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How Graphite turned an internal side project into a $20M Series A –

Graphite’s The founders came from Facebook, Airbnb and Square, three companies where they had access to state-of-the-art code review tools. When they started Graphite, originally a mobile device development company, they missed out on the tools they had for big companies and started building one to use locally.

They soon realized that the equipment they had built had given developers access to a number of capabilities that were previously available to people working in large, modern companies. Finally, they decided to focus only on launching these devices, CEO Merrill Lutsky explained.

“We actually built the first version of Graphite for an internal device a while ago. first of all Graphite command line and dashboard as tools we use internally, ”he said.

They began to share the tools they were working on, and were very surprised by the reaction. “The response to what became Graphite was so enthusiastic and compelling that we started to think we might be working on this.”

Before they got away from their original idea, however, they set estimates. If they can get 20 engineers to download Graphite before the end of August, they will complete the transition. They ended up with 40 enthusiastic users, who are giving feedback, last September, they decided to get into all the code review products.

Review code dashboard

Review code dashboard Copyright: Graph

What they have created is an open source command line interface and dashboard to improve code reviews. Normally, code review is a straightforward process. You build a part of the program, you do it and you wait for the review. They wanted to change that to be the same, allowing you to continue your work, even while the original part is being reviewed, which is a very efficient system.

“Graphite’s idea is to make a change, and then while I look for someone to review, I continue to make changes to that, creating this line of things to do,” explained Tomas Reimers, the company’s founder. .

It is a small group today with six people including the three founders, but they hope to reach 15-20 by the end of the year. Lutsky said he spends most of his time working these days to hire engineers to join the company.

As they move to work with recruitment agencies to bring in candidates they are focusing on bringing in different candidates at the beginning of the process. “When we started recruiting them immediately we were actually talking to the recruiting agencies to work with them, and we instructed them to make sure they were contacting the candidates in different places,” he said.

The new approach is in line with development and today they have grown to over 2500 users who participate in the company’s Slack community, so it seems they have made the right decision. Lutsky said investors who paid for the idea creation, including Hunter Walk investor Homebrew, supported the change of direction.

In addition, the company announced today that it has raised $ 20 for Series A led by Andreessen Horowitz with Peter Levine earning a point on the investment.