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Slim.AI Closes $31 Million Series A To Automate Best Practices In Software Supply Chain Security For Cloud-Native Applications

Investors behind Docker, JFrog and Aqua Security embrace the Slim.AI mission to make containerized applications easier to build, optimize and secure, bringing developer-first security solutions to the enterprise.

Slim.AI, the Boston-based startup focused on optimizing and securing cloud-native applications, announced that it has raised a $31 million series A round co-led by New York-based global venture capital and private equity firm Insight Partners as well as StepStone Group, with participation by boldstart Ventures, Decibel Partners, FXP, Knollwood and TechAviv Founder Partners.

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Slim.AI is focused on cloud-native application development, building a developer platform atop the popular DockerSlim open-source project. Co-founded by John Amaral and Kyle Quest in January 2021, Slim.AI provides developers with the necessary tools to ship secure, production-ready containers in an automated, repeatable and transparent way, and without the need for specialized expertise. Slim.AI goes beyond simple container minification—already available via DockerSlim—to deliver a holistic container-based workflow platform for developers working in organizations large or small.

“The world has woken up to the acute need for developers to know exactly what is in their containers before moving them into production and to reduce risk in their software supply chains,” said Amaral, CEO and co-founder at Slim.AI. “Developers and technology leaders alike are beginning to understand the need to optimize images before they go to production, minimizing the attack surface of their applications. The best vulnerability is the one you never ship.” Read more of Amaral’s comments on his blog post about the Slim.AI Series A funding round.

Investors are excited about the possibilities for a security-focused, developer-first enterprise SaaS company built on a popular open-source project. Slim.AI has achieved strong traction through its open source, early access SaaS platform and initial engagements with organizations looking to modernize their cloud-native workflows.

“Slim.AI’s ‘Know Your Container’ workflow was born out of a problem that its founders and many developers experience: too much time is spent on fitting applications to infrastructure. As developers are expected to produce clean code at a fast pace, it is critical to equip them with a software supply chain environment which simultaneously minimizes risk of producing vulnerabilities and maximizes productivity,” said Jon Rosenbaum, managing director at Insight Partners. “The DockerSlim open-source product has already proven to be a valuable tool with 300k+ downloads. Slim.AI has an incredible opportunity to build a platform on top of this early, fast-paced adoption to deliver even more value to development teams worldwide.”

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“We see a tremendous market opportunity for platforms that help enterprises incorporate security into software development rather than bolting it on via a set of reactionary processes once the code is already in production,” said Hunter Somerville, partner at StepStone Group. “Slim.AI is positioned at the intersection of developer productivity and container security, and we’re excited about the value they are delivering to dev-first organizations that want to empower developers to consistently ship software that follows best practices.”

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Geva Solomonovich, a well-known security influencer and member of the Slim.AI advisory board said, “Slim.AI is following a proven, product-led growth playbook for dev-first companies in the enterprise security space. They have a compelling security story to share with enterprise technology leadership, and they’re already making great progress in establishing themselves as the team to beat.”

Amaral and Quest are veterans of cybersecurity and cloud infrastructure. Amaral, CEO, is a seasoned cybersecurity entrepreneur and the former head of product for Cisco Cloud Security. He previously held product leadership positions at CloudLock, Trustwave and Vericept. Quest, CTO, is the creator of several open-source initiatives, including the massively popular DockerSlim project. He previously served as chief architect at Cisco CloudLock and has held security leadership roles at Microsoft, CrowdStrike, Trustwave, and Vericept. Last August, the company announced a board of advisors comprising a group of DevOps and cloud native industry luminaries.

Slim.AI closed a $6.6 million seed round in January of 2021, led by boldstart Ventures, Decibel Partners, FXP and TechAviv Founder Partners. Slim.AI is another in a growing line of developer-first, product-led growth, enterprise SaaS companies to come out of the boldstart portfolio, following on the heels of Snyk (security), Replicated (on-prem infrastructure), and BigID (identification services). They join a growing list of DevOps and cloud security companies including Docker, JFrog and Aqua Security in the Insight Partners portfolio.

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