The Backstory on Armory’s Series B

Aug 1, 2019 by DROdio

Last Fall, we announced Armory’s $10MM Series A investment. Today, I’m pleased to share that we have received a $28MM Series B investment from Insight Partners, bringing our total funds raised to $42MM. We are also welcoming Lonne Jaffe from Insight to our Board of Directors.

Isaac, Ben, and I started Armory three years ago to help unlock innovation in complex enterprises with the help of the open source Spinnaker continuous delivery platform. The Spinnaker community has been doubling in size annually and now has more than 7,000 members, 400 contributors, and more than 100 commits per day with support from all the major cloud vendors. Spinnaker is now being used by several hundred large enterprises. Armory has more than doubled in size since our Series A, and the hard work and dedication of our tribals is helping ensure these enterprises are successful in their Digital Transformation goals.

Doing a Series B less than a year after the Series A is a non-standard event, and I’d like to share what we are up to at Armory, how we are planning to invest those dollars, and why we’ve chosen to partner with Insight to support Armory’s rapid growth.

Where Armory is making deep investments

We are making a deep commitment in cementing Spinnaker’s position as the de facto standard for cloud-native software delivery. We will be investing heavily in engineering and product to continue to enhance the open source Spinnaker platform and Armory’s value-added features, as well as investing in 24×7 enterprise support and services to help make our customers and the entire Spinnaker community successful.

Infrastructure is shifting from static, to fragmented.

As we work to help Fortune 500 and Global 2000 enterprises thrive in the coming decade, it has become very clear to us that there is a massive shift occurring in computing. A company’s software delivery infrastructure used to be static, rooted in data centers. It didn’t change much over the course of decades, but that’s no longer the case. Large enterprises are moving to the cloud to tap into faster innovation cycles, and are now delivering workloads out to cloud targets like AWS, GCP, Azure, and others. There is a massive amount of innovation happening in those cloud targets that large enterprises cannot effectively leverage without a modern software delivery platform like Spinnaker. AWS alone is actually EC2, ECS, EKS, Fargate, Lambda (and whatever else AWS announces at the next RE:Invent). An enterprise’s brittle, legacy software delivery infrastructure breaks down as these companies attempt to move to the cloud. Spinnaker, which has the support of all the major cloud vendors, is the Switzerland of computing as an open source project that enables companies to tap into that innovation by migrating their workloads out of data centers and into the cloud.

We’re also deeply invested in making Spinnaker enterprise-grade for a varied set of industry use cases ranging from finance to retail to technology. We’ve added proprietary Armory features and enterprise-grade support that make Spinnaker an obvious choice for businesses that want to invest in a next-generation, cloud-native software delivery platform that enables them to manage risk in production in much more effective ways (via automated canary and blue/green deployments, 1-click rollbacks, etc).

More broadly, the reason I come to work every day is because Armory is Powering the Third Industrial Revolution. We believe that code is the highest-leverage way to improve humanity, and we have an opportunity to help companies ship better software, faster. That’s an incredibly special position to be in — we are innovating in ways that help others innovate faster.

Why we are  partnering with Insight Partners

We weren’t planning on raising our Series B this soon, and in fact we had so many investors pinging us that I created a private blog post that I would send to inbound investors telling them that Armory is in execution mode and not currently fundraising. For VCs who expressed interest, we had two specific asks:

#1: Join our “Tinder for Recruiting” Experiment. Are you willing to upload your LinkedIn, email, or Twitter lists to our recruiting platform to help us find incredible talent to join Armory? (You’ll still control the actual intros.)

#2: Invites to CIO/CTO/VP of Engineering Events. I will prioritize events with engineering leaders at Global 2000 companies anytime. If you host private CIO dinners, or roundtable events, for example, I will always make time for those.

I sent these asks to dozens of inbound VC pings, and Insight delivered on them in a way that I’ve never seen any other venture capital firm do before.

Not only did Insight’s partnership make its referral network fully available to us for recruiting purposes, but they also introduced me to their IGNITE program, which is tailor-made for B2B enterprise startups like Armory. Because of Insight’s size (Insight has more than $20 billion in assets under management and has cumulatively invested in more than 300 companies worldwide), it has the scale to maintain close relationships with thousands of CIOs, CTOs, and VPs of Eng. at Global 2000 companies. Insight provides these CIOs with industry briefings on topics ranging from DevOps, Compliance, Cybersecurity, Fintech, Hybrid Cloud, and many others. Insight also holds a series of global multi-day events with CIOs of Fortune 500 companies. For example, as a portfolio company, I recently gave a talk on innovation challenges in software delivery at NYC’s Formula E racing event to a room of Fortune 500 CIOs. I’ve had many VCs talk about their CIO networks, but Insight delivers at a next level of commitment to its portfolio companies.

Since Insight is NYC-based, it is less known to Silicon Valley CEOs, but it quickly became clear to me that Insight’s level of support is unmatched for a high-growth B2B startup like Armory. We decided to raise the Series B sooner than we’d planned to capitalize on a strong partnership with Insight, and specifically Lonne Jaffe, who is joining Armory’s Board of Directors. We’re happy to join other leading cloud infrastructure leaders like Docker, Jfrog, Aqua Security, SonarSource, Sysdig, Tigera, and Tricentis in Insight’s portfolio.

The tribe we are building

As we continue to scale, we are very focused on continuing to invest in the unique culture we have developed at Armory. We’re crafting a very specific, empowering, “Roundabout, not Traffic Light” culture because of Conway’s law:

We have to live the cultural values ourselves to successfully build a software platform that enables Global 2000 enterprises to ship better software, faster. Get a peek behind the curtain of life at Armory. If you are interested in learning more about Armory and/or would like to join our tribe to help the world innovate faster, we’d love to talk with you.

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