As developers push code across multiple clouds, figuring out what infrastructure you own becomes a real challenge, usually involving writing custom scripts. CloudQuery, an early-stage startup, wanted to make it easier, and built an open source tool to do the work for you. Today, the company announced a $3.5 million seed round led by Boldstart Ventures with help from Work-Bench, Mango Capital and Haystack.
CloudQuery CEO and co-founder Yevgeny Pats said that on a high level, "We are an open source, cloud assets inventory [tool] powered by SQL." He says that when he sold his previous startup, Fuzzit, to GitLab, and he was working on multiple cloud platforms, he found himself struggling to figure out the layout of his infrastructure across clouds and how all the pieces fit together.
Furthermore, much to his surprise, he couldn't find an open source tool to help. It seemed that there wasn't a solution out there that gave him the kind of visibility that developers who were writing infrastructure as code had, utilizing tools like Terraform from HashiCorp.
So he did what any good entrepreneur would do. He set out to build that tool.
"This is where I embarked on a new journey to start CloudQuery, where we want to become this platform and to build this ecosystem where developers can focus solely on the business and security logic with a query engine that they know, [SQL], and they don't need to learn a new one to [put] together business and security objectives," Pats explained.
The tool launched just nine months ago, but Pats found he was far from the only one with this problem; already, major companies like Bloomberg, Salesforce and Zendesk have downloaded and started using the tool because it replaces a lot of manual work writing scripts.
"[Earlier this year], I just released it on GitHub and launched it on Hacker News, and within three months we got quite a bit of traction and adoption from developers, DevOps engineers and SREs [site reliability engineers], and I decided to raise money and double down on that opportunity to continue expanding and developing the open source project," he said.
In terms of monetization, Pats would prefer to build the community first. As the product gains traction, the plan is to build a SaaS version of the product that minimizes some of the complexity around using the open source tool and provides some special features for enterprise customers.
The company currently has 11 employees with plans to get to 14 by the first quarter of next year. Being open source means you can also get help from the community and operate more leanly. Pats says that being a fully remote company helps when it comes to building a more diverse workforce, but it's a tough hiring market, which makes it more challenging.
He said that he intends to stay fully remote and take some of the lessons he learned while working at GitLab and implement them at his company. One of those lessons is ensuring teams are built around reasonable time zones, because if you have people spread out across the world, it can make it challenging to find reasonable times to meet.