company.

Celesta Capital led the most recent financing round in Platform9. Here's why we invested in the company.

Enterprises today recognize that being cloud native is no longer a luxury but a business imperative. Cloud native applications take advantage of the scale, elasticity, security, resiliency, and flexibility the cloud provides. 

Typically, these apps are built as standalone portable packages of software, called “microservices,” that includes everything needed to run the application. They are then orchestrated in an environment called Kubernetes, an open-source orchestration platform used to manage container technology across cloud environments. 

With cloud and containers in place, enterprises can iterate and deploy quickly (and more often) making cloud-native a powerful, promising technology that they are understandably eager to leverage.

Since Kubernetes entered the open-source community in 2014, it has grown to become the leading container orchestration platform. According to the Cloud Native Computing Foundation 2021 Annual Survey, 96% of organizations are either using or evaluating Kubernetes with around 5.6 million developers using Kubernetes today.

Yet, Kubernetes is fraught with complexity. Some enterprises choose public cloud solutions which can get very expensive at scale while limiting their app portability across other cloud environments. Alternatively, other enterprises undertake DIY efforts that are time-consuming and difficult. Furthermore, for both options the scarcity of cloud native expertise is a huge problem. Many have found that they spend more time dealing with Kubernetes than gaining measurable value from it.

Platform9 is grounded in democratizing cloud computing with an open, distributed cloud architecture. The potential of a SaaS Kubernetes platform that builds and operates clusters across edge, private, and public clouds makes Kubernetes simple to own, operate and scale. Platform9’s SaaS Kubernetes enables enterprise customers to work in an “Open Distributed Cloud.”

Platform9 was founded in 2013, and Celesta led a round of financing in early 2021. We were impressed with the team, with their well-honed technical skills, deep understanding of the market, and customer focus. We liked their broad customer base and the multi-billion-dollar market they were addressing. 

In our due diligence, customers told us that Kubernetes is great but complex and hard to operate at scale. They said the Platform9 team knows Kubernetes really well. With Platform9 they could optimize resources dedicated to Kubernetes with Platform9 handling their core of building products and services to serve their customers. Importantly, they said the Platform9 team acts as a partner.

It was also important for us to see that Platform9 had a quality set of existing investors, some we had invested with in the past and who we knew from experience would help the company grow and be there to support its future funding needs.

Since our initial funding, we have worked closely with the company and have been delighted by its progress. In addition to signing up major customers such as Juniper, Kingfisher, and Redfin, they’ve established key partnerships such as with Rackspace where Platform9 is powering Rackspace’s Managed Platform for Kubernetes (MPK) offering and with Mavenir who is leveraging Platform9’s Kubernetes solution to deliver a robust web-scale platform that runs containerized cloud-native network functions.

Platform9 has now proven itself across multiple industry segments and across many use cases. At this point, PMK has 40,000 nodes under management and is ingesting 6.1 billion events each day.

Last fall, to lead Platform9 as it takes its role as an iconic cloud computing company, Celesta was instrumental in bringing in a senior industry executive, Bhaskar Gorti, to lead the company in its next phase as the CEO of the company. Bhaskar is a global software executive with decades of experience in building innovative and passionate teams focused on accelerating growth through customer-centricity, digitalization, and automation. He previously held top industry positions including Senior Vice President and General Manager at Oracle Corporation and President of Nokia Software and Chief Digital Officer.

We believe Platform9 is addressing a critical need for enterprises large and small and is well positioned to become the leader in Open Distributed Cloud.

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