The Story Behind Haystack’s Investment In Okteto

In the summer of 2020, an odd time for sure, my friend and Lightspeed colleague Guru told me about a team he loved but felt was way too early. We took the intro from Guru, and wow am I glad I did. Guru, we owe you some nice wine. That introduction led to the beginning of Haystack’s relationship with the Okteto team, and today they proudly announced their Series A led by another friend, Villi from Two Sigma. You can read all about Okteto on their site and on today’s feature in TechCrunch.

This isn’t a product or tech blog, though. This is the space where I like to reflect on how people come in and our of work lives. The work with Okteto has been a dream scenario, simply put. It starts with the CEO. Ramiro is simply one of the most authentically compassionate tech founders I’ve had the pleasure of working with. And in the battlefield of work, Ramiro has a quiet yet steely resolve to quarterback his team. Co-founders Pablo and Ramon round out what is an incredible technical team tackling some of the thorniest problems in application architecture. Okteto formed based on the founders’ belief that the development process itself needed cloud-native tools to move faster and more efficiently.

Okteto was an investment opportunity that was a bit slower to grow on us. My colleague Aashay also spent time with the team and as we dug in, we both gained confidence in the initial adoption. We struck a deal with Ramiro to lead his round, and we cut back our position slightly to bring in folks like Salil and Lee, good friends with a wealth of experience (and options!) in these types of early companies. That proved to be a great decision, with all of us helping Okteto a little bit get to this stage, and laying the groundwork for Villi to get excited about partnering. it all came together nicely.

There is a lot of work to do for Okteto and the team. It’s still very early on the journey. That said, it is a moment to reflect a bit on how Haystack was able to “get lucky” to see this opportunity — years of relationships and trust, Guru trusting us that we would take care of the opportunity, Aashay digging in and evangelizing it when it wasn’t obvious, Salil and Lee joining efforts and their invaluable guidance, and Ramiro becoming an unofficial team member of Haystack, all leading to another friend, Villi, gaining comfort to join the ride. If only every investment lined up like this.