By Madhuri Yechuri
It’s my privilege and honor to announce some exciting news today — Elotl has raised $5 million in seed funding! I am thrilled to work alongside an incredible team of investors, customers, and thought leaders to commoditize cloud compute for enterprises.
Our seed round is led by Vertex Ventures US, with participation from Essence Venture Capital, HearstLab, Telescopic, XYZ, Dan Scheinman, and Edith Harbaugh, CEO of LaunchDarkly.
Together, we’re launching Elotl and bringing Nodeless Kubernetes to DevOps teams so they can focus on their core business more efficiently.
As an infrastructure engineer with more than two decades of experience at companies like Oracle, VMware, and ClusterHQ, I worked through three eras of enterprise infrastructure: bare metal + on-prem data centers in early 2000s, virtualization + on-prem data centers in late 2000s, and containers + public cloud over the past 5 years. It’s been an incredible opportunity to build for all of these eras, helping companies of all sizes operate on-prem and in the cloud.
Each era transitioned from one to the other and have always been triggered because of two reasons — reduce infrastructure management and reduce cost.
In the most recent era, Kubernetes has emerged as the de facto leader for orchestrating containers on the public cloud. Even though Kubernetes has presented the promise of a true cloud-agnostic platform, there are three challenges that hinder its widespread adoption: operational complexity, wasted spend, and multi-tenant security.
The challenges were so burdensome that customers would spend more than a year addressing the roadblocks. I knew because I experienced them first-hand while onboarding early customers of ClusterHQ. Time and time again, I witnessed these pain points through our customers’ eyes and I knew there had to be a better solution.
With the support of a great team and advisors, I quit my job and started Elotl. We saw what needed to be done to commoditize cloud compute for enterprises so that teams could focus on building their core business. The existing products out there help teams fix problems when they arise, but I knew we could build something that helped prevent them.
We have made the natural transition from treating applications as pets to treating them as cattle via microservices movement; there is no good reason to continue to treat compute as pets instead of cattle.
Elotl’s Nodeless Kubernetes platform provisions cloud-agnostic compute for a Kubernetes application when it starts and terminates the compute when it terminates. It's delivered at the right time and size and is cost-effective. The compute is sourced based on the SLA and is sourced from one/more cloud providers defined by users.
For example, if you are paying for electricity for a building, if all the lights are on in every single room, you’re paying the maximum projected spend. Most people would start panicking when the electric bill shows up incredibly high. Some people would hire a consultant to walk through each room, evaluate the situation, and turn off the lights if no one is in it.
With Elotl, all the lights are off to start with. When the first person enters the room, electricity for the room is sourced from the right power provider based on your policy (ex: low-cost policy). For example, today it could be sourced from PG&E; tomorrow it could be sourced by a different provider. When the last person leaves the room, the light goes off automatically. This is how Elotl’s Nodeless Kubernetes Platform sources cloud compute for your applications.
We have received fantastic responses to our Nodeless Kubernetes Platform from early adopters in CI space, including customers like Robinhood, Flare.build, and Symphony.
“We needed a solution that was scalable for our fully-managed Buildkite and Bazel offerings and that's where Elotl came in," said Zach Gray, CEO of Flare.build. "Their Nodeless Kubernetes helps us scale our agents and our infrastructure automatically, helping simplify our operations. This has allowed us to effectively and efficiently manage thousands of CI machines for hundreds of customers with a small team.”
We look forward to expanding to CI, prod, and ML workloads at these and other enterprise customers in our pipeline.
Great products are built by great teams
I am grateful to work with a stellar team of top engineers and advisors with expertise in building infrastructure products. Chi Su, Anne Holler, Pawel Bojanowski, Henry Precheur, and Carl Waldspurger not only bring technical expertise, but are also awesome humans to work with. They are the reason why we have a solid enterprise infrastructure product with accelerating adoption velocity.
Additionally, Jonathan Heiliger, General Partner at Vertex US, will be joining the Elotl board. He has decades of operational and infrastructure experience, and I look forward to continuing our partnership.
With our funding, we are looking to add to our engineering team in addition to building our go-to-market and business development functions.
If you are interested in working with us on our vision to commoditize cloud computing, please reach out to me at madhuri[@]elotl[.]co!