Acquisitions in Kubernetes Space
Harshit Mehndiratta
Harshit Mehndiratta
July 29, 2020
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10 minutes read

Acquisitions in Kubernetes Space

The adoption of Kubernetes as an orchestration platform has seen a significant rise. As more and more organizations expand on their usage of containerized software fueling Kubernetes growth. Many tech giants and Kubernetes startups have joined forces that have placed Kubernetes at the center of a growing list of business acquisitions.

In this article, we have curated a list of the eight most critical acquisitions in the Kubernetes space.

Date Acquirer Acquired Acquisition Amount Funding Received
Jul 8, 2020 SuSE Rancher Labs $600m $95m
Nov 13, 2019 Mirantis Docker Enterprise Undisclosed $308m
Jan 30, 2018 Red Hat CoreOS $250m $48m
6 Nov 2018 VMware Heptio $550m $33m
30 Dec 2019 VMware Pivotal $2.7b $1.7b
May 27, 2020 VMware Octarine Undisclosed Undisclosed
May 15, 2019 VMware Bitnami Undisclosed $1.1m
May 14, 2020 Venafi Jetstack Undisclosed Undisclosed

SuSE acquires Rancher Labs

Last Funding Stage: Series D

Total Funding Received: $95m

Date of Acquisition: July 8, 2020

Acquisition Amount: $600m

Rancher, which depicts itself as a pioneer in Enterprise Kubernetes Management, has declared that they have signed a definitive agreement to be acquired by SuSE. Rancher is the most widely utilized open source Enterprise Kubernetes platform, while SuSE is the most prominent independent open-source pioneer in enterprise Linux.

As per the acquisition, the combination of Rancher and SuSE together will provide a complete open-source model, which won’t just assist clients in innovating over their cloud framework but also quicken their digital migration.

The two organizations didn’t reveal the cost of the acquisition. Through we got a confirmation from two sources that the deal involves SuSE paying $600m.

Rancher was all around supported, with a sum of $95 million in investment, from Mayfield, Nexus Venture Partners, Telstra Ventures, and different financial investors. SuSE was established in 1992 and has delivered under Novell and various proprietors throughout the years. In March 2019, EQT bought SuSE from Micro Focus for $2.5 billion.

Rancher started six years back to build up cutting edge enterprise computing solutions. Rancher’s core solutions mainly focused on the Kubernetes software platform that Google released under an open-source license. Customers have downloaded it more than 100 million times. The organization said it guaranteed annualized income development of 169% in 2019.

Given SuSE has a 28-year old history maintaining an exceptionally successful open source business, Rancher’s commitment to open source will stay solid after the acquisition. Additionally, SuSE offers different enterprise platforms such as Cloud Foundry-based Cloud Application Platform and a Kubernetes-based enterprise platform, so Rancher will benefit hugely from SuSE when it comes to increasing Enterprise base.

Mirantis acquires Docker Enterprise

Last Funding Stage: Series E

Total Funding Received: $308m

Date of Acquisition: Nov 13, 2019

Acquisition Amount: Undisclosed

Mirantis declaration of acquiring Docker Enterprise represents one of the significant acquisitions in a container orchestration space. It’s no secret that Docker’s fortunes changed significantly throughout the years after Google publicly released Kubernetes, and the rest of the industry has recently grown around it.

As per the acquisition, Mirantis will acquire the Docker Enterprise Technology Platform and related solutions such as Docker Enterprise Engine, Registry, CLI, and control plane. It will likewise acquire all Docker Enterprise clients and agreements, also its key innovation alliances and programs.

The organizations didn’t reveal the cost of the acquisition. Yet, Docker did announce that it has raised a $35 million funding from Benchmark, which highlights the direction that Docker is going in.

Through this acquisition, Mirantis will move towards Kubernetes and containers while aiming to deliver a consistent experience to developers on any infrastructure, whether its public clouds, hybrid clouds, or multi-cloud. Docker, on the other hand, moving forward will go back to its original aim of improving developers’ workflows to run apps on any Kubernetes endpoint smoothly.

So together, Mirantis and Docker will focus on delivering Kubernetes-as-a-Service to make the adoption of containerized applications as easy as possible for enterprise customers.

Red Hat acquires CoreOS

Last Funding Stage: Series B

Total Funding Received: $48m

Date of Acquisition: Jan, 2018

Acquisition Amount: $250m

Red Hat choice to buy CoreOS, a San Francisco-based startup, is probably one of the most significant acquisitions in Kubernetes space,

The agreement is worth $250 million. Red Hat said that it would incorporate CoreOS’s offerings into its stack. Additionally, the organization said it will continue to provide support for CoreOS items — both during and after the acquisition — and will continue to support the open-source communities around the startup’s contributions.

CoreOS has been the pioneer of container-driven Linux OS. Container Linux, the flagship and lightweight Linux OS, intended to run containerized applications.

One of the most significant advantages of this acquisition for Red Hat could be CoreOS Tectonic. OpenShift is positioned as a PaaS upheld by significant business backing and reliability. Tectonic would extend that Red Hat’s footprint in the open cloud and would assist Red Hat to stand against Canonical’s Ubuntu, which is the best Linux distribution in the open cloud.

Enterprise Kubernetes clients can extraordinarily profit by the numerous features of Tectonic on Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform, Quay, the main container registry of CoreOS, is now backed by Red Hat after the acquisition.

Automated upgrades of Tectonic combined with the unwavering reliability and dev capabilities of the Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform will make the management of large Kubernetes deployment simpler without giving up on enterprise needs.

VMware acquires Heptio

Last Funding Stage: Series B

Total Funding Received: $33m

Date of Acquisition: Nov 2018

Acquisition Amount: $550m

In November 2018, VMware announced that it had signed a definitive agreement to acquire Heptio, a Seattle startup established by Joe Beda and Craig McLuckie, (co-founders of Kubernetes back at Google in 2014) to step up its game in helping enterprises build and run containerized applications in Kubernetes-based environments.

VMware paid $550 million for its recently closed acquisition of 2-year-old Kubernetes-centered startup Heptio. That sum was a significant premium over what Heptio had raised from financial investors and other agreements in the Kubernetes space.

Announced at VMworld Europe 2018 gathering, the agreement adds various management tools alongside load balancing tolls with a Heptio Ark disaster recovery application for Kubernetes to the Vmware portfolio.

Seattle-based Heptio was founded in late 2016 and had raised $33.5 million in all-out financing. Heptio’s investors include Madrona Venture Group, Accel Partners, and Lightspeed Venture Partners.

Heptio offers pro-level assistance for enterprises that are adopting the Kubernetes orchestration platform while providing backing and support for different aspects of Kubernetes. This acquisition is about VMware growing its business pipeline with that expertise.

Heptio’s enterprise portfolio and customer penetration are massive, making it an excellent fit for VMware’s Cloud Native group and positively deserving of the funding paid.

VMware acquires Pivotal

Last Funding Stage: Series C

Total Funding Received: $1.7b

Date of Acquisition: December, 2019

Acquisition Amount: $2.7b

VMware, the California based tech giant, recently announced that they are acquiring Pivotal Software, a leading cloud-native provider of digital transformation technology and services.

The acquisition announced finally closed for $2.7 billion price tag — and allows VMware to change from a virtual machine organization into a full-fledged cloud-native platform.

VMware has its sights set on becoming a standard for the container application platform. Its biggest rival in this market is Red Hat’s full-grown OpenShift Kubernetes platform acquired by IBM for an incredible $34 billion in the year 2019.

This Pivotal acquisition fills VMware’s need to provide enterprise-ready cloud-native offerings to customers.

That acquisition allows consolidation of VMware’s Kubernetes run-time framework and Pivotal’s developer-driven contributions. It will also bring the most comprehensive range of products and services for modernizing the applications and infrastructure to deliver better software to production.

Pivotal had a solid foundation raised $1.7 billion before going public in 2018 — out of which Ford’s $180 million venture drove $650 million in funding in 2016. Not long after going public, the organization had aftermath. After a heartbreaking June profit report, Pivotal’s stock dropped 42% in one day. VMware rescued the battling organization and initiated the acquisition not long after.

VMware acquires Octarine

Last Funding Stage: Series A

Total Funding Received: Undisclosed

Date of Acquisition: May 27, 2020

Acquisition Amount: Undisclosed

VMware declared that they are acquiring Kubernetes security startup Octarine, a privately held organization in Sunnyvale, California.

Octarine is a three-year-old Silicon Valley organization that offers cloud-based security solutions for the total lifecycle of applications running on Kubernetes. Octarine helps clients secure their cloud-native applications by integrating well into the Kubernetes processes and monitor application risks before they deploy their applications into production.

Octarine acquisition has empowered VMware to develop advance security for containers (and Kubernetes), by embedding the Octarine technology into the VMware Carbon Black Cloud and Vmware Tanzu platform.

VMware also plans to incorporate Octarine with vSphere, NSX, VMware Cloud Foundation. It will run close by administration systems, such as Tanzi Service Mesh, to provide threat monitoring for cloud-based workloads.

Protecting workloads is also critical to the security of every organization. Embedding Octarine’s innovation into the VMware security portfolio will also present that major opportunity to further simplify and improve security for businesses.

VMware acquires Bitnami

Last Funding Stage: Seed

Total Funding Received: $1.1m

Date of Acquisition: May, 2019

Acquisition Amount: Undisclosed

In May 2019, VMware declared its intent to acquire Bitnami, which offers a suite of products and services that speeds up the delivery of applications to multiple clouds, including Kubernetes environments.

The acquisition will permit Vmware clients to quickly deploy application packages on any cloud in any configuration—virtual machine (VM), containers, or Kubernetes helm charts.

Further, it will provide a catalog of ready-to-run server applications and development environments created by Bitnami to VMware enterprise clients for consistent software delivery.

Bitnami has built itself from zero to a noteworthy client base, backing the significant cloud sellers as clients. They fundamentally bootstrapped the business, having raised only $1.1M from YCombinator.

Bitnami aims to make amazing software accessible to everybody. They began their journey with local installers that ran on Windows, Linux, and macOS. After some time, they have extended their ventures by utilizing Bitnami in production, regularly as part of a migration of the application to the cloud or adoption of Kubernetes

VMware would be a perfect partner for Bitnami since the two believe in a Kubernetes and multi-cloud future, and uniting will bring Bitnami to considerably more clouds and accelerate their push into the enterprise.

Venafi acquires Jetstack

Last Funding Stage: Undisclosed

Total Funding Received: Undisclosed

Date of Acquisition: May 14, 2020

Acquisition Amount: Undisclosed

Venafi, a vendor of certificate and key administration for machine identity protection, is acquiring Jetstack, a U.K. startup that assists businesses in migrating their work within Kubernetes and other cloud-based ecosystems.

Jetstack has also been behind the development of cert-manager, a popular, open-source Kubernetes certificate management controller.

The idea driving identity protection is to guarantee that a framework to which an organization sends information is protected. An application attempting to get to a database, for example, must utilize a security certificate to demonstrate to the database that it’s approved to see the records inside.

Financial terms of the acquisition were expected to be disclosed in June of the current year, but not revealed yet.

Venafi is a part of the supposed “Silicon Slopes” startups in Utah. It has raised about $190 million from financial investors incorporating TCV, Silver Lake, and Intel Capital. It tallies the main five health insurers and four top credit card issuers in the U.S as clients.

The crux of the acquisition for Venafi is the sheer volume of nodes that are being used in cloud computing environments should have identity protection to communicate securely between networks while being easily scalable.

Acquiring Jetstack will provide in-house expertise to speed up the development and deployment of applications while providing unique certificates to communicate securely between each cluster.