When we first set out to build ZenHub, our goal was simple: make project management less painful for our team. As developers, we wanted to focus on coding, not updating work, and were frustrated that we were constantly being pulled away from GitHub to provide project updates to the rest of our organization.
As it turns out, we weren’t alone in that frustration. Over the past six years thousands of teams, from venture backed startups like Mapbox and InfluxDB, to forward thinking enterprises like Shopify and Hubspot, have come to depend on ZenHub. Though our product has evolved considerably, we’ve remained focused on our mission to help developers spend less time updating work and more time building.
Today, we’re excited to announce we’ve raised $4.7M from BDC Capital and Ripple Ventures to accelerate this mission. Joining our lead investors in this round are some of the most well respected names in the developer tool ecosystem, and leaders in product-led growth including: Adam Gross (former CEO of Heroku), Jiaona Zhang (VP Product at Webflow), and Oji Udezue (VP Product at Calendly), to name a few.
As a previously self-funded and already profitable business, here’s why we believe now was the right time to raise.
The Future is Automated
Development resources are becoming more expensive and businesses are under pressure to stretch these already-strapped resources even further. The global pandemic and tightening budgets have only made this pain more acute. This has resulted in a paradox: development teams are under more pressure than ever to increase their velocity and efficiency, yet these same teams often lack the resources and training to become more agile.
At ZenHub, we believe that automation is the answer.
While automation is not a novel concept in software development, it rarely makes a meaningful appearance in most project management solutions. Solutions that tout automation often stop at automating tasks for the individual. We see an opportunity to go beyond these simple automations, and offer guided solutions to help teams through the most complex parts of agile development. In essence, making agile more accessible.
Our vision for automation is like Tesla’s vision for Autopilot: as a driver you’re always in full control, but there are a number of purpose built features designed to remove the most burdensome and dangerous parts of driving. We think ZenHub can play a similar role in augmenting the most complex and time consuming parts of project management to help teams move faster and become more agile, while allowing them to stay in full control of the process.
Bringing our Vision to Life
We took the first step of delivering this vision with the release of Automated Workflows in September last year. Automated Workflows enabled teams to visualize their entire development workflow in a single view and automated the handoff of work between teams. Today we’re introducing the next step in the automation journey: ZenHub Sprints.
ZenHub Sprints automates one of the most despised rituals of agile development—the sprint planning meeting. In addition to being the first ever sprint planning experience built in GitHub, ZenHub Sprints enables teams to create and schedule multiple sprints at the same time. It also automatically carries over unfinished Issues between sprints so teams no longer have to think through what needs to be carried over and how.
Next, we’ll be applying our vision to software estimation, another foundational element of agile development that, like sprint planning, is similarly frustrating and needlessly time-consuming. As teams become more distributed, we see an opportunity to make estimation a more asynchronous process and help teams focus their attention and discussion on the most contentious Issues.
Today, development teams are wasting time on administrative work instead of writing code. We’re building a future where nobody has to “do” project management. Where developers can simply focus on the code without sacrificing organizational clarity into project status. The funding we’ve raised will enable us to triple-down on this vision and continue empowering our customers to focus on their most critical work.
To all of those that have joined us on this journey so far, we can’t thank you enough, and we hope you’re as excited as we are for what’s next!