Silicon Valley mainstay NEA leads $37.5M investment in Seattle cloud startup Pulumi – GeekWire

Silicon Valley mainstay NEA leads $37.5M investment in Seattle cloud startup Pulumi – GeekWire

Silicon Valley mainstay NEA leads $37.5M investment in Seattle cloud startup Pulumi – GeekWire

Eric Rudder, Pulumi president, COO and cxecutive chairman, left, and Joe Duffy, Pulumi CEO, in the company’s downtown Seattle offices last year. (GeekWire File Photo)

Pulumi has raised a new $37.5 million investment led by NEA, representing a vote of confidence by the longtime venture capital firm in the Seattle startup’s software development tools for programming the underlying infrastructure of the cloud.

The 35-person startup, founded in 2017 by former Microsoft engineering leaders Joe Duffy and Eric Rudder, has developed “one of the most significant and ambitious approaches to redefining how the cloud is used that we’ve seen in years, much like operating system revolutions of the past,” said Scott Sandell, NEA’s managing general partner, in a statement Wednesday morning announcing the investment.

Seattle-based Madrona Venture Group and Tola Capital, which led Pulumi’s $15 million Series A funding round two years ago, also participated in the new Series B funding round.

Scott Sandell, NEA’s managing general partner. (NEA Photo)

NEA, formally known as New Enterprise Associates, was founded in 1977 and has offices in areas including Silicon Valley, Boston, New York and Maryland. It closed on a $3.6 billion fund in March, bringing the total capital raised over its lifetime to nearly $24 billion. Its portfolio includes other cloud infrastructure such as Cloudflare, as well as an array of startups in areas including healthcare and robotics.

The investment brings Pulumi’s total funding raised to $57.5 million. With the round, NEA partner Aaron Jacobson is joining the Pulumi board of directors, alongside existing board members S. Somasegar, managing director of Madrona Venture Group, and Sheila Gulati, managing director of Tola Capital.

Pulumi says it will use the funds to accelerate its research and development, and expand its sales and marketing initiatives. Jay Wampold, a veteran marketing executive with experience at companies including Chef, Amazon Web Services, Qumulo, and Cloudability, recently joined Pulumi as chief marketing officer. The company says it also hired Lindsay Marolich as senior director of demand generation and Kevin Kotecki as VP of sales.

Other recent hires include Lee-Ming Zen as VP of engineering, building out a technology team led by CTO Luke Hoban.

The company faces no shortage of competition. It’s going up against an array of high-profile alternatives in the field known as as infrastructure as code, including AWS CloudFormation, Hashicorp Terraform and others.

Pulumi says its growth has accelerated this year, due in part to customers putting greater focus on new cloud projects amid the pandemic.

“Clearly people are accelerating their move to the cloud,” said Rudder, Pulumi’s executive chairman and co-founder. “They’re prioritizing better in the face of a crisis. Projects that may have been on the backburner are now all of a sudden imperative to get to the cloud. That’s definitely accelerated the progress overall. And people are moving larger and larger portfolios to the cloud.”

Pulumi lets its customers apply modern software development practices to what has traditionally been a cumbersome or manual process of provisioning, configuring and updating the underlying hardware and software for running applications. Its tools work across platforms and technologies including AWS, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud, Kubernetes and others, letting developers use general purpose languages including JavaScript, TypeScript, Python and Go, rather than learning specialized and single-purpose languages.

Its customers range from small startups to large companies such as Mercedes-Benz, Tableau, DocuSign, VMware and Snowflake. Pulumi is based on an open-source model, with a community edition available for free to individual users. It sells multi-user and enterprise plans in a software-as-a-service model.

The company says it’s now seeing more than 1 million downloads of its software tools each month, and overall adoption has increased 10x in the last year. More than 3,000 attendees registered for Pulumi’s Cloud Engineering Summit in October.

“We’ve seen enormous growth, both in the open source community, but then also in the customer base,” said Duffy, the company’s co-founder and CEO, in an interview.

Madrona Venture Group’s Somasegar said he sees two trends fueling Pulumi’s growth: an industry shift that has put the cloud at the center of software development; and the growing need for developers, operations specialists, security engineers and others to work together seamlessly in a continuous loop of design, development, deployment, monitoring and updates.

“Those two secular trends are what I got excited about in the first place with Pulumi, and 3-and-a-half years later, those two trends are continuing to be super strong,” Somasegar said.

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