IT automation company Chef announced it has raised a $40 million round, bringing its total funding to more than $100 million.
Growing technology company Chef could be held up as an example of how significant Seattle has become in the world of cloud technology.
The company is announcing Wednesday it has raised a $40 million series E financing round, led by DFJ Growth with participation from several venture groups, including Ignition Partners and Hewlett-Packard Ventures.
Chef, which provides IT automation for corporate customers, has raised more than $100 million since it was founded in 2008. It is capitalizing on the wide range of companies — traditional technology companies, as well as retail, health-care and many other industries — moving their data into the cloud.
Chef lets companies provide configurations or “recipes” for how servers and other devices should operate. Its technology checks in with the network and updates anything that needs to be brought up to speed.
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Chef says it automates the build, test and delivery steps for developers.
That makes its technology valuable for companies that don’t have the time, manpower or expertise to constantly monitor all systems.
It is fast becoming a leader of the many Seattle companies navigating the cloud.
Amazon Web Services and Microsoft’s Azure have two of the biggest cloud-computing businesses, and local startups are frequently raking in funding rounds that allow them to manage, store or migrate data within the cloud.
Chef has 230 employees, with about half in its Pioneer Square office, and CEO Barry Crist said that number is expected to nearly double in the next year. It certainly has the funds to do so.
That’s another way Chef is leading a growing trend. It is another technology companyraising larger and larger private funding rounds, rather than entering the public markets.
“We actually have most of the D series in the bank right now,” Crist said. “And so we’re doing this a little opportunistically.”
It’s also good to save for a rainy day, he said. Besides, the company had the opportunity to raise money on favorable terms.
Still, Crist expects Chef will go public one day. With venture-backed companies, the option is usually to do an initial public offering or be acquired. The latter does not sit well with Crist’s plans, because he wants Chef to keep operating as a stand-alone business.
Chef plans to use the money to expand internationally and keep developing products. The company is working on automating compliance steps, to make it easier for companies with many regulatory hurdles to implement technology.
Health-care companies are among those that can use this help.
It could also be useful for many of Chef’s customers, which include Facebook, Nordstrom, Yahoo and General Electric. Additionally, Chef works with Amazon Web Services, Hewlett-Packard and Microsoft.