Puppet raises $42M to fuel its software development technology for the cloud, hopes to be cash-flow positive in a year


Puppet’s downtown Portland office. (Puppet Photo)

At one point three years ago, Portland’s Puppet thought it was headed toward an IPO. That did not happen, but CEO Sanjay Mirchandani says the DevOps toolmaker is back on track with $42 million in new funding.

The new round was led by current investor Cisco and also included prior investors such as Kleiner Perkins, True Ventures, and VMware. New investor EDBI, the investment arm of the Singapore government’s Economic Development Board, came along as a new participant in this round.

In an interview with GeekWire, Mirchandani declined to comment on Puppet’s current valuation or release any financial details, but he did say Puppet was coming off its third straight quarter of “record growth,” saying that last quarter’s revenue growth was between 35 percent and 45 percent compared to the same period last year. The company has overhauled its product strategy over the last year, bringing on chief product officer Omri Gazitt and acquiring companies like Seattle’s Distelli to build out a stronger product portfolio suited for the fast-changing enterprise tech infrastructure market.

Puppet CEO Sanjay Mirchandani (Puppet photo.)

Software continues to eat the world, and Puppet makes tools that help software developers ship products and services faster than outdated techniques allowed. It started off selling those tools to companies that were managing their own servers, but as interest in the public cloud continues to grow and newer technologies like containers become a central part of the software development process, buyers have started looking for tools from lots of new vendors.

Yet while some of the buzz has worn off the company’s flagship Puppet Enterprise product among the cutting-edge cloud-native crowd, there are still an enormous amount of companies that have yet to embrace modern DevOps concepts like continuous integration and automated infrastructure. (Puppet’s Padmashree Koneti will be speaking later today at our GeekWire Cloud Tech Summit in Bellevue about the DevOps mindset.)

“The space we’re in right now … is really coming to the fore,” Mirchandani said.

Puppet’s last major funding round came in 2014, when the company had raised about $88 million. The company also secured $22 million in debt financing from Silicon Valley Bank in 2016. Now at more than 500 employees, Puppet is heading into a critical stretch that will determine if it stays independent or gets absorbed by a larger enterprise tech company.

A future IPO remains on the table, Mirchandani said, but (wisely) Puppet is not committing to a time frame for any such event. For now, the goal is to reach cash-flow positivity by this time next year, which will give Puppet a greater number of strategic options to consider.

Puppet is the latest Portland-based company to raise venture financing this month. Jama Software announced a $200 million round on Tuesday; Urban Airship raised $25 million last week; Rigado reeled in $15 million; and Vetsource raised $50 million.

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