Linear’s Next Chapter: Announcing our $4.2M Seed Round

Our mission is to streamline how teams build great software, starting from issue tracking.

Karri Saarinen
Nov 21 · 4 min read

At Linear, we are creating software for startups and companies who look to create impact. We believe creators should focus on the work they create, not manually tracking their work. Managers should spend their time prioritizing and giving direction, not bugging their teams for updates. Running the process shouldn’t sap your team’s energy and come in the way of creating.

That’s why today we are excited to announce that we’ve raised a $4.2M seed round, led by Sequoia Capital with participation from Index Ventures and others.

This is a big milestone for our team and we wanted to share a bit about our progress and what this means for the future of Linear.

Our Path so Far

In April of this year, we shared our story and vision to create a more enjoyable and effective way for teams to track issues and manage software development (read the announcement here). We want to bring some of the magic back to computers and software. The software you use daily to accomplish your work should be of the highest quality. It should feel exciting and enticing. It should be fast and you should feel empowered when you’re using it.

The need for a new solution to help product teams came from our personal experiences of designing and building software for successful and fast-growing companies like Uber, Airbnb, and Coinbase. We grew frustrated by how slow, lacking and disconnected they were from today’s best practices, and how little they helped our teams to coordinate and align our work, and deliver high-quality software.

We realized there was a lack of tools solely focused on managing software projects. We also noticed a correlation between teams’ emotional connection to their work and their output and outcome. Teams that are inspired, engaged and proud of their work end up creating better software. The tools we use daily are in a position to help us maintain this inspiration and excitement (as well as steal it away from us).

We were happy to see how much our vision has resonated with other engineers and designers. Since our announcement, we have had thousands of small and large companies sign up to our waitlist, and have heard across the board that teams are eager to upgrade to a solution like Linear.

Today, hundreds of companies are using Linear daily to build software. We are especially excited to support next-generation companies like Pitch, Render, Albert, Curology, Spoke, Compound and several new YC startups like Middesk, Catch and Visly. Many companies have mentioned that they want their teams to use the best tools available since they themselves want to build the best products for their respective markets.

Our Investors

To help us scale with the demand for our product, we are excited to partner with Sequoia Capital (Stephanie Zhan) as our lead investor on our seed round. This funding brings with it the opportunity to learn from Sequoia’s long history and tribal knowledge supporting category-defining and enduring companies. We are also thrilled to have participation from Index Ventures (Sarah Cannon) who has backed many existing and upcoming next-generation tools.

In addition, many experienced operators and angel investors are participating in the round. These investors will also advise the company and they include Dylan Field (Founder and CEO, Figma), Emilie Choi (COO, Coinbase), Charlie Cheever (Co-Founder of Expo & Quora), Gustaf Alströmer (Partner, Y Combinator), Tikhon Berstram (Co-Founder, Parse), Larry Gadea (CEO, Envoy), Jude Gomila (CEO, Golden), James Smith (CEO, Bugsnag), Fred Stevens-Smith (CEO, Rainforest), Bobby Goodlatte, Marc McCabe, Julia DeWahl, Dan Romero and others.

The Path Forward

We will continue to focus on creating the best possible issue tracking experience for our core users. Linear will remain a fast and powerful interface to your team’s work that gets out of the way, integrates well with their workflow and lets individuals focus on their work.

Secondly, we want to evolve industry practices. We believe next-generation companies should also use next-generation practices. We want to work with the most forward-looking companies in the field and evolve everyone’s practices around how software is designed and built. Linear will embody these best practices and help teams run their day-to-day coordination more efficiently, reduce wasteful meetings and bring all of their focus back to meaningful work.

To maintain the momentum (weekly changelog) as we grow, we are expanding our founding team. We are looking for people who believe in the mission of building great software. As we see the remote and distributed work model becoming the new norm, we want to help build other companies as well as our own with this model. (See our remote job openings).

Thank you for joining us on this journey. We deeply appreciate your support, and we will never take it for granted.

If you want to try out Linear in your team, sign up for the waitlist

— Karri, Tuomas & Jori

Linear

The issue tracking tool you’ll enjoy to use.

Karri Saarinen

Written by

Cofounder, CEO Linear. Past: Principal Designer & co-creator design systems Airbnb. Founding design Coinbase . Cofounded Kippt, Rails Girls. YC Alumn

Linear

Linear

The issue tracking tool you’ll enjoy to use.

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