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Docker, a startup whose open-source container technology is becoming a popular component in software development, is announcing today that it’s acquired KiteMatic, a three-man startup that built a Mac app that lets people quickly start working with Docker’s containers for storing application code.

Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed.

Docker until this point has promoted an open-source tool called boot2docker for launching Docker on personal computers. But the KiteMatic team goes considerably further.

“This is kind of a one-stop shop — simple workflow, GUI [graphical user interface]-based — that kind of drives people through the whole process,” David Messina, Docker’s vice president of enterprise marketing, told VentureBeat in an interview. The Mac app makes it easy to start using a few starter containers, including the RethinkDB database, the Redis key-value store, and a server for playing Minecraft. Should you wish to switch to the command line to work with these containers, you can do so with a click.

It might sound like a dinky invention when you consider that Docker clearly intends to play a critical role in the software stack at big companies. But really, KiteMatic could serve a critical function for Docker — getting more people comfortable with Docker’s Linux containers as a supplement or even an alternative to virtual machines.

Docker has been rapidly making acquisitions to expand its team and its capabilities. Today’s news comes just one week after the official announcement of Docker’s Socketplane acquisition. Other recent Docker acquisitions include Orchard and Koality.

Docker announced a $40 million funding round in September. As for KiteMatic, it has received backing from University of Waterloo’s Velocity Fund, the JumpStart program through the Canadian government’s Accelerator Centre, Communitech, Lightspeed Venture Partners.

KiteMatic started in June 2013, originally under the name Kite. It provided a cloud development platform. It pivoted to focus on the desktop application last August — ironically, Docker itself made a pivot, going from a cloud platform as a service (PaaS) to its current container-oriented strategy — and released the first version one month later.

The KiteMatic team will relocate from Waterloo, Canada, to Docker’s San Francisco headquarters. The trio will bring a similar service to Windows, among other things, Messina said.


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