He was employee No. 8 at Stripe. Now, he’s taking on Salesforce and AWS with $50 million in new funding for his startup Render. Here’s the pitch deck it used.

Render is building a modern cloud for application developers and teams.
  • Anurag Goel was an early employee at Stripe who built the risk team from the ground up.
  • After he left in 2016, he started to think about how he could build a better cloud infrastructure.
  • That led to Render, a cloud provider that has now raised $50 million in Series B funding.

Every company is a software company. But not every software engineer has the knowledge, funding, or desire to run the servers in the cloud that power their apps.

That’s the idea behind Render, a tech startup that makes a modern cloud to build and run apps and websites.

“There is this very burning need to simplify things and to allow companies to really focus on their products and not have to deal with infrastructure,” Anurag Goel, the founder and chief executive officer of Render, told Insider.

Investors have bought into the idea with a $50 million Series B funding round, led by Bessemer Venture Partners partner Elliott Robinson. Existing investors Addition, General Catalyst, and the South Park Commons Fund also participated. The latest round brings Render’s total funding to $76.8 million, according to the company. The valuation was not disclosed.

Render is taking on the “big three” cloud providers — Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud — with a user-friendly approach. It allows developers to push their code to GitHub, and Render builds and deploys the code as an application run on the cloud.

Before Render, Goel got hired as the eighth employee of a then-unknown tech startup called Stripe. There, he wrote some of the early code, and built the risk engineering and operations teams from scratch. By the time he left in 2016, Stripe had reached a $5 billion private valuation.

Goel spent his new free time hatching ideas for companies. He made simple apps in domains like healthcare, real-time infrastructure, and natural language processing. He started and sold a one-person startup, Crestle, which let anyone spin up a Jupyter notebook in the cloud with a single click.

“I was building all these products,” Goel said, “… and it just was very clear to me that I had to go through the same set of plumbing steps — like 5,000 things that you need to do on AWS — to get even a basic application up and running.”

His latest venture, Render, tries to streamline that process.

It competes most directly with Salesforce Heroku, which allows developers to create apps quickly and easily. But people have criticized Salesforce, which acquired the startup Heroku in 2010, for leaving its core product pretty much unchanged in a decade, despite the underlying technology improving. It’s also 70% to 80% more expensive to use than Render as businesses scale, Goel said.

Developers are flocking to Render. It serves more than half a million developers, an increase from just under 100,000 developers in July of 2022, Goel said. They’ve launched a combined two billion apps and websites on Render’s cloud.

The startup has grown signups through word of mouth and has spent zero dollars on marketing or a sales teamhe added. The latest funding will allow Render to hire its first chief of marketing and expand its engineering team.

Goel deflected a question about the size of Render’s staff. It’s a lean team, he admitted, and he doesn’t want to give potential customers any reason to doubt what it can do.

“We’re able to do so much more with a smaller team,” he said

We have an exclusive look at the pitch deck that Render used to raise its Series B funding.

Correction: June 20, 2023 — An earlier version of this story misstated the partners at Bessemer Venture Partners who led Render’s latest round. Elliott Robinson led the investment.