Developers platform Wercker announced a funding round of 4.5 million dollar (4,1 million euro) on Thursday. The round was led by Dutch Inkef Capital and co-financed by London-based Notion – who already invested in the company.
“We’ll be hiring more people in Europe and San Francisco, specifically expanding the commercial team”, Wercker founder Micha Hernandez van Leuffen says to StartupJuncture about how to spend this new money. “And of course we want to further develop our product.”
The investment brings the company’s total funding to $7.5 million and marks Inkef’s first investment in the developer tools market. “Wercker is core to modern cloud infrastructure and development, we’re excited to be part of its growth,” Robert Jan Galema of Inkef Capital declared.
Wercker, a 2012 Rockstart alumnus and now both Amsterdam and San Francisco-based company, offers developers an automation (SaaS) platform and toolchain that helps to speed up the process of developing.
It enables clients to build applications faster, because the associated code can be quickly tested and deployed in a shared environment. “Our clients range from startups (like Open Listings) to larger enterprises, like Pivotal, a VMware spinoff”, says Van Leuffen.
The Wercker system is centered around the notion of so-called pipelines. A pipeline is an automated workflow that takes a certain code and executes a series of steps on it to see if it fails or passes the requirements.
“The pipelines are fully automated and give great visibility into who is building and deploying what to which environment”, Van Leuffen says. “As a result software launches are no longer monthly but can be hourly.” – leading to reduced costs and competitive advantages.
The platform has abilities to run produced software on both laptops and production servers, making it “unique” – “software can be built into nice little Lego blocks we call software containers.”
Wercker also announced to have open sourced their Command Line Interface (CLI) technology – a formerly separate download to develop and debug applications locally. “The landscape we work in changes very fast”, Van Leuffen says. “Open sourcing brings along the innovation power of the entire community and helps us to move faster and stay ahead of the curve.”
On the downside, this hasn’t yet lead to a secure revenue model, even though Wercker is being used all over the world. “We’ve gotten a lot of attention from enterprises that want to use Wercker on their own servers, so that will be the first course towards revenue we will pursue”, Van Leuffen says.
The revenue model is a core focus point of 2016 and must be based on a SaaS subscription and specific enterprise add-on offerings.
Van Leuffen moved to San Francisco quite early on, because important technology partners of the company are based there. “It makes sense to be close to this community, which even with all the technology available is still a matter of building relationships”, he says.
For other entrepreneurs wishing to expand to the area Van Leuffen advices not to be too casual about raising funding in, and operating from the US. “These are two separate things and both require a network.”
“Too often I hear entrepreneurs talking very casual about booking a two-week trip to Silicon Valley in order to raise money, without having any network there – it never works.”