Chef, IT automation startup raises $40 million in Series E funding

By | September 16, 2015

Chef, the Seattle-based IT automation software startup has secured $40 million in Series E round of funding led by DFJ Growth along with Millennium Technology Value Partners and existing investors like Battery Ventures, Citi Ventures, DFJ, Ignition Partners and ScaleVP.


Founded in 2008, the startup Chef is a software maker that helps companies automate IT tasks at speed and scale. Instructions and policies for any particular app or server configuration are uploaded to a central server which can find its place in the cloud, on premises or in a data center. On the other servers which has the client software make regular checks with the main server for any changes and automatically to match the central server’s ‘recipe.’

Chef positions itself at the center of the so-called ‘DevOps’ movement that targets to bring together developers and operations pro closer as a means to improve speed and efficiency in building and managing applications. The company’s CEO Barry Crist said, “Software is becoming the pointy end of the spear for every computer and every industry today. The competitive edge is can they operate at velocity?”  He claims that more than 50% of the Fortune 50 companies that includes Facebook. GE, Nordstrom, IBM and Target use Chef software and 80% of its revenue comes from mainstream enterprises.

With the fresh funds raised, Chef plans to expand the business geographically in Asia, Europe, the Middle East and Africa and North America. It also plans to target on product development, especially around containerization and compliance.

“We are long-term advocates of Chef since DFJ first funded the company’s Series A round in 2009,” Sam Fort, Principal at DFJ Growth, said in a statement. “Chef is at the center of a fundamental shift in IT as enterprises race to change how they build and deploy software to become high velocity organizations. Chef has become the leading platform for enabling this transition, and we are thrilled to lead this investment to help accelerate Chef’s growth in the market.”

Crist pointed out that Chef still has a majority of its Series D round in the bank. Crist added, “The best time to raise money is when you don’t need it. This is us being a little opportunistic and thinking about additional investments we can make.”