Telstra Ventures backs Kubernetes player Rancher Labs

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Telstra Ventures backs Kubernetes player Rancher Labs

Leads Series D round.

Telstra Ventures has led a US$40 million ($65 million) investment round into Kubernetes management firm Rancher Labs.

The venture capital fund, which is backed by Telstra and HarbourVest and claims to be Australia’s largest, said Telstra had been a Rancher customer “for many years”.

“When Telstra Ventures, who was familiar with Telstra’s success in using Rancher and Kubernetes, approached us for a potential funding round, it was a no-brainer,” Rancher’s CEO Sheng Liang said in a blog post.

“A leading telco like Telstra exemplifies Rancher’s vision to run Kubernetes everywhere.

“We believe Kubernetes will be the standard compute platform from data centre and cloud to the edge.”

Telstra uses Rancher for container orchestration in systems underpinning its “core contact centre, customer network, and services provisioning”, according to Rancher.

“Outside of Google, Rancher was one of the very early companies to recognise the profound impacts that Kubernetes would have on the global IT market,” said Steve Schmidt, an investment partner who leads Telstra Venture’s enterprise investments.  

“During our early investment discussion, I recall Sheng saying that ‘Kubernetes could become the TCP/IP of computing’. That was a very profound statement with a massively attractive vision.”

Rancher said in a statement that the Series D funding round that Telstra Ventures led “also included participation from existing investors Mayfield, Nexus Venture Partners, GRC SinoGreen, and F&G Ventures”.

The company said its total funding raised to date was US$95 million ($155 million).

It said it would use the latest funding “to expand focus on product innovation, increase investment in go-to-market activities, and accelerate market expansion.”

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