CircleCI, an early adherent to the notion of continuous delivery when it launched in 2011, announced a $100 million Series E investment today. It comes on top of a $56 million round last July.
The round was led by IVP and Sapphire Ventures. Under the terms of the deal, Cack Wilhelm will be joining the CircleCI board. Jai Das from Sapphire will also be joining the board as an observer.
Today’s investment brings the total raised to $215 million, according to the company, with $156 million coming over the last 8 months. The company did not want to discuss its current valuation.
Circle CI CEO Jim Rose says with so much uncertainty because of COVID-19 he welcomes not only the money, but the quality of the firms and people involved in the investment.
“We’re really excited to get both IVP and Sapphire because they’ve seen all of it all the way through public and beyond. Given all of the nuttiness over the last few months obviously having cash on the balance sheet is extremely helpful, but the other part, too is that this a time when you want to have more brains around the table, not fewer. And so being able to get people to help out and just think about the problems that we’re encountering right now is really helpful,” Rose told TechCrunch.
Rose recognizes the huge challenge everyone is facing, but he sees this switch to remote workforces really driving the need for more automation, something his company is in a position to help DevOps teams with.
“What we’ve seen from a DevOps perspective is that this forced migration to remote-only for so many organizations has really driven the urgency for more automation in the DevOps pipeline,” he said.
He said this has led to a huge surge in usage on the platform in recent weeks, and today’s investment will at least partly go towards making sure there are enough resources in place to keep the platform stable whatever comes.
“When we think about money and we think about where we’re investing in the near term, we’re investing a lot in making sure that the platform is stable and available and supporting all of our customers as they go through this. You know this is a difficult time, a difficult transition and we’re trying to make sure that we’re doing everything we can to support our customers through that process,” Rose said.
Many companies at this stage of startup maturity begin to look ahead to an IPO, but Rose isn’t ready to discuss that, especially in the current economic climate. “We’re going to have to get folks to some kind of liquidity at some point, but I think right now our focus is on really investing in the platform and investing in our customers and then we’ll let the market clear out and figure out what the new normal looks like,” he said.
The company would consider making some acquisitions with its base of capital if the right opportunity came along. “We’re always evaluating and always looking around. One of the interesting things about our space is that it’s flooded with new and innovative approaches to point problems. There are a lot of companies that are interesting, so we’re definitely always looking around,” he said.