About Balto

The Story of Balto

Balto began when the founder, Matt Fox, investigated options for creating Debian repositories for a new software application. Matt looked for solutions that were easy to use, beautiful, and reasonably priced, but found nothing. Existing solutions were complex, ugly, or expensive, and so the idea for Balto was born.

The ideas and design behind Balto come from Matt’s broad experience. He has:

  • Built solutions using a variety of packaging and distribution technologies- both cloud and on-premise using Debian, Docker, Kubernetes, and other tech
  • Improved products and processes in many roles as both a manager and engineer- in software development, product management, customer success and support, and sales
  • Served customers of all sorts of organizations- small IT business, startup, large global bank, and even onboard a ship and at a prison

Balto is crafted in Victoria, BC, Canada.

Balto Who?

Balto is inspired by and named after the famous sled dog.

In January 1925, an outbreak of diphtheria threatened children in the remote town of Nome, Alaska. The town had no diphtheria antitoxin serum. Its port was closed for the winter and the only airplane that could deliver more was disabled by cold temperatures.

Gunnar Kaasen and Balto

Officials decided to send serum to Nome by dogsled. A group of more than 20 mushers relayed the shipment 674 miles (1,085 km) in temperatures as low as −62 °F (−52 °C). The final leg of the relay was run by Gunnar Kaasen and his team of dogs led by Balto. They ran through the night in whiteout conditions and delivered the serum on February 2, 1925. No serum was lost during the relay, and the outbreak was quickly brought under control.

We are inspired by the endurance, intelligence, and bravery of Gunnar Kaasen, Balto, and the other mushers and dogs that helped save the children of Nome in 1925.

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