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CircleCI: A Virtuous [Developer] Circle

By Somesh Dash, Tom Loverro, Jake Storm, and Cack Wilhelm

Today, IVP is keen to announce our Series E investment in CircleCI. Based in San Francisco, CircleCI has honored a developer-first mindset since its founding and grown that into the leading cloud-based platform for the automated building, testing, and deployment of new code. CircleCI provides robust enterprise features and functionality to customers such as Spotify, Ford Motor Company, NBC Universal, Citigroup, Aetna, and Unilever. IVP is the lead investor in CircleCI’s $100M Series E financing, and Cack Wilhelm will join the Company’s board of directors. CircleCI’s mission is to shorten the time from idea to value delivery, and we at IVP are excited to partner with Jim, Rob, and the entire CircleCI team to help make this possible for development teams.

Read on to find out why we invested:

Continuous Automation

The idea of releasing code 1x per week or 1x per day is anathema for most companies. Software delivery has become a continuous loop, whereby a single workflow ties together an automated build (from the source code) through to testing for functionality and compatibility, to deployment; this repeats frequently. CircleCI helps to speed this process and reduce risk by ensuring that code pushed to production is stable code; no developer wants to push a bug to an iOS app, and no end-user wants to hit that snag.

Companies continue to move from monolithic architectures to microservices, toward smaller, more manageable code bases, where services are loosely coupled, continuously deployed, and disposable. This also means teams are increasingly separated and distributed. Add to this our shared belief that all companies are becoming software companies — companies like JP Morgan Chase and Home Depot — releasing code at faster and faster rates. These trends are all in support of CircleCI.

CircleCI is delivered as SaaS and provides a fully-featured solution for continuous integration, including unit and integration tests, connections to GitHub and other common source code repositories, and integration with Docker, Artifactory, Harness, and other downstream platforms.

CircleCI manages and runs all of the necessary infrastructure — be it Linux VMs, MacOS VMs, GPU chips, or Docker containers to allow developers to focus on releasing the next killer feature.

Category Leading

Not that long ago, CircleCI was just one of many solutions available to development teams seeking automation in their software delivery processes. Fast forward, and CircleCI has emerged as the leader for automated, cloud-based, build, test, and deploy. Developers are particular and they have voted with their time, energy, and credit cards that CircleCI is the best platform for speeding development and ultimately getting new code into the hands of customers faster.

We are impressed with their market-leading position, the breadth of the platform, and the business value that they are driving — offloading a non-core but critical development process and in so doing, saving developers precious time and providing operational leverage.

Keeping Calm and Carrying On

It is an unprecedented time and we acknowledge that reality. With that said, CircleCI is well positioned for the ‘new normal,’ giving us further confidence in our partnership with the team. This is for a few reasons.

Compared to other business functions, engineers are often accustomed to working remotely and using battle-tested collaboration software like Dropbox, GitHub, Jira, Slack, etc.. We are finding in the data that developers are still logging hours and shipping code. Product requirement and new feature timelines may shift but they don’t disappear. Websites and social media channels have become not just one avenue to reach customers but the only way, since IRL has been canceled. Developers underpin all of this writing, testing, and integrating of new lines of code. CircleCI, as with many developer-focused companies, has been driven by individual developer adoption growing into teams and the product-led-growth model; this flow will continue to serve them well.

We look forward to working alongside Scale Venture Partners, Sapphire Ventures, Threshold Ventures, Industry Ventures, Top Tier Capital Partners, Owl Rock, NextEquity Partners, Harrison Metal, Heavybit, and Baseline in partnering with CircleCI.

Somesh Dash, Tom Loverro, Jake Storm, and Cack Wilhelm are Investors at IVP, a later-stage venture capital firm based in Menlo Park, CA.

Originally published at https://www.ivp.com on April 7, 2020.

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