CAST AI Raises $10 Million from Cota, Samsung Next


By: R. Scott Raynovich

CAST AI is out of the seed stage and into the growth stage with a $10 million Series A round led by Cota Capital, with Samsung Next and additional investors participating. The company says the money will go to the development of its cloud cost optimization software platform.

CAST AI also announced that its Autonomous Kubernetes cloud management platform now supports both Google and Microsoft Azure public cloud platforms, in addition to Amazon Web Services (AWS), which it supported first.

Targeting High Cloud Costs

The new round plus the interesting product positioning makes this an interesting company to watch. As I wrote back a couple months ago on Forbes, CAST AI is trying to take advantage of a trend toward cloud cost reduction, as businesses running many services in the cloud are finding that costs can escalate quickly. This has spawned a debate about cloud repatriation, in which some enterprises are pulling back from public cloud to bring infrastructure back in house. The question is whether repatriation is worth it, other than reducing costs.

CTO Leon Kuperman told me that the high costs of cloud are really pure margin for the providers, and that there is plenty of room for reducing the costs of public cloud, which is the most efficient way to deliver most cloud services.

CAST AI Opportunity

Herein lies the opportunity for CAST AI, which is targeting cloud-native applications in AWS, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud.

CAST AI says that in 2020 alone, approximately $17 billion of cloud overspend was due to inefficient tool selection and lack of ability to intelligently scale capacity to match application requirements. CAST AI says its platform can save 60% to 90% of total annual cloud expenditures for AWS customers.

In the company press release, investors said that controlling costs has become a key need of users of cloud services:

“Managing cloud deployments effectively to control costs has become a priority for organizations of all sizes,” said Bobby Yazdani, Cota Capital founder, and partner. “We are excited to partner with the CAST AI team, as we believe in the company’s ability to address cloud-native optimization challenges.”
“The adoption of Kubernetes continues to grow as containers and microservice architecture become the defacto standard to serve modern applications at scale,” said Raymond Liao, Managing Director, Samsung Next. “Our team is thrilled to participate in CAST AI's latest round, as the company advances its quest to make Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) more efficient and on budget.”

This announcement follows the company’s launch of its AWS cost optimization tool and the release of what the company called the the first single-cluster multi cloud solution. CAST AI has been demonstrating the platform, including customer use-cases, at KubeCon this week in Los Angeles.