Slim.ai Is Making It Easier for Developers to Work With Software Containers

By Elijah Labby Sunday, January 24, 2021

The container market (that is, the packaging of code for easy transferability between computer programs) is only about seven years old. Still, it’s undergoing exciting transformations that aim to make their use easier. One of the companies doing this is startup Slim.ai.

Slim.ai’s Business and Funding

Slim.ai is building a commercial product on top of the DockerSlim open-source container project. It turns out that investors like the idea and they’ve invested millions in helping the young startup realize its vision. The company recently acquired $6.6 million in seed funding from venture capital firms Boldstart Ventures, Decibel Partners, FXP Ventures, and TechAviv Founder Partners.

Co-founders John Amaral, who serves as Chief Executive Officer of the startup, and Kyle Quest, who is Chief Technology Officer, said there is massive potential for expansion.

“You need to integrate it into your developer workflow, and then you have different systems you deal with, different container registries, different cloud environments, and all of that,” Quest said in an interview with TechCrunch. “You need a solution that can address those needs, and doing that through an open-source tool is challenging, and that’s where there’s a lot of opportunities to provide premium value and have a commercial product offering.”

How Investors See the Business

There are currently only 15 people on staff at the startup, but investors don’t see that as a downside. Ed Sim, founder and general partner at Boldstart Ventures, told TechCrunch there’s value in making it easier for DevOps, software development (Dev) and IT operations (Ops), professionals.

“Slim can shift that all left and give developers the power through the Slim tools to answer all those questions, and then, boom, they can develop containers, push them into production, and then DevOps can do their thing,” he said.

The Wider Container Market

Investors were also likely encouraged to participate in the development of Slim.ai’s work because of the high rate of return they will see if all goes well. According to market research firm Markets and Markets, the global application container market was anticipated to grow at a pace of over 30% from 2018 to 2023 — ultimately arriving at a valuation of $4.98 billion.

This growth and valuation are remarkable, given the relative newness of the market. It’s a testament to the strength and possibilities of the technology that venture capital firms are willing to stake so much on it, and a show of trust in the developers at DockerSlim and Slim.ai — just ask Gil Zimmermann, Founding Partner of FXP Ventures.

“The Slim.ai team has proven that, when developers have the productivity tools they need, it becomes much easier for them to build more efficient, performant, and secure applications with high velocity,” he said in a statement. “We are thrilled to partner with John and Kyle and change how developers compose applications forever.”

About the Author


Headshot for author Elijah Labby

Elijah Labby is a graduate of the National Journalism Center. He has previously written for Broadband Breakfast, a technology and internet policy website.

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