Docker hits double unicorn status after raising $105M in Series C funding round

Docker hits double unicorn status after raising $105M in Series C funding round

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Docker Inc. said today it has closed on a hefty $105 million round of funding that values it at $2.1 billion — a sign that the provider of cloud-native software development tools and services is leveraging its longtime open-source bet to court more and more developers to its platform.

The Series C round was led by new investor Bain Capital Ventures, with participation from new investors Atlassian Ventures, Citi Ventures, Vertex Ventures and Four Rivers, plus existing investors Benchmark Capital, Insight Partners and Tribe Capital.

Docker is best known as the company that created and popularized modern software containers, which are used by developers to deploy code in portable packages that can run on any kind of computer infrastructure. This ensures applications are portable and have a large degree of hardware efficiency, so developers don’t have to rewrite them for different platforms. Docker released its first iteration of the technology eight years ago and containers now form the basis of millions of enterprise applications.

While software containers have gone from strength to strength, Docker has evolved. The company once offered two products: tools for developers to build containerized applications and products that help enterprises to manage container apps. However, Docker sold its enterprise business to Mirantis Inc. in 2019 and has since refocused entirely on developer tools.

Today, its main products are Docker Desktop and Docker Hub, both of which are available for free as open source but come with premium features. Docker Desktop is a desktop app that’s used by developers to create applications, with tools for testing code, uploading it to production environments and more. Docker Hub, meanwhile, is a kind of app store for developers, where they can download ready-to-use application components that are packaged as containers.

Docker’s tools are proving popular, and may get even more popular if the company’s right when it claims developer teams can release new software 13 times more frequently when using them. Docker also claims that developers using its tools can boost productivity with new technologies in 65% less time, while compressing mean time to remediation of security vulnerabilities by 62%.

Such advantages appear to explain Docker’s strong momentum. The company reckons it has enjoyed annual recurring revenue growth of more than four times over the past year, though it didn’t reveal from what base.

It said there are more than 10 million registered developers and developer teams using its software, and of those, 56,000 are commercial customers using paid features of its platform. Its customers include 70% of the Fortune 100, plus the top 10 technology companies in the world, eight of the top 10 financial services firms, eight of the top 10 retailers and six of the top 10 telecommunications firms.

Analyst Holger Mueller of Constellation Research Inc. said the size of Docker’s latest funding round shows how the battle to increase developer velocity through greater productivity is in full swing. “It’s good to see Docker re-emerging as a key player in this market with its new funding,” he said. “This will only increase the competition among those building platforms to make stronger next-generation applications, and that will benefit developers and enterprises alike.”

Docker plans to use today’s funding to accelerate investment in both its product and its go-to-market initiatives. On the product side, the funding will be used to increase investments in developer productivity, trusted content and ecosystem partnerships, while on the go-to-market side, Docker said it will invest in new channels and geographies.

Docker Chief Executive Scott Johnston (pictured) said the company’s success is the result of the strong efforts of its team, its developer community and its partners.

“Together we have focused on the needs of developers, to help them quickly and safely build, share, and run any app, anywhere,” he said. “As tens of millions of new developers join the market this decade, this funding enables us to go faster in solving problems for this next generation.”

Tools to help developers produce better applications faster continue to heat up. Just yesterday a trio of onetime Docker co-founders announced the DevOps software deployment startup Daggerraising $20 million in new funding along with the public beta launch of its platform that automates management for software supply chains.

Dagger was founded by Docker founders Solomon Hykes, Sam Alba and Andrea Luzzardi. The platform can run on any runtime compatible with Docker. The aim is to take the otherwise complex problem of software supply chain management and simplify it with easier configuration, a large catalog of pre-built actions and the ability to make re-usable custom actions for the software delivery lifecycle.

Photo: SiliconANGLE

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