Startup Seaplane IO lands $15M for edge-optimized cloud app management

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Seaplane IO, which wants to do for full-stack applications what content delivery networks (CDNs) did for media delivery, today announced that its platform is now available for limited beta participation and that it has landed a $15 million Series A financing round. Sequoia Capital led the investment round with additional participation from 8VC and Atlantic Bridge. 

Mountain View, California-based Seaplane makes a next-gen, container-based development platform for building and scaling applications. Its user-friendly control plane continuously optimizes global infrastructure, autoscaling to deliver applications where and when they are needed, the company said in a media advisory. 

Seaplane, which includes a female cofounder within its group of four founders (Catherine Schikkerling), is a tool platform engineering teams can use to effectively build an edge-optimized multi-region, multicloud platform without all the usual overhead and complexity.

Containerized workloads deployed with Seaplane recognize and use the most optimal combination of public clouds, bare metal providers and edge resources based on the customer’s budgets, business/regulatory restrictions, app traffic patterns and performance requirements. This can remove hours of developer time on any given project.

No-code UI a factor

One of the distinguishing things about Seaplane is that it can be used by large enterprises and SMBs alike. It is operated on an intuitive no-code user interface.

“Seaplane is for makers everywhere, whether you’re running a simple website or an application that needs 10 petaflops of compute and 10 petabytes of data within 10 milliseconds of every end-user on the planet,” CEO and cofounder Niall Dalton said in a media advisory.

Seaplane’s Managed Global Compute platform is currently in an invite-only preview, and will be widely available starting in Q2 2022, the company said. A database platform and additional coordination services are also slated to launch later this year. 

How Seaplane works

“We currently support standard containerized applications,” Dalton told VentureBeat. “Customers upload their containers to our registry and deploy it globally through a simple CLI or API. Seaplane manages the deployments from there, based on each customer’s configuration preferences, budget and business requirements.”

Deployments are edge-optimized, multicloud and multi-region by default, Dalton said. “We do all the routing and load balancing, horizontal and vertical scaling, automatic workload location adjustment, and resource allocation based on end-user traffic patterns and performance needs,” he said.

To coordinate within and between their application containers, Seaplane also provides a global, strongly consistent metadata key-value service. “You can think of this like you would for a multi-region world. Our roadmap adds other foundational compute and data services (such as SQL and NoSQL databases, PubSub messaging and more) in future versions to use the power of our global control plane to simplify rich applications at the edge and beyond,” Dalton said.

What investors say

“As multicloud and data-native containerized applications become a pervasive driving force for enterprises, the supporting cloud infrastructure around orchestration and management have not kept pace, being mired in complexity,” Bhaskar Ghosh, partner and CTO at 8VC, said in a media advisory. “Seaplane’s offerings simplify and abstract away the deficiencies and difficulties in cloud infrastructure, enabling applications to be delivered anytime and anywhere without sacrificing performance and resilience.” 

“Being able to deploy software in a provider-agnostic way unlocks multi-cloud for the majority of organizations — even those without dedicated platform teams,” said Brian Long, managing partner at Atlantic Bridge.

Developers want to ship apps, not build infrastructure, said Bill Coughran, partner at Sequoia Capital. “Rather than struggle with complex and fragmented public cloud platform building blocks,” he said, “developers can leverage Seaplane’s APIs to run their containerized app stacks everywhere, from the edge to the cloud.” Seaplane’s competitors in the cloud app management sector, according to G2.com, include Edge Cloud, Nuvla.io, Micro Focus Data Protector and a list of others.

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