Loft Labs Raises $4.6 Million Seed Funding to Scale Up Self-Service Access To Kubernetes For Engineering Teams
San Francisco - Loft Labs, which enables platform teams in large enterprises to give engineers self-service access to Kubernetes, today announced that the company raised $4.6 million in seed funding led by Fusion Fund, with participation of RTP Seed, Emergent Ventures, Berkeley SkyDeck Fund, as well as angel investor and Puppet CTO Abby Kearns, who recently joined the company’s advisory board.
Loft Labs is the creator of several popular open-source projects in the cloud-native technology space, including the Kubernetes developer tool DevSpace, the certified Kubernetes distribution vcluster, and the policy engine jsPolicy. The company’s commercial product, Loft, enables any organization to scale self-service access to Kubernetes to hundreds or even thousands of engineers. Loft’s customers span from fast-growing startups Gusto, Urbint, and HqO to well-established Fortune 500 companies that include one of the largest U.S. financial institutions and one of the world’s largest car manufacturers.
Initially, Fusion Fund led a $2.6 million seed round for Loft Labs earlier this year and then offered to expand the round just three months after the initial closing because the investment team at Fusion saw the tremendous commercial traction that the company was able to build up in such a short amount of time. The company’s revenue growth also exceeded the expectations of RTP and Emergent Ventures and together, the three investors expanded the seed round to a total of $4.6 million.
“We were really impressed to see that Loft Labs was able to close several Fortune 500 companies and unicorns within just a few months after our initial investment, so we just had to double down on this company,” said Lu Zhang, founder and managing partner at Fusion Fund. “We strongly believe that Loft Labs will have a major impact on the cloud-native space and on how engineering teams in large enterprises will build cloud-based software in the future.”
“Our mission is to enable any organization to scale self-service access to Kubernetes from 10 to 10,000 engineers in days rather than years,” said Lukas Gentele, CEO of Loft. “Although Loft is a very new product, we’re already seeing strong demand from enterprises that want to expand their use of Kubernetes and that deploy Loft to become truly cloud-native across all stages of the software development lifecycle. This funding will enable us to accelerate product development and to scale up our customer success team to ensure that we keep on providing enterprise-grade support for our quickly growing customer base.”
Apart from boosting self-service and developer productivity for cloud-native teams, one of Loft’s innovations is its automatic cost-saving feature called ‘sleep mode’ which detects idle container workloads and automatically puts them to sleep when nobody is using them. This saves more than 70% of cloud infrastructure cost for pre-production workloads by automatically turning off a developer’s applications when they are not currently coding, such as throughout the night, on the weekends, or even when they are in a team meeting. The feature needs zero configuration and requires no manual effort from platform administrators or application developers. Loft’s sleep mode is also smart enough to automatically wake up a sleeping application when an engineer starts using it again, which ensures a great user experience for the engineers and puts cost savings on autopilot at the same time.
Due to the company’s focus on fast-growing startups and large enterprises, Loft is highly optimized for multi-cloud and multi-cluster setups, and is compatible with any certified Kubernetes distribution, including all major cloud platforms and the majority of on-premise Kubernetes instances. Because Loft is designed to work out-of-the-box in almost any environment, organizations can deploy it in a single day and quickly start onboarding engineers to enable them to create Kubernetes namespaces and virtual Kubernetes clusters on-demand, whenever they need them. Loft provides enterprise features such as single sign-on, audit logging and a high availability mode for all critical components. Most important for large enterprises is that Loft is highly customizable and extensible which lets platform teams overcome the classical challenges of traditional Platform-as-a-Service products and enables companies to adjust Loft to the particular needs of each one of their engineering teams.
Loft Labs is embracing open-source culture and technology. Over 4,000 engineers have starred the company’s projects on GitHub and its open-source project DevSpace has been downloaded over 300,000 times. The company is a member of the Linux Foundation as well as of the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF). Loft CTO Fabian Kramm contributes to open-source projects such as Docker, Helm and Kubernetes, and CEO Lukas Gentele regularly speaks about the company’s open-source technologies at tech conferences such as this year’s KubeCon North America in Los Angeles, where he is invited to give a talk about vcluster, a project that recently became the first certified Kubernetes distribution for spinning up virtual Kubernetes clusters.