Have you heard the good news? We just received $20 million in new funding. [Pause for applause.]
With the industry facing tough economic times, it’s not lost on us how fortunate we are to have that kind of capital to grow our business and innovate for our customers. And we plan to put the funds to good use — by helping other engineering organizations build happy and effective dev teams.
We imagine a world where developers have enough time during the day to focus on their work and solve tough problems. A world where they don’t have to work overtime to meet their goals, leaving them refreshed and ready for a productive day of work. This level of balance is often elusive to dev teams, but it doesn’t have to be.
Healthy productivity is the goal. Data is how we’ll get there. And how we spend this round of funding will determine our success. Here’s what we have planned.
Hire great people
Luckily, this is an area where we already excel. Our people are the reason we’ve found success to this point, and we will continue to rely on their experience and leadership going forward. But as much as we’ve enjoyed a more intimate headcount, our capacity limits and growth goals demand more hands on deck.
We’ve already started hiring across development, customer success, marketing, and more. We even welcomed a new Chief Technology Officer to the team: Nimrod Vered. Nimrod came to us from Zipwhip, where he was an Uplevel customer. As their Chief Engineering Officer, Nimrod accelerated the expansion of the engineering organization through its acquisition by Twilio. He brings with him significant product development and engineering leadership experience that’s already helping shape our path forward.
Like the VCs who funded this Series A round (Cota Capital, Norwest, Madrona, and Voyager), Nimrod saw value in the power and autonomy of our tools. As a user, he understood both our strengths and limitations. And as our CTO, he’ll help improve the product, grow our team, and apply his passion for people analytics to building healthy dev teams.
He joins a passionate group of other new Uplevel hires, and there are more on the way. With increased capacity across our teams, we can better serve our customers and continue to break new ground with our engineering insights.
Grow the product
We’ve had some success, signed new logos, and shared our powerful data-driven insights with engineering organizations across the country. But we can’t become complacent. There are so many other problems we want to solve, and this funding gives us the freedom to keep innovating.
We aren’t looking to be the “Salesforce for engineers,” because you can’t treat engineers like sales people. Output alone is not enough to determine effectiveness. We are more interested in empowering devs and giving them a voice within their teams and organizations. It’s about connecting their work to the big picture and helping them reach their full potential.
Our goal is to become the system of record for developer processes — the place they can go to check on the complete status of their projects as well as team health and burnout risk. We’ve already made significant strides in this area, but we can now invest in more ways to help dev teams maintain velocity and predict delivery — without burning out.
Lead by example
At Uplevel, we talk a lot about how to build an effective dev team culture. But before we dish out recommendations, we try them with our own team.
Take our recent switch to a four-day workweek. We wanted to measure the impact of a shortened workweek on team health and productivity, so we tried a condensed Monday to Friday schedule for three months. We measured success using our own tools to dig into metrics around people health and productivity, ultimately deciding to extend the experiment.
One of the biggest benefits of the new funding is that it gives us the flexibility to continue experimenting like this. With $20M in the bank, we have more room to fail, providing opportunities to learn from our mistakes/successes and pass on our findings to you.
And because we use our own tools to manage dev team health, we have somewhat of an in-house focus group to tell us what is or isn’t working and what to invest in next. As such, we’ve never built features that call devs out or intrude on their privacy, as our devs wouldn’t want to use those features themselves.
Instead, we’re using our data and people to better analyze the behaviors that drive “good” teams. What does team health look like for them? What specific actions can be taken to replicate their behaviors? With the new funding and our combination of people and project health metrics, we are uniquely positioned to test and answer these questions moving forward.
Thank you to the VCs who contributed to our funding. This round was led by Cota Capital with significant investment from current investors including Norwest, Madrona, and Voyager, as well as new investment from individual investors Harris Barton and Bruce Chizen, former Adobe CEO.