Harnessing Continuous Delivery

By Jason Kong, Louisa Xu, and Steve Harrick

Today, IVP is excited to announce our initial investment in Harness!

IVP is leading a $60 million Series B financing that will enable the Company to accelerate growth into the enterprise. Led by a world-class CEO and co-founder, Jyoti Bansal, Harness is a Continuous Delivery-as-a-Service platform enabling software engineering teams to deliver code to customer-facing applications more efficiently and securely.

A decade ago, developers built software applications with a monolithic approach, releasing their code perhaps every six or twelve months. Today, tech giants have primed consumers to expect rapid updates and constant access to the latest technologies. Behind Google, Facebook and Amazon are complex technology stacks and proprietary continuous integration and continuous delivery (“CI / CD”) tools built with thousands of DevOps engineers. As every company adopts a software-first approach, the pace of delivery has increased by a factor of 100 to 1,000x: delivery cycles that were previously once every few months now occur daily or even multiple times a day. This capability has become a strategic advantage for tech-forward companies and a disadvantage for enterprises that cannot keep up.

Harness is democratizing continuous delivery by providing a freemium solution to automate the software delivery process. It enables enterprises to deploy software more rapidly while improving the quality of their software in production. Our investment thesis for Harness is supported by three pillars.

  1. Visionary Team with Phenomenal Enterprise Track Record

Jyoti Bansal is a serial technical founder and best-in-class CEO. IVP first met Jyoti back in 2011, when he was CEO of AppDynamics, a company he founded to build the next-generation APM platform. IVP was selected to lead the company’s Series D financing in January 2013 and continued to support the company through its acquisition by Cisco for $3.7Bn in 2017. Before AppDynamics, Jyoti led design and architecture at Wily Technology, which was purchased by CA in 2006. Jyoti met his co-founder and CTO, Rishi Singh, when they both studied at the Indian Institute of Technoogy in Delhi. Rishi led DevOps and the continuous delivery platform at Apple, where he experienced the challenges that Harness is addressing today. The two co-founders are surrounded by an strong management team with decades of collective experience scaling enterprise companies such as Twilio, Meraki, E*TRADE, and AppDynamics from an early stage.

Harness Co-founders Rishi Singh (left) and Jyoti Bansal

  1. Addressing a Massive Opportunity to Improve Software Delivery

There are 20 million software developers with an average annual salary of $100k globally, implying a ~$2T per year software development market. In this massive category, even small efficiency gains for developers can deliver significant returns. Despite the amount of money spent on building code, the software delivery process today is highly manual, time-intensive, and prone to risks that can disrupt the end-user experience. Large enterprises dedicate tens if not hundreds of DevOps engineers to build and maintain large volumes of scripts for releasing code, monitoring deployment, and rolling back potential failures, and these scripts are fragile and difficult to scale. Open source tools require two to four DevOps engineers to maintain, and building a tool in-house is even more expensive. Harness is focused on streamlining the continuous delivery process to free up massive developer resources from building delivery scripts to doing more value-accretive projects.

  1. Long-Term Potential to Transform Software Development Lifecycle

Harness provides the first solution to automate the entire continuous delivery process, but their innovation does not stop here. Harness has already integrated with 45 different platforms and vendors across the DevOps stack, and it will take an ecosystem approach to build adjacent solutions both upstream and downstream in the developement process. As enterprises experience increasing ecosystem complexity in the move from monolithic to microservices architecture, we believe Harness is well positioned to help its customers better understand, manage, and automate the evolving software lifecycle. We are excited to have the opportunity to support the Harness team on their remarkable journey!

IVP is a leading later-stage venture capital firm based in Menlo Park, CA, and we have been fortunate to partner with talented entrepreneurs to help build disruptive, market leading companies such as AppDynamics, Datadog, Dropbox, HashiCorp, LegalZoom, MuleSoft, Netflix, Slack, Snap, and Twitter. Jason Kong, Louisa Xu, and Steve Harrick are Investors at IVP.