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Docker promises more APIs, SDKs; bigger, bolder build-out after revivifying $23m funding boost.

"Series B" gets an asterisk...

Docker has promised to accelerate build-out of its collaborative application development platform, including by adding more APIs and SDKs to enable development teams and partners to integrate their tools more quickly and easily, after receiving a fresh $23 million in funding this week as it continues to rebuild the company.

Docker runs the world’s largest library and community for trusted, high-quality container images (immutable files that contain the source code, libraries, dependencies, tools, et al for an application to run as a container) and saw nearly 30 billion Docker Hub pulls in its fourth quarter, the company reported in February.

Making money has, for the company, proved harder.

The funding round comes 16 months after Docker sold off its Enterprise business to Mirantis as it struggled to gain commercial steam. (Google's open sourcing of Kubernetes saw it gain far more traction as a container orchestration tool than Docker's Swarm.) The majority of Docker staff went to Mirantis under the deal.

(Docker described it as a Series B and said, with an asterisk, that the round brings total funding to $58 million. That is if you are counting from 2019's asset sale. To November 2019, Docker had raised $307.9 million).

Most popular Docker images in 2020:

  1. busybox
  2. httpd
  3. alpine
  4. nginx
  5. ubuntu
  6. redis
  7. postgres
  8. node
  9. memcached
  10. mongo

Docker -- which claimed 170% year-on-year revenue growth in the release on its funding round -- has been monetising Docker Hub by charging enterprises a modest monthly subscription that adds role-based access controls, parallel builds, and unlimited private repositories among other benefits to the free user tier.

For all its earlier failure to monetise, Docker Hub remains hugely popular and widely used.

The new funding round was led by VC firm Tribe Capital: “Docker’s innovative technology has played a critical role in our tech stack, and now it’s also earned a spot in our investment portfolio,” said the fund's Arjun Sethi.

“Tribe focuses on identifying N-of-1 companies – top-decile private tech firms that are exhibiting inflection points in their growth, with the potential to scale towards outsized outcomes with long-term venture capital. Docker fits squarely into this investment thesis, and we look forward to supporting its continued success.”

Docker has also made some headway in boosting installations of Docker Desktop (3.3 million, as of Feb 2021 -- up 38% on-year).

“In the past year, applications have become paramount to not only all modern businesses but also as the primary means to connect society, all of which has greatly accelerated the need for developer velocity,” said Scott Johnston, CEO of Docker. “This new investment, combined with our user and ARR growth momentum, validates Docker’s mission of helping developers and development teams bring their ideas to life by conquering the complexity of app development.”

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