LinearB wants to help development teams optimize their workflows
LinearB, a startup that helps engineering leaders optimize the workflow of their development teams, today announced that it has raised a $50 million Series B round led by Tribe Capital. New investor Salesforce Ventures, as well as existing investors Battery Ventures and 83North, also participated in this round, which brings the company’s total funding to $71 million.
The company says it managed to grow its user base from 1,500 development teams in 2021 to over 5,000 today. It currently counts Bumble, BigID, Cloudinary, Unbabel and Drata among its users.
One of LinearB’s most important promises is that it goes beyond simply giving engineering managers access to more dashboards about developer efficiency. Instead, LinearB wants to also provide them with more insights into how they can optimize the development workflow as well. It does so by integrating with a wide variety of existing DevOps tools to aggregate data about how teams work. It tracks metrics like cycle time, deployment frequency, mean time to restore when things go off the rails and change failure rates.
That data is at the core of what LinearB does and provides something akin to a baseline for developer productivity in a given company. But from there, users can then also dig deeper to see where there are bottlenecks in their workflows or which team members may have a bit too much on their plate right now.
In addition, LinearB then also helps teams set their own goals so they can track their own progress, and also helps them automate routine tasks like creating Jira tickets (because while it’s often at the core of what a development team does, nobody enjoys managing Jira tickets).
This focus on providing value for everybody from the VP of Engineering down to the individual developer is also a core tenet of the service, LinearB CEO and co-founder Ori Keren told me. Both he and his co-founder Dan Lines previously worked as VPs of R&D and engineering — and that was the user persona they had in mind when they started building the service.
Keren tells me they had some early success with that, but decided that in order to really provide the most value for their customers, they had to change course. “Our true philosophy is that improvement has to come from the bottom up,” he said. “You got to have the developers using that tool, you got to have team leaders, frontline managers. So really quickly, we identified that if we want to be a successful company — I wouldn’t say we pivoted, but we kind of adjusted quickly and said: when you onboard to the tool, it has to have something for every persona in the engineering organization: the developers, the team leaders and also for the engineering managers.”
That’s something the team learned in early 2020 and with the COVID pandemic hitting just around this time, a lot of companies saw the need to accelerate their own projects around accelerating their development processes. And while developers may not care too much about tracking the cost of their projects and instead about cycle time, both draw from the same data.
The company says its users are seeing deployment speeds increase by 64% during the first 120 days of using the project. “We’re not just building a tool that helps dev teams, we’re creating a community of engineering leaders that want to improve the way software development happens,” said LinearB COO and co-founder Dan Lines.
The company plans to use the new funding to expand across its own development teams but also to expand its go-to-market efforts. In terms of product, the team is doubling down on its workflow optimization tools, Keren said. “We’re going to invest a lot in developer workflow optimization,” he said. “We believe that developer productivity, if you want to be great at it, you have to be helping developers — these are the people who are doing the work.”
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