By Enrique Salem, Partner at Bain Capital Ventures
Today, BCV is excited to announce our Series C investment in Docker, the leader in container packaging, distribution, and security. These activities are so core to a software developer’s process that we expect Docker to become one of the generational companies in the space.
Docker exploded onto the scene in March 2013 with the release of its open-source containerization technology. Containers are standard units of software which combine code and dependencies to enable easy and repeatable distribution of applications. For almost a decade, Docker has led the charge of the container and microservice revolutions, and the number of developers building on Docker has consistently grown to many millions today.
Docker’s developer-centric approach pairs well with the new way in which software products are adopted in the enterprise. Forrester reported in 2015 that 75% of B2B buyers say that they’d rather purchase through a website or app than through a salesperson. The product-led-growth movement, as it has been dubbed, gives developers increased purchasing power and gives an advantage to companies that focus product development on serving end users. We only expect this trend to increase as enterprise digital transformation continues, product switching costs decrease, and the requirement to iteratively serve users grows.
At BCV, we’ve long been believers in developer-centric businesses with open-source roots. To back this belief, we’ve been investing in open-source companies for almost ten years and have a deep appreciation for the value of developer communities who are passionate about a product. According to the largest annual survey of developers by Stack Overflow, Docker is the first most wanted and second most loved platform in the developer ecosystem.
Earlier in their history, Docker struggled to take advantage of the widespread popularity of its products and spent a few years in search of a business model to match this popularity. Since, then, with hardly a sales team to speak of, Docker has had an incredible run over the last year and has emerged from this period of uncertainty in a stronger position than ever before. Scott Johnston, CEO of Docker, has been with the company for over eight years and has experienced all the highs and lows of the company’s ride. His leadership and product vision have been key to the company’s newfound success, and there is no one better equipped to lead the company into a future with so much opportunity.
We invested in Docker not only because of the container movement and the product love from the community, but also because of the company’s strategic position in a software developer’s stack. Product velocity, security, and collaboration have gone from nice-to-have characteristics of engineering organizations to table stakes. Developers use Docker across their entire development lifecycle to build, test, share, and deploy their containers. As the packager and distributor of software within the organization, Docker can help developers to ensure security best practices and decrease the time to market for their products.
We’re excited to see Docker continue to grow in its core business and expand to these new markets, and we can’t wait to support Scott and the team in their journey as they build a generational company in developer tools.