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Morgan Stanley, HSBC invest as CloudBees turns unicorn in $150m Series F

Software delivery platform provider CloudBees has raised $150 million in a Series F funding round joined by Morgan Stanley and previous investor HSBC – also a major customer of the CI/CD specialist.

The round values CloudBees at $1 billion, with the fresh capital to be used, alongside product development, to expand its footprint in markets like Asia Pacific, and broaden its global and regional partnerships.

Bridgepoint Credit also invested for the first time. Golub Capital, and Delta-v Capital returned.

CloudBees has built up an impressive roster of “whale-scale” customers – 41% have annual revenue above $1 billion and 26 percent have more than 10,000 employees, the company said in a December 9 release.

CloudBees CEO Stephen DeWitt said: “The world is moving to continuous innovation. Constant change in the ability to bring new and compelling experiences to anyone, anywhere at any time. And so innovation needing to be delivered continuously changes all of the rules around software development.”

He added: “Customers choose us because we understand those realities, and we sit side by side with them to map a software journey that enables them to be at their competitive best. Period.”

The deal comes not long after HSBC signed a contract that makes CloudBees central to the workflows of an ecosystem of 23,000 developers globally working for the multinational bank, a long-standing customer.

See also: JPMorgan CIO Lori Beer on managing a $12 billion budget

(As founder and president Sacha Labourey put it to The Stack in a joint interview with new CloudBees CEO Steven DeWitt earlier this year “Our customers are big complex companies, going through crazy times…”)

“CloudBees’ customers are moving beyond the notion of just DevOps to enabling all teams involved in delivering software – engineering, operations, security, and beyond – to continuously improve customer experiences,” said Eric Riley from Goldman Sachs Asset Management, who advised on the round.

He added: “We see an inflection point of market opportunity, and are pleased to support the company, its leadership team, and their customers in their digital transformation journeys.”

CloudBees funding round follows trio of acquisitions

Since the company’s last funding round in 2018, it has announced a flurry of new products, bought three companies – CodeShip, Electric Cloud, and Neuralprints – and increased employee numbers by 70% to 500.

CloudBees CEO Stephen DeWitt

It brought in new CEO DeWitt in February 2021. He has hinted at an IPO down the line. [Ed: We wouldn’t be surprised to see someone come with a bold acquisition offer in 2022 however – you read it here first.]

The company has built out its SaaS offering in recent years – shifting from an early focus on enterprise support for open source Jenkins; a server-based system for building, testing, and deploying software. CloudBees’ tools let enterprises connect, automate and orchestrate tools across development, operations and shared service teams to optimise software delivery. The idea is to have all software delivery automation tools available as a single unified product under a “software delivery management” umbrella: for example spanning everything from continuous integration (CI) to continuous development (CD) via application release orchestration (ARO).

Labourey contextualised it nicely in our interview earlier this year, noting: “What we’re solving is the fact that today organisations that have been producing software at an extremely low pace no longer have the luxury to measure and understand what’s happening, by using some ancient technique. As organisations go faster and start pushing changes every day, every hour, you need a ‘brain’ of software delivery, that’s able to capture all of the signals that are taking place, in your Jira, in your Git and your Jenkins, in production, and so on.

“You’re then able to then ask questions or get insights in real time as to what’s taking place within your organisation; it can be around compliance, it can be around performance, it can be around anything, but if you don’t have that [visibility and control], you just don’t know what’s happening.”

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