Kiwi startup closes US$1.2M seed round

Kiwi startup closes US$1.2M seed round is preparing to launch version 2.0 to support Kubernetes as well as Docker containers

Neil Cresswell (

Neil Cresswell (

Credit: Supplied

After securing half a million active users already, New Zealand tech startup has closed a US$1.2 million international seed financing round.

The round is backed by US-based Bessemer Venture Partners and Australia's Black Nova Group, as well as top New Zealand investors including Sir Stephen Tindall's K1W1, AmpliPHI Ventures and a number of experienced senior business figures.

Portainer launched in 2017 as an open source product to simplify the deployment and management of Docker Swarm container-based environments.

To date, the technology has been downloaded more than two billion times and is actively used by approximately 500,000 users per month.

Portainer, which its founders say is enjoying 50 per cent year-on-year growth, is also poised to launch version 2.0 including an open source product and commercial business edition for Docker Swarm, the fast-growing Kubernetes platform and Edge computing. 

Portainer CEO and co-founder Neil Cresswell said Portainer was developed to bring "expert simplicity" to the complex technologies in use by everyday IT teams.

“Extending Portainer to manage Kubernetes will enable organisations of any size to take advantage of the rich functionality without having to learn Kubernetes itself,” he said. 

“It quite literally makes an incredibly complex environment available to the average IT team, unleashing an immense advantage to teams using Portainer to deploy into Kubernetes or troubleshoot issues across its environments.”

The seed round enables Portainer to accelerate growth of its open source version in the Kubernetes market, as well as bringing a fully supported business edition to market. 

Funding will be allocated to additional software engineering resources around the world, growing the Kubernetes community uptake and building traction for the commercial product.

Bessemer partner Michael Droesch said the firm had been watching the explosive growth of Portainer for some time.  

“We have been encouraged by what the team has achieved with their open source product and the engagement they have generated within the Portainer community," he said.

"We believe Portainer can help bring ‘expert simplicity’ to leading cloud-native technologies like Docker and Kubernetes."

Black Nova Group managing partner Matt Browne said Portainer’s development of a container management platform was helping software engineers and developers navigate through a rapidly growing market gap, as B2B SaaS increased in ever-changing market conditions. co-founders Cresswell, Derek Leitch and Geoff Olliff have been long-standing partners across a range of New Zealand tech businesses, most prominently ViFX and Service Dynamics.

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