This morning, we announced a $95M Series D funding round that will help ensure that Docker can deliver on an ambitious set of long term priorities. More importantly, we believe that it will enable us to deliver on product, support, and community enablement in a manner worthy of our incredible ecosystem and the sea of change that the open Docker platform is bringing to how distributed applications are built, shipped, and run.
WHY A NEW ROUND, WHY NOW?
Since Docker just closed a large [Series C] round in September of 2014, it is inevitable that a lot of public discussion will focus on timing, the amount raised, or the valuation of this round. While the value being created by the broader Docker ecosystem is ultimately more important than the valuation of this round, I’d like to share some of the rationale for raising a large round now.
First, it is worth clarifying that Docker doesn’t have an imminent need for additional financing. Docker is still a relatively small company (we just hired our 120th full time employee) and we spend our capital judiciously. We are still spending the money that we raised in our B round (and, for what it’s worth, we raised the C round while we were still spending the money from our A round.)
However, we are in a period of rapid change. Whatever seemingly ambitious goals Docker set at the time of the last round have been dwarfed by what the Docker ecosystem has delivered in terms of usage, product innovation, partnerships, and in mainstream enterprise adoption. Raising a large round now helps ensure we can respond to what the past seven months have brought and whatever the next several years may bring.
WHAT’S BEEN HAPPENING SINCE THE SEPTEMBER C ROUND?
While the number of people working at Docker has doubled since September, most of the measures of Docker usage and traction have grown significantly faster (10x or more) in the same timeline. This includes:
-Growth in the number of Docker contributors to over 1,200
-Growth in the number of Dockerized applications on Docker Hub to over 100,000
-Growth in the number of developers using Docker to between 3 and 4 million
-Growth in the number of Docker container downloads to over 300 Million (up from 100 M at the beginning of January)
Over the same period of time, we’ve also see a dramatic expansion in the functionality of the Docker platform. We shipped orchestration capabilities (e.g. Docker Compose, Machine, and Swam.), developed our security model, demonstrated a set of APIs and plug-ins, introduced better tools and UI, and expanded our enterprise support and management offerings.
The ecosystem has also continued to develop in exciting new ways. Major, Docker-related announcements have come from large companies like Amazon, IBM, Microsoft, Red Hat, and Google, and HP. We’ve also seen an explosion of new companies in the ecosystem, such as Weave, Cluster HQ, and Rancher. In fact, there are now over 32,000 Docker –related projects on GitHub, and it has been estimated that over 30 Docker-related startups have received funding.
One of the most gratifying developments over the last seven months has been the extent to which Docker has become a mainstream movement. At DockerCon EU, companies like ING, Société Générale (financial services), and BBC (media) spoke about their usage of Docker. And, they are not alone.
o ETR reports that large enterprise CIOs have expressed unprecedented buying interest in Docker; higher than any of the hundreds of leading technology vendors they have tracked regularly over the past 6 years
o A VMblog report shows that 70% of enterprises are using Docker in their environments
These external reports mirror what we are seeing internally.In fact, there are now over 10,000 organizations and workgroups using Docker Hub, our hosted service as part of their CI/CD workflow. These organizations—and an increasing number of mainstream enterprises—are providing validation that commercial management solutions and commercial support will form a sustainable first revenue stream for Docker. For example, when we announced the beta of our enterprise offering—DHE—we were amazed that nearly 100 enterprises indicated interest on the first day. That beta is underway with 15 customers, half of whom are in Fortune 50. When we go to GA in this quarter, we want to be ready to fully service these important customers and markets, directly and through large go-to-market partners such as IBM, Microsoft, and our large network of regional systems integrators.
In the face of this explosion of usage, partners, and –increasingly—mainstream enterprise adoption, we want to make sure that we have the capability to support whatever growth comes over the next several years. And, we want to make sure that we can continue to deliver regardless of the state of the venture markets. We’ll be using a portion of the new round to shore up our engineering and product organizations, a portion to increase our community support and resources, and a portion to increase our commercial customer facing organizations. We’ll also save a substantial reserve to enable us to respond to whatever opportunities emerge in the future.
Ultimately, we hope that the early revenue and customer traction we are seeing will turn into a fully self-sustaining business, enabling Docker to invest both in continued corporate growth and to our incredible open source community.
SOME THANK YOUs
We are excited by the potential that this new round brings. And, we are grateful to those who have enabled us to reach this milestone.
First, Docker would like to thank the investors who made this round possible. The round is being led by long-time Docker supporter Insight Ventures, whose founding partner Jerry Murdock has served as a board observer since we closed our series B. All of our existing major investors (Benchmark, Trinity, Greylock, Sequoia, and Jerry Yang’s AME cloud ventures) are also participating, as are some great new investors like Coatue, Northern Trust, and Goldman Sachs. Significantly, the push to invest by Goldman and Northern Trust came from their IT departments, after they saw the impact that Docker was having in their environments and across their industry.
Of course, none of this would have been possible without the incredible work of the 120 talented individuals who work at Docker, who have delivered incredible results over the past two years to make Docker what it is today.
No list of thank you’s would be complete without mentioning Solomon Hykes, whose vision, insight, leadership, and perseverance have been key to everything at Docker.
Finally, I’d like to thank the broader Docker ecosystem for believing in and supporting us. We have always felt that building a strong open source project and a strong company were/are highly compatible goals. Together, we can show the world that great open communities, great open code, and great open businesses go hand in hand.
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