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Deliver Apps at the Speed of Business: Why Sapphire Ventures Chose to Invest in CircleCI
April 7, 2020
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Amidst these unsettling and turbulent times, Sapphire Ventures has some positive news to share. Today, we’re excited to announce our investment in CircleCI, a leading DevOps company founded in 2011 by Paul Biggar and Allen Rohner, and currently led by CEO Jim Rose, that empowers software teams to easily build, test and deploy applications on multiple platforms. CircleCI has raised $100 million in Series E financing, bringing the total amount raised to date to $215 million. 

We’re thrilled to invest in CircleCI because of its leadership in the DevOps space. DevOps is an industry that we anticipate will grow exponentially as more and more businesses across all industries become software-first companies and turn to applications to engage their customers. A recent Fortune Business Insights report validates our thinking, predicting that the DevOps market will reach nearly $15 billion by 2026. Within DevOps, Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery (CI/CD) tools such as CircleCI are expected to see the greatest budget allocations because of their ability to help teams shorten the software development cycle and quickly release code with confidence.

Today’s companies are challenged with having to rapidly release new software that’s needed to meet the high demand for new apps. We believe this demand will continue to grow as the number of people who access and use apps will increase with the ongoing proliferation of mobile devices. But the traditional waterfall approach used to release new software to build apps no longer works for software development and deployment teams. They don’t have the time to wait for each development process to be completed before working on the next. DevOps changes the game for these teams with a new holistic approach that encourages collaboration and communication. With DevOps, software development and deployment teams are able to accelerate the pace of work, accommodating faster release schedules while also improving quality.

An essential part of DevOps, CircleCI enables teams to quickly release trusted code by automating the build, test and delivery process. CircleCI has set itself apart as a market leader in the CI world by helping software teams automate low impact work, scale with parallel execution and support for containerized environments, get going instantly with out-of-the-box compatibility with new frameworks and legacy code and reduce the complexity involved with managing cloud or on-prem environments.

In addition to seeing the value of CircleCI’s product, we feel we’ve had a wonderful relationship with CEO Jim Rose. We met Jim a little over four years ago during his Series C financing. He is a serial entrepreneur who has lived through the struggles of legacy DevOps before CircleCI. Together, with founders Paul Biggar, Allen Rohner and the broader CircleCI team, Jim’s deep commitment to enabling the developer has driven CircleCI to take modern DevOps to a new level in this competitive industry. We’re also enthusiastic about continuing Sapphire Ventures’ track-record of investing in companies in the developer and DevOps market alongside JFrog, MuleSoft, Auth0 and InfluxData.

“We’re thrilled to have Sapphire Ventures support our Series E financing round. The Sapphire team has decades of experience in the enterprise software market and deep expertise in the DevOps space that will be invaluable for us as we continue to grow our business,” said Jim Rose, CEO of CircleCI. 

Since CircleCI’s Series D funding round last July, the company has made significant strides in growing its platform, improving the core product and expanding globally. Since July, CircleCI has added Windows support as part of its platform, integrated CircleCI orbs into more than 22,000 organizations, opened a new office in London and has brought on new customers such as Aetna, American Express and Unilever. CircleCI already works with thousands of companies, including Samsung, Ford Motor Company, Spotify, Lyft and BuzzFeed.

We recognize these are difficult times, but CircleCI is hiring! Check out the careers page for more information:


Legal disclaimer

Disclaimer: Nothing presented within this article is intended to constitute investment advice, and under no circumstances should any information provided herein be used or considered as an offer to sell or a solicitation of an offer to buy an interest in any investment fund managed by Sapphire Ventures. Information provided reflects Sapphire Ventures’ views as of a time, whereby such views are subject to change at any point and Sapphire Ventures shall not be obligated to provide notice of any change. Companies mentioned in this article are a representative sample of portfolio companies in which Sapphire Ventures has invested in which the author believes such companies fit the objective criteria stated in commentary, which do not reflect all investments made by Sapphire. A complete alphabetical list of Sapphire’s investments made by its direct growth investing funds is available here. No assumptions should be made that investments listed above were or will be profitable. Due to various risks and uncertainties, actual events, results or the actual experience may differ materially from those reflected or contemplated in these statements. Nothing contained in this article may be relied upon as a guarantee or assurance as to the future success of any particular company. Past performance is not indicative of future results.