Better Code, Faster: ZenHub Helps the Best Software Teams Stay Focused

ZenHub raises seed financing to build out developer platform including automation, better sprint planning, and easy project management without leaving GitHub

Roham Gharegozlou
Feb 23 · 4 min read

Too many software development teams are still wasting time on administrative work instead of writing code.

ZenHub is building a future where nobody has to “do” project management. Where developers can simply focus on the code without sacrificing organizational clarity into project status.

Today ZenHub announced its first institutional fundraise of $4.7M USD to accelerate this mission led by led by BDC Capital and Ripple Ventures with participation by Adam Gross (former CEO of Heroku), Jiaona Zhang (VP Product at Webflow), and Oji Udezue (VP Product at Calendly).

Until now, ZenHub has been bootstrapped as part of Axiom Zen, the same venture studio that spun out Dapper Labs, the company behind CryptoKitties and NBA Top Shot. As a bootstrapped company ZenHub has grown organically, winning over fast-growing companies like Shopify and open source teams like Docker as well as Fortune 500 stalwarts from Microsoft to Comcast.

ZenHub’s philosophy is that all companies of the future are software companies, and software companies need to treat their developers well if they want to recruit, hire, and retain the best of the best. A big part of treating developers well is letting them use best-in-class products – and minimize context-switching between them.

That’s where automation comes in.

While automation is not a novel concept in software development, it rarely makes a meaningful appearance in most project management solutions. Solutions that tout automation often stop at automating tasks for the individual.

ZenHub sees an opportunity to go beyond these simple automations, and offer guided solutions to help teams through the most complex parts of agile development. In essence, making agile more accessible.

ZenHub’s vision for automation is like Tesla’s vision for Autopilot: as a driver you’re always in full control, but there are a number of purpose-built features designed to remove the most burdensome and dangerous parts of driving.

ZenHub can play a similar role in augmenting the most complex and time consuming parts of project management to help teams move faster and become more agile, while allowing them to stay in full control of the process.

ZenHub released Automated Workflows in September 2020, enabling teams to visualize their entire development workflow in a single view and automated the handoff of work between teams.

Today ZenHub introduced the next step in the automation journey: Sprints.

ZenHub Sprints automates one of the most despised rituals of agile development — the sprint planning meeting.

As the first ever sprint planning experience built in GitHub, ZenHub Sprints enables teams to create and schedule multiple sprints at the same time. Sprints also automatically carries over unfinished Issues between sprints!

Next, ZenHub will apply its vision to software estimation, another foundational element of agile development that, like sprint planning, is similarly frustrating and needlessly time-consuming.

As teams become more distributed, we see an opportunity to make estimation a more asynchronous process and help teams focus their attention and discussion on the most contentious Issues.

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Axiom Zen Team

Insights from Axiom Zen, a team of founders, developers…

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