The Unicorn CTO #118 - New format, developer-first funding and industry news


I'm Daniel, a software engineer turned tech investment banker. This is a weekly deep dive into developer-first funding and industry news πŸ§‘β€πŸ’»

Hello friend,

Since joining Avolta in February, finding the right tone for this newsletter has been challenging, leading to a three-month pause. However, as I've begun monitoring funding and industry news on the developer-first market, I thought sharing these insights with you would be useful.

Each week, I'll bring you highlights from recent fundraising activities and market trends, aiming to spark ideas and offer directional insights on developer tools. I appreciate your feedback, so please feel free to share your thoughts on this new format.

Last but not least, if you're a CTO or tech leader, you can join the free Unicorn CTO Slack community. We're a small group of international CTOs (with many French people), and we often meet for virtual (or not) coffees.

P.S.: this new format is inspired by the excellent Return on Security newsletter by Mike Privette.

πŸ’° Market Summary

  • 8 companies raised $105.1M across 6 product categories in 6 countries.
  • Europe-based companies attracted 50.5% of the total funding vs 49.5% for US-based companies.
  • Data Management attracted the highest funding.
  • 1 company was acquired.

🧩 Funding by Product Category

🌎 Funding by Region

🏒 Funding By Company

Zerops, a Prague-based DevOps platform, raised $0.5M in Pre-Seed funding from Presto Ventures and Gi21 Capital.

Substrate, a New York-based platform designed to run multi-inference workloads, raised $8M in a Seed round from Lightspeed Venture Partners, Craft Ventures, South Park Commons, and business angels.

PointFive, a New York-based company focusing on cloud cost efficiency, raised $16M in Seed funding from Index Ventures, EntrΓ©e Capital, Sheva Capital, Vesey Ventures, and several individual investors, including Assaf Rappaport.

SurrealDB, a London-based developer of a NewSQL cloud database, secured $20M in Series A funding from FirstMark Capital, Georgian Partners, Alumni Ventures, and Crew Capital.

Proofs, a Warsaw-based API company enabling quick proof-of-concept integrations, raised $2.6M in Pre-Seed funding from Earlybird Venture Capital, RTP Global, Expeditions Fund, and Step Function Ventures.

Factory, a San Francisco-based AI company enhancing software engineering autonomy, raised $15M in Series A funding from Lux Capital, SV Angel, Sequoia Capital, BoxGroup, Abstract Ventures, and several individual investors.

Autify, a San Francisco-based AI-powered testing automation platform, raised $13M in Series B funding from Globis Capital Partners, World Innovation Lab, Salesforce Ventures, LG Technology Ventures, Archetype Ventures, and Uncorrelated Ventures.

Tinybird, a Madrid-based real-time data platform, raised $30M in Series B funding from Balderton Capital, Charles River Ventures, and Singular Ventures.

🀝 Mergers & Acquisitions

StackState, a Hilversum-based company specialising in full-stack observability, was acquired by SUSE. It previously raised $13M from Xebia and Capri Ventures.

πŸ“š What I read last week

Redpoint Ventures 2024 report on infrastructure software - The report emphasises AI's growing importance in cloud infrastructure, the decreasing costs of AI training and inference, and the increasing integration of AI functionalities in development tools.

What Open Source can learn from universities to fix its funding - Konstantin Vinogradov from Runa Capital explores the potential for open source software to learn from the funding models of universities like MIT and Cambridge to address its sustainability challenges, suggesting that OSS could benefit from adopting a private endowment model to ensure stable and predictable funding.

Generative AI Is Not Going To Build Your Engineering Team For You - Charity Majors (Honeycomb CTO) argues in this post against the reliance on generative AI to replace entry-level engineering roles, emphasising the importance of nurturing junior engineers to ensure a diverse, skilled, and sustainable software industry workforce.

What it Takes to Be Valued at >10x Rev - Jamin Ball from Meritech Capital shows that mere association with high-performing companies like Snowflake doesn't guarantee similar valuation multiples and highlights the market's current scepticism towards speculative growth projections, advocating for proven profitability and scale as prerequisites for premium valuations.

Thanks for reading this far! I'm excited to make this newsletter as helpful as possible. I would appreciate it if you could share feedback or anything you want to find here.