Software development company Buildkite secures $31m in Series B

Software development company Buildkite secures $31m in Series B

Buildkite co-founder Keith Pitt (Provided)

An Australian software development company helping the likes of Uber, Shopify, Slack and Canva test their computer programs has raised US$21 million ($31 million) in a Series B funding round co-led by OneVentures and AirTree.

Buildkite’s capital raise also saw participation from US-based General Catalyst, as well as the founder of neobank Up, Don Pym. The fresh funds will be used to launch new products for developers, as well as build out the company’s existing operations, marketing and sales teams.

Founded by Tim Lucas and Keith Pitt in 2013, Buildkite – which is a continuous integration (CI) and continuous development (CD) service – works with more than 30,000 engineers to develop software infrastructure.

Frequently used in modern software development, CI allows developers to merge any changes of ‘in-progress’ work with stable code as often as possible. This avoids any integration challenges that can happen when waiting to release updated software. Meanwhile, CD is a practice that allows developers to roll out updates bit by bit, enabling software code to be delivered to customers as soon as it is completed and tested.

Buildkite’s software runs thousands of tests in order to tell developers if there are any issues with their code, providing an automatic feedback loop and saving them the difficulty of running their own tests, which could take hours.

"Nine years ago, we developed a product with strong opinions on how CI/CD pipelines should be built. Fast forward to today, it’s used by some of the best software development teams on the planet,” Pitt says.

“The engineer in me is always curious about how our customers build and develop software, and after many chats with them, it's become clear that many of the other tools they use block them from doing their best work.

“With this next round of funding, I’m excited to invent new dev tools for the software being developed today, and for the software that hasn’t even been written yet.”

To date, Perth-based Buildkite has raised a total of USD$39 million (AUD$58 million) and has partnered with several Fortune 1000 companies, including Wayfair, Twilio, and Lyft. Its software can work with programming languages such as Ruby, Xcode, Go, Node, Python, Java, Haskell, .NET and more.

According to the 2021 State of Continuous Delivery Report conducted by the Continuous Delivery Foundation, 44 per cent of the 40,000 developers it surveyed worldwide use CI/CD in practice.

In June last year, the company also released Test Analytics, which automatically diagnoses problems to help developers see why coding tests are slow or behaving differently between executions. Since launching, it has processed more than a billion tests for customers.

OneVentures’ $15 million investment in Buildkite – which came from the firm’s technology Growth Fund V – comes after the VC backed companies such as Employment Hero, Lumary, Flippa and Kepler Analytics.

OneVentures managing director and founding partner Dr Michelle Deaker says she has strong ambitions for its latest investment.

“We were impressed by the strength of the CEO and the company’s ability to generate its quality customer base through a product-led growth approach,” Deaker says.

“The size of the market is substantial and expected to reach $3.9 billion by 2023, growing at a CAGR of 18.5 per cent, with the opportunity to displace legacy solutions and enter some new verticals outside of the tech giants.”

AirTree Ventures partner James Cameron added that Buildkite has been quietly building one of the most impressive sets of developer tools in the world.

“They have also been building one of the most enviable customer bases we've ever seen — including many of the world's most innovative tech companies like Uber, Canva, LinkTree, Shopify, Venmo, Slack, Stripe, Twilio, Segment, Discord, Rabobank, and Twilio,” Cameron said.

“But what stood out even more was how much these customers love Buildkite’s products — I don't think we've ever had as many positive customer testimonials as we had from Buildkite’s devoted fan base. And on top of this, Buildkite has been one of the most capital-efficient growth stories we've ever seen emerge out of this part of the world.

“When we had the opportunity to partner with Keith and the team we jumped at the chance."

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