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Exclusive: Investors Still See Potential In Kubernetes As Spectro Cloud Locks In $40M Series B

Santa Clara, California-based Spectro Cloud closed a $40 million Series B led by Stripes, as the company looks to help companies build on the open-source Kubernetes platform.

The round also included participation from Sierra Ventures, Boldstart Ventures, WestWave Capital, T-Mobile Ventures, The Syndicate Group (TSG) and Alter Venture Partners. Founded in 2019, Spectro has now raised a total of $67.5 million.

Kubernetes has been popular with investors for a while. Many see potential in the platform as the use of containers in building applications has grown through the years, and Kubernetes has become the dominant way to deploy and manage those containers. The open-source platform for automating deployment and management of containerized applications was developed out of Google more than seven years ago.

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A growing number of companies offer services on top of Kubernetes. In Spectro’s case, it offers a management platform for enterprises that helps companies handle any type of cluster across any cloud environment.

“What got us excited … is the whole trend to manage Kubernetes across the enterprise and scale it,” said Paul Melchiorre, operating partner at Stripes. “There is a window of opportunity now—enterprises are adopting Kubernetes.”

Time to grow

Tenry Fu, Spectro co-founder and CEO, said the round came together quickly as the company just started to raise money last month. The new proceeds will be used to grow its 80-person staff to about 120 by the end of the year, increase sales and expand internationally. The company expects to grow by about 4x this year, he added.

While there are other orchestration platforms to help manage Kubernetes—such as Rancher Labs, which was bought for a reported $600 million in 2020 by SUSE—Fu said Spectro’s solution is easy for enterprises to deploy and scale.

That has become important because it is not just large tech companies building with Kubernetes anymore, he said. While the company works with usual suspects like tech and telecommunications companies, Fu said even companies in sectors like retail and restaurants are using Kubernetes.

This is not Fu’s first run as a founder. More than a decade ago he helped found ​​CliQr, which helped developers deploy and manage workloads on any public or private cloud, and was bought by Cisco for $260 million in 2016.

Fu said he is not concerned about an exit of any sort right now.

“I think there will be a lot of interest out there, but we are just focused on execution,” he said.

His investors, however, see big potential.

“This could be a large company,” Melchiorre said. “Eventually, a few years down the road, I could even see talking about an IPO.”

Illustration: Li-Anne Dias.

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