IT automation startup Chef plans to double staff as sales continue to rise

Barry Crist

Barry Crist

Chef is cooking up a lot of new business these days. The Seattle IT automation startup, formerly known as Opscode and fresh off a $32 million venture round, said that its sales grew by 188 percent last year as organizations such as Nordstrom, Facebook and General Electric continued to rely on the software to more quickly automate development processes and move business operations into the cloud.

In fact, about 70 percent of the company’s sales came from Fortune 1000 customers.

“Our continued, strong sales and revenue growth coincides with the acceptance of Chef as the de facto standard for delivering speed and scale for both web innovators and forward-leaning enterprises,” said CEO Barry Crist in a release. The company declined to disclose actual revenue figures.

With the continued success, Chef is bursting at the seams, with plans to nearly double its staff in 2014, from 110 to about 200 people. That follows growth from about 60 to 110 employees in 2013.

In December, Crist told GeekWire that the company, which competes against Portland’s Puppet Labs, is well poised to take advantage of some “big seismic shifts” going on in the tech landscape.

“IT automation is becoming a really important element of what I refer to as the new IT, which is all about speed and innovation and quality,” said Crist. “And we are right in the middle of that.”

In addition to the customer growth, the company also announced details for its annual #ChefConf conference, taking place in San Francisco from April 15 to 17.