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December 9, 2013 at 10:30 AM

Opscode changes name to Chef, cooks up $32 million

Seattle-based Opscode is getting a boost in the race to provide new tools for companies modernizing their tech infrastructure.

The company today announced that investors have provided another $32 million to fund its growth, bringing its total funding so far to $63 million.

“I think this gives us everything we need for the foreseeable future,” Chief Executive Barry Crist said.

Simultaneously the company is changing its name to Chef – using the moniker of its product platform, which is a suite of “cookbooks” that tech managers use to automate their systems.

Switching names ends confusion with Opsware – another enterprise tool vendor – and makes the most of Chef’s growing name recognition in large companies.

The domain is held by Target – which declined to relinquish it to Opscode – so the Seattle company is using instead. If it goes public in a few years it may be able to make another pass at Target with a bigger check in hand.

Sales have been on a tear, with recurring revenues growing more than 220 percent this year, including 250 percent growth in the third quarter, according to Crist.

The positive momentum is bittersweet, though, as the company’s previous chief executive, Mitch Hill, died last week after a battle with cancer.

“He left a terrific legacy for the company,” said Crist, who moved from vice president to chief executive in August after Hill stepped down.

“We’re really proud for what he’s built here – we’re all motivated to see it through and see it be a big success not just for us but for Mitch and his family.”

First Hill and then Crist turned the company’s focus to larger customers and big companies now account for 60 percent of its sales.

Just over 100 people work at the Pioneer Square-based company and Crist expects the headcount to double over the next year as it accelerates product development, broadens its platform and expands sales across North America and in Europe.

The $32 million funding was led by Scale Venture Partners, which was joined by Citibank and Amplify Partner and previous investors Battery Ventures, DFJ and Ignition Partners.

“Chef’s strong revenue and customer growth, vibrant open source community and disruptive technology point to strong momentum and a huge opportunity ahead,” Scale partner Rory O’Driscoll said in a release.

The company also announced the hiring of several new executives. Tucker Callaway, former vice president at CA Technologies, is taking Crist’s former job as vice president of enterprise.

Also joining the startup as chief financial officer is Curt Anderson, former CFO for Microsoft’s manufacturing and supply chain division and a former director of investor relations for the company.

News of Anderson’s hiring comes just after another former Microsoft IR director and divisional CFO, Bill Koefoed, left to become the CFO at Chef’s primary competitor, Portland-based Puppet Labs.

Anderson made the leap before Koefoed, which may be why Anderson ended up with a shorter commute.


Comments | Topics: Chef, cloud, Enterprise


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