Platform-as-a-Service startup Porter aims to become the go-to platform for deploying and managing cloud-based applications – TechCrunch


When Porter co-founders Trevor Shim and Justin Rhee decided to start a company around DevOps, the couple were well versed in remote development on Kubernetes. And like other users, technology was constantly burning them.

They realized that despite all the benefits, Rhee told TechCrunch that the technology was there, but that users had to manage the complexity of the hosting solutions, as well as incur the costs associated with a large team. of DevOps.

They decided to develop a solution externally and went through Y Combinator’s Summer 2020 batch, where they found other startups trying to do the same.

Today, Porter announced $ 1.5 million in seed funds from Venrock, Translink Capital, Soma Capital, and several angel investors. Their goal is to build a platform as a service that any team can use to manage applications in their own cloud, essentially providing the full flexibility of Kubernetes through a Heroku-like experience.

Why Heroku? It’s the hosting platform developers are used to, and not just small businesses, but late-stage businesses as well. When they want to move to Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud or DigitalOcean, Porter will be that bridge, Shim added.

However, while Heroku remains popular, the pair say that companies think the platform is becoming outdated because it is stagnant when it comes to technology. Every year, companies leave the platform due to technical limitations and costs, Rhee said.

A big part of the bet Porter is making is not charging users for hosting, and its cost is a pure SaaS product, he said. They are not looking to be resellers, so businesses can use their own cloud, but Porter will provide the automation and users can pay with their AWS and GCP credits, giving them flexibility.

A common pattern is a move to Kubernetes, but “the zinger we’re talking about” is that if Heroku was built in 2021, it would have been built on Kubernetes, Shim added.

“So we see ourselves as the successor to a successor,” he said.

To be that bridge, the company will use the new funds to increase its engineering bandwidth with the goal of “becoming the de facto standard for all startups.” Shim said.

Porter’s platform went live in February and within six months it became the sixth fastest-growing open source platform download on GitHub, said Ethan Batraski, a partner at Venrock. He met the company through YC and was “very impressed with Rhee and Shim’s vision.

“Heroku has 100,000 developers, but I think it has stalled,” Batraski added. “Porter already has 100 startups on its platform. The growth they have seen, four or five times, is what you want to see at this stage. “

His company has long focused on data infrastructure and is seeing the stack get more complex, saying that “at the same time, more developers want to build an application for a week and scale it to millions of users, but that requires human Resources . With Kubernetes, you can turn everyone into an expert developer without their knowledge, ”he added.

“Heroku has 100,000 developers, but I think it has stalled,” Batraski added. “Porter already has 100 startups on its platform. The growth they have seen, four or five times, is what you want to see at this stage. “


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