Why we invested in Wercker

We're pleased to announce this week our investment in wercker. wercker is a cloud-based continuous delivery platform. A platform that helps developers and development teams reduce risk and eliminate waste by testing and deploying their code more often. A simple proposition one might think but a proposition that is fundamental to the evolution of software engineering.

What's the problem here?

Development teams are under increasing pressure to deliver highly scalable software faster. IaaS has reduced the time and cost of server acquisition and provisioning but the development of interdependent, loosely coupled software architectures has increased the complexity of deployment. DevOps has done something to encourage communication, collaboration and integration but many teams still struggle to do this well.

So how does wercker solve this?

Enter containerisation. Containerisation is effectively lightweight virtualisation to enable processes to run in isolation.

Linux Containers or LXC offered the first step (which wercker began its life supporting). Then enter Docker. Docker is quickly becoming the containerisation standard making it easier to create highly distributed systems. So in plain English, there now exists a way to solve the problem but what was missing was a platform to make this accessible to developers and to build it into their workflow. Enter wercker.

wercker is the platform that enables developers to develop, build and deploy with docker, socialising the development activity and providing open community features to allow developers to share and utilise build processes, testing pipelines and configure boxes based on their dependencies and requirements.

So now with Wercker developers can solve the deployment problem in a well designed UI or through the Wercker API and focus on developing their core products rather than learning new languages and configuring deployment servers. wercker integrates with version control tools like GitHub and Bitbucket, IaaS & PaaS providers like Heroku, OpenShift and AWS and notifiers like Slack, HipChat and IRC.

The DevOps vs NoOps argument is one that will no doubt continue over time but for those committed to automation over collaboration wercker will certainly be a platform of choice (and in fairness the DevOps folk can make pretty good use of it too!)

Clearly a smart team...

Led by visionary founder Micha Hernández van Leuffen (or Mies) a hacker entrepreneur with a hybrid background in Computer Science and Business Administration. He loves distributed systems and has built on his core team in the last couple of months attracting top talent from the valley to join him in his mission, including:

  • Andy Smith, former Jaiku/Google, NASA/Openstack and Werckers incredible CTO
  • Matthew Hooker, former DISQUS, Cloudscaling, Digg, CBS/Cnet and joins werckers talented backend team

The team are really leading the way in the area of continuous delivery with a highly differentiated platform, stunning customers adoption and activation numbers and we look forward to working with them all over the coming years.

And a big market...

We try to give some insight into our investment decisions in these posts and of course market is a key driver. Without going into $ calculations right now the developer market is c.11m professional developers, they are pretty equally distributed across the globe in the USA (c.1/3rd), EMEA (c.1/3rd) and AsiaPac (c.1/3rd). Add on to this number the 7.5m hobbyist developers and you’re talking about a large and very fast growing market. 30% of new STEM jobs for example are in software development.

Marc Andressen famously coined the phrase “Software is eating the world” and indeed software it seems is also eating software development as Chris Dixon said earlier this year.

Our investment in wercker lies in our belief that the efficient delivery of software is not only growing in importance but will be fundamental to the future of software and the cloud.

In other news, Notion invests $9m into the rocket driving the Direct Booking Movement.

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