Jetpack.io’s founder Daniel Loreto has worked as an engineer at companies like Google, Airbnb and Twitter, companies with lots of engineering resources to build custom tools. But when he was at his last job running engineering at Virta Health, he noticed that his developer team had to work hard deploying infrastructure, and it distracted them from their primary job building applications.
It’s an issue that many development teams face that lack the resources of large companies like his earlier employers. He decided to launch Jetpack.io to help solve this infrastructure deployment problem for everyone.
He began by building an end-to-end platform, but eventually abandoned that idea for a more modular approach. The first piece to emerge from that idea is called Devbox, an open source development environment tool based on Nix.
Today, the startup announced the availability of Devbox Cloud in beta, a cloud version of the open source project. While it was at it, the company revealed a $10 million seed investment, which closed a year ago, but was previously unannounced.
Loreto said that while he was at Virta, he saw there were open source tools for deploying infrastructure like Kubernetes and Nix, but there was so much complexity around this tooling that a lot of energy was spent deploying the infrastructure to run the application, rather than building the application itself.
“So we came to the conclusion that infrastructure should be treated as a product. And that infrastructure should be self-serve and easy to use. And so Jetpack is all about applying that kind of platform engineering mindset to the different parts of the stack in the cloud,” he said.
Devbox is a step in that direction. He built that first piece to reduce the complexity around using the Nix open source project for deploying development environments. Devbox Cloud goes even further by moving the environments to the cloud.
“So the two things we add are basically making Nix easy to use without having to learn the Nix language, and then being able to take that environment from local to the cloud,” Loreto explained.
He plans to add additional features to the platform, and has already released Launchpad, a tool to simplify Kubernetes deployment. That will eventually get a cloud version as well.
For now Loreto plans to keep the company lean, stay disciplined and let customers lead the way in terms of expansion. “So I try to be very disciplined in terms of how we spend money and making sure that when we do spend money, it’s because we’ve actually heard the right feedback from the customers,” he said.
With just 10 employees so far, he is staying true to his word. As an immigrant founder from Venezuela, as he expands the workforce over time, he is keen to build an inclusive workplace. “I think because I identify with being an underrepresented minority, I kind of wanted to grow the company in [a diverse] way from the very beginning,” he said.
The $10 million seed was co-led by Coatue and GV.