CircleCI, the continuous delivery pioneer, announced a $100 million Series F today on a $1.7 billion valuation. At the same time, the company announced it has acquired Vamp, a release orchestration startup that should fit nicely in the CircleCI platform. The companies did not share the purchase price.
The funding was led by Greenspring Associates with participation from Eleven Prime, IVP, Sapphire Ventures, Top Tier Capital Partners, Baseline Ventures, Threshold, Scale, Owl Rock and Next Equity Partners. Today’s round comes a little over a year since the late stage startup announced a $100 million Series E, and brings the total raised to over $315 million, according to the company.
CircleCI CEO Jim Rose says part of the reason for taking on $200 million in two years is because even though the company was founded in 2011, the continuous delivery approach is still really just getting started.
“We believe in the development space that it’s really early days […] and there’s so much potential growth in front of us, and so many opportunities to create centers of gravity in the development space […] and we expect to to be one of those [key companies], and we are doing everything we can from an investment perspective and from an operations perspective to make sure that we fulfill that vision,” Rose told me.
Like so many kinds of automation, Rose says that he has seen things accelerate during the pandemic as software development teams look for ways to eliminate manual processes as they moved to work from home.
“Once everyone got pushed remotely they realized, holy moly, we need to automate more and more of this process because that’s the only way that we can actually deliver things, but it’s also the way that we can build a system that’s resilient to these kinds of shocks,” he said.
As for the acquisition, acquiring Vamp takes care of what happens after the application gets deployed, and that fills in a big missing piece in the product map.
“It was just great opportunity to not just for us to accelerate roadmap, and just sort of accelerate the addition of this kind of solidification from a first class perspective on our platform, but it was also a great way for the Vamp team to continue to realize their vision, to continue to invest in this problem that they’ve been focused on for awhile, and we can learn from it,” Rose said.
Vamp launched in 2013 in Amsterdam and raised around €3 million, according to Crunchbase data. Vamp CEO Nico Vierhout sees a natural fit between the two companies.
“We have worked hard over the last eight years to build a platform that makes software releases self-driving and self-healing for users. Joining CircleCI was an organic fit that will provide enhanced visibility and control for developers to build software in a more streamlined way,” he said in a statement.
The 15 member Vamp team will be joining CircleCI and continuing to support the product, even as the functionality gets folded into the broader platform. CircleCI now has over 550 employees, a number that has doubled since last year.
While a Series F with a fat valuation sometimes signals the end of the private fundraising cycle, Rose wasn’t quite ready to talk IPO just yet, even while acknowledging his investors would want to cash out at some point.
“Obviously investors are going to expect liquidity at some point, but we are less focused on what the next kind of funding event, or what the next kind of company event in that transition will be and more focused on figuring out how to stay close to the customer and what’s necessary to build this out. The rest of it kind of takes care of itself,” he said.