Rahul Singh spent eight years at Amazon working on key platform technologies that helped power Amazon Web Services through its early stages of growth.
Singh, who started his career as research programmer from Carnegie Mellon University, started wondering why other developers could not deploy code as easily as they do at AWS.
From that idea, Distelli was born.
Now, the 2-year-old startup, which Singh bootstrapped in its early days, is getting a big boost from one of the top venture capital firms in the land.
Andreessen Horowitz is leading a $2.8 million round in Distelli, money that will help the 6-person startup grow in the emerging field of dev ops.
As Singh sees it, companies are losing track of how many servers they have, and who is deploying code to them. With Distelli, he said that programmers can keep track of “who did what and where on each server.”
Singh sees big things ahead for Distelli, in part because he said other backend cloud infrastructure offerings like Heroku or Engine Yard only allow folks to deploy to those specific platforms.
With Distelli, he said that the technology works across any server. That’s especially important because it does not lock developers into one provider, offering flexibility to work across various systems.
“Our big vision is to be the one-stop dashboard to manage all of your dev ops infrastructure regardless of where it is,” said Singh.
Andreessen Horowitz certainly believes in that mission, and as part of the financing general Scott Weiss is joining the board. In addition, Singh said that Ben Horowitz’s experience at enterprise software company Opsware will pay huge dividends.
“It is a great fit,” said Singh, adding that they closed the oversubscribed venture found in just 36 days.
In a blog post titled “The Rise of DevOps,” Weiss, the co-founder of IronPort Systems, noted that Distelli’s product was so strong that nearly every test customer converted into a paying customer. Today, some of the customers using the product include RealSelf, Usermind and ReadyPulse.
“Rahul is one of those 10x founders (as we like to call it) that just get shit done at an astounding rate,” said Weiss in the blog post. “These are the founders to whom you’re about to share feedback you’ve heard or suggest a new feature and they’re like, yeah, we already did it. Every month I check in with Rahul, it feels like he’s progressed ten times more.”
In some ways, Distelli bumps up against IT automation providers such as Portland-based Puppet Labs and Seattle-based Chef. Citing his work at Amazon.com — where the customer always comes first — Singh downplayed any possible competition, noting that no one really “keeps us up at night.”
However, he did admit that Distelli is entering an “hot space.” And many people ask him specifically about Chef, which was also co-founded by an ex-Amazon.com employee, Jesse Robbins, and former HJK exec Adam Jacob. Seattle-based Chef raised $32 million in funding from Ignition, Scale Venture Partners, Battery Ventures, DFJ and others in 2013.
Asked about Chef, Singh said that they are “all about provisioning, and we are all about deployment.” With the Distelli service operating, he said developers can easily push code to a wide array of servers, making the development cycle that much faster.
“Our vision at Distelli is to empower software developers and their teams to spend less time building and maintaining complex deployment tools and homegrown scripts so they can focus their valuable time and effort on creating the software that powers their business,” he said.