Rafay, the First Lifecycle Management Platform for Containers, Puts a Lid on $8 Million Series A

Ridge Ventures
Sep 17 · 4 min read

When the average Joe/Josephine hears “containerized apps,” ostensibly they picture leftover finger foods sealed inside of Tupperware. But DevOps folks know this runs deeper than mere appetizer preservation (or containerized cats). The containers they deploy help the applications behind the world’s biggest software platforms run more efficiently. These containers are the silent cogs in the ongoing digital transformation migration.

Right in the middle of this container craze is Rafay, the world’s first SaaS-based lifecycle management platform for containers. Today, our friends at Rafay are officially launching this first-of-its-kind product, accompanied by an $8 million Series A round led by Ridge, with NTT DOCOMO Ventures, Costanoa Ventures, and Moment Ventures also throwing down some VCheese.

Here is the low-down: Kubernetes, the de facto orchestration system that makes containers tick, can be a Kuber-nuisance. Its steep learning curve requires companies to make major investments in training, hiring, and in-house development. Ergo, a lot of $, a lot of time, a lot of four-letter words🤬, a lot of —

👋 Oh, why hello there, Rafay.

Rafay’s SaaS-based automation framework mitigates these costs and time sucks, allowing companies to operate their containerized apps on-premises, in the cloud, or any combination thereof. The skinny? DevOps teams can now put container management on autopilot, and instead, focus on tasks that create value for their employers.

Rafay’s Lifecycle Management for Containerized Apps

The problem Rafay is solving, and the space they’re entering, is huge. The container market is expected to hit $3 billion by 2022, and Gartner predicts that more than 75 percent of global organizations will be running containerized applications by 2022 — in 2019, it was less than 30 percent. Recently, VMware became the latest company to jump inside the containerized Thunderdome, but their product, and other similar offerings out there, don’t address the lifecycle management of containers.

Rafay is led by its two co-founders: CEO Haseeb Budhani and VP of Engineering Hemanth Kavurulu. This Butch-Cassidy-and-the-Container-Kid duo has countless experience in systems development, cloud networking, and network security. Before founding Rafay Systems, Haseeb and Hemanth worked together to create Soha Systems, which was acquired by Akamai Technologies in 2016. Soha, like Rafay, was named after one of Haseeb’s sons — obviously, it’s a strategy that’s worked quite well.

✅ Among other checked-off boxes, Rafay’s unparalleled product, market need, and impressive team pedigree caught the attention of our very own Ben Metcalfe. Ben, Ridge’s resident DevOps aficionado, WP Engine co-founder, and black t-shirt influencer, looks beyond software developer jargon and knows a great enterprise play when he sees it. Here are his thoughts on what makes Rafay special:

“Rafay represents a successful, experienced team bringing innovation to a market ripe for disruption. Just as Amazon created an entire cloud industry based on unifying and abstracting disparate open source tools, we see parallels for revolutionizing software automation, management, and app distribution. We believe Rafay has a major role to play in that transformation. Rafay saw this gap and has built a comprehensive platform that every enterprise can use.”

Clearly, Ben and the rest of the Ridge Familia are proud to be a part of Rafay’s big day. Haseeb, Hemanth, and their hardworking team have put in countless hours to see this moment come to fruition, and we’re excited to see what’s next.

Team Ridge


Ridge Ventures

Ridge Ventures

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Fast, flexible & founder-focused early stage venture capital fund. Backing experienced founders redefining how the world interacts with data and code.



Ridge Ventures

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