Sometimes, you can’t be sure why, everything seems to go wrong. Wrong timing, wrong sequence, wrong ideas, wrong team. Just all wrong.
And sometimes, things seem to unfold perfectly: the team is great, the chemistry happens, the ideas are good, the timing is right. Not that hard work is not required or that you don’t make mistakes, but even those seem to have a purpose.
For now, CloudBees seems to fit in that second category. We launched the company 16 months ago, have raised 4m USD last year from Matrix Partners and the incomparable David Skok, joined forces with two great companies (InfraDNA and Stax Networks) and released the only Java PaaS that covers the complete application lifecycle, from development to production, in GA, with full support for SaaS partners as part of the platform. In the meantime, the team has grown from 5 to 27 and we will be opening our first office in Boston this week, which will primarily be serving as the mothership for our sales and marketing team – our engineering team being mostly located somewhere else on Earth.
While it is typically pretty hard to have any kind of certainty in this type of context, I have two: i) the PaaS market is going to be incredibly big and strategic and ii) it is unclear at what point it will fully trigger. And the timing won’t just depend on CloudBees delivering on a great platform and great customer service, it will also depend on a large number of external factors: confidence in public cloud infrastructure, viral effects around cloud-based deployment, messaging and investment of the leading software vendors towards the cloud, adoption of SaaS solutions, type of new applications being deployed, growth of the mobile applications market, (reduced-)IT spending, world’s economy, etc.
Consequently, the right thing we can do at CloudBees is to keep innovating, flawlessly deliver on quality releases and top service and aim for the long term. More of the same essentially.
To that end, we had in mind to raise a second round of funding later this year. That was the plan at least. It was without counting on a high-energy and talented investor, John Vrionis from Lightspeed Venture Partners who pinged me some time ago: he told me he had essentially done a lot of research, carefully studied this market, and he wanted to be part of the CloudBees adventure. He liked the market, the team, the approach and thought we needed to be equipped to do what is right for the company, resource-wise and time-wise.
As we got to know each other better, we obviously performed our due-diligence and checked on John’s references. My dream is that if 10 years from now I get reference checked, I would like to get 10% of the positive feedback that John got. We were looking for a West Coast VC that would not merely sit on the board but would be part of the team, dedicate time, energy, frustration, joy and neurons to CloudBees and obviously understand what’s happening in the cloud.
As a result of this a deal was sealed and Lightspeed Venture Partners agreed to invest $10.5m USD in CloudBees, along with Matrix Partners.
Sacha Labourey, CEO