Funding / Internet / Investing / Startups / Venture capital raises $9.5M Series A to build on cloud management growth

After growing a base of federal-facing customers, sees opportunity with large private-sector companies. Led by a collection of DMV investors, the round will allow the Fulton-based company to expand its engineering and sales teams.

The Kion team. (Courtesy photo)

Fulton-based cloud governance and management software company raised $9.5 million in a Series A round that will help grow its engineering and commercial teams, CEO Brian Price said.

The funding round attracted investors from around the region. It was led by Richmond, Virginia-based Blue Heron Capital and Chevy Chase-based TDF Ventures. Participating were Vienna, Virginia-based Blu Venture Investors, Baltimore-based Early Light Ventures and Gaingels, the LGBTQ+ community syndicate which was founded by Johns Hopkins alum Paul Grossigner.

With the funding round, the company is adding two leaders to its board: Blue Heron Capital Operating Advisor John Becker, and Lenn Kurtzman, a longtime startup executive who is currently CFO of Reston, Virginia-based cybersecurity firm ThreatQuotient.

Launched in 2018 after spinning out of services provider Stratus Solutions, grew a base with federal government agencies, organizations that provide services to them and higher education. The company has been “capital efficient” to date with a previous $2 million investment around its start.

Over the last two years, it has had double-digit growth that led to a total of 40 customers and expanded what it offers with many of them, Price told As it has added large, commercial businesses like Verizon and Indeed, the company sees opportunity.

“We are doing a lot of work in the federal government space and understand that market,” he said. “With an investment, it’s our time to also invest in the people that can help take our product in the areas we’re maybe a little unfamiliar with, and build on the experience and reputation we’re very proud of.”

One part of that equation was the group of investors that joined the Series A.

“All of them, we thought, would be excellent partners beyond not just the capital, but also the relationships and networks to help expand the company in the right direction,” Price said. is also looking to hire to grow its employee base. It’s growing its sales and marketing team, including adding a head of sales. And it’s growing an existing engineering team that continues to add features to help customers, seeking software engineers, cloud architects, designers and more. It started in September of 2018 with about eight people; now it counts just under 50. By the end of next year, Price expects it will be around 70 people.'s growth comes amid a shift in how the computing resources that power technology teams and business operations are distributed.

After introducing collaboration tools and strategies to ensure its culture remained strong as it grew, the company became a remote-first team in the spring of 2021. Like many, it is extending its search for talent beyond geographic borders, even as it remains a Baltimore-based team with affection for the area.

“We’re really excited about what this offers us, and what it offers also the Greater Baltimore community in terms of a great option for some new talent that are going to be really meaningful contributors to our business and help us grow,” Price said.

The growth comes amid a shift in how the computing resources that power technology teams and business operations are distributed, and makes a platform to help companies manage it. Companies long kept data and infrastructure “on premises” in data centers or cloud storage behind its own firewall. In recent years — and notably in the last 18 months — there is growing adoption of the public cloud, in which services like AWS, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud make computing resources available over the internet.

By ditching data centers and letting another company handle the maintenance and storage, it brings the opportunity to draw on vast resources provided by these large companies, and shift talent away from the work of managing data centers. But at the same time, it’s a move beyond traditional IT frameworks, so it brings a new set of processes, and potentially new challenges for companies, Price said.’s platform is designed as an “easy button” for the work of managing the cloud resources in this new paradigm. To make the cloud simpler, it can automate tasks at setup and beyond. To help reduce costs, it can identify and correct instances in a company’s cloud environment where there is waste. And to keep everything up and running, it can automate security and compliance tasks that come with a shifting landscape of regulations.

Given the range of tasks it assists with, the company offers a holistic solution that helps a variety of folks in organizations, up to CFOs and the board level. But ask Price about the end user, and he said the primary beneficiaries are cloud architects and other professionals tasked with managing cloud infrastructure. With more adoption of public cloud, it is becoming more difficult to find talent, and staff for a 24-7 cycle that tech runs on.

“Any time that we can help make sure that those folks that are responsible day and night get some of their night back, we chalk that up as a win,” Price said.

Companies: Kion

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