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DevOps startups that help developers be more productive will fare well in an economic downturn, VCs say. Here are 17 they think will thrive in 2020.


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  • Venture capitalists are betting big on startups in DevOps, a term that combines development and operations.
  • More companies are relying on DevOps software because it allows developers to be more productive when building websites, releasing updates, and more.
  • Investors even say that DevOps startups may be more resilient during an economic downturn, because companies will need those products to keep their online services running smoothly.
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Even during times of economic crisis, companies will still rely on DevOps, a term that combines development and operations and refers to services that help engineers test, secure, and release their code faster and more frequently. 

So say investors, at least, who argue that startups in this space are likely to remain stable even as the coronavirus pandemic creates broader market turmoil. 

If anything, DevOps software will become even more of a necessity for companies now, as they adjust to the effects of the coronavirus, like the need for remote work and increased uptime on their services since people around the world are stuck in their homes, says Ed Sim, founder and managing partner at Boldstart Ventures. 

“While most categories will take a short-term hit, DevOps will be as resilient as any category of IT spend moving forward,” he said. 

While that sentiment was echoed by two other VCs this week, Business Insider asked Sim and five others for their thoughts on DevOps startups even before the coronavirus started creating economic uncertainty.

Here are 17 DevOps startups that they think will go big in 2020:


LaunchDarkly CEO and co-founder Edith Harbaugh


Startup: LaunchDarkly

Total funding raised:$132.84 million

What it does:LaunchDarkly helps app developers with feature flagging. It allows them to manage different versions of their code to test new features with different customers.

Recommended by:Astasia Myers, Redpoint Ventures (investor) and Ed Sim, Boldstart Ventures (no relationship) 

Why it will boom in 2020:“You can see how code will run in production before releasing it to a broader audience, and it lets you push small amounts of code faster,” Myers said. “It’s empowering developers to do more with less time.”

“They have an amazing product and an amazing team,” Sim said. “They’re powering some of the largest enterprises now. It’s become a de facto standard.”


Datree cofounder and CEO Shimon Tolts


Startup: Datree

Total funding raised:$11 million

What it does: Datree helps enforce company policies, security, and standards. As developers are writing code, it automatically checks against them and informs developers of any errors or anomalies.

Recommended by:David Blumberg, Blumberg Capital (investor)

Why it will boom in 2020: “Datree helps software development teams automatically adopt best practices including coding standards, compliance checks and security policies,” Blumberg said. 


Auth0 cofounder and CEO Eugenio Pace


Startup: Auth0

Total funding raised:$213.47 million

What it does: Auth0 helps developers build login and authentication features for their apps to verify users and tackle identity fraud. 

Recommended by:Schwark Satyavolu, Trinity Ventures (investor)

Why it will boom in 2020:“Almost every web application has to deal with authentication: login, single sign-on, etc. are standard needs,” Satyavolu said. “It was almost always grunt work that developers took on to build. Since Auth0 came on the scene, hardly anyone builds that anymore, and in some cases they start using it for single sign-on solutions even if the login part is built. So given the universality of login and authentication needs for developers and the ubiquity of developer love for Auth0 for that use case, I believe it will be the future global standard for all things authentication, which as you can tell from the market cap of Okta is a pretty big opportunity.”


Honeycomb founders Charity Majors (left) and Christine Yen (right)


Startup: Honeycomb

Total funding raised:$26.9 million

What it does:It builds monitoring software that helps engineers understand and debug problems when they’re building applications. 

Recommended by:Ariel Tseitlin, Scale Venture Partners (investor and board member)

Why it will boom in 2020:“Honeycomb is creating monitoring systems that allows you to ask questions,” Tseitlin said. “It’s in ‘software observability,’ which is the evolution of monitoring, where engineers can now observe what their software is doing in production systems… Traditional monitoring systems are not well suited to handle that.”


Gravitational CEO and cofounder Ev Kontsevoy.


Startup: Gravitational

Total funding raised:$32.12 million

What it does:Gravitational builds infrastructure software that makes it easier for developers to manage and run cloud applications.

Recommended by:Bucky Moore, Kleiner Perkins (investor)

Why it will boom in 2020: “Many companies are realizing that there is significant value in being able to arbitrage the benefits of different cloud providers and on-premise infrastructure form factors they run their applications on,” Moore said. “However, the security, compliance, and operational complexity this leads to makes it prohibitively hard to do. Gravitational solves this with solutions that abstract away these complexities entirely, resulting in the ability to consistently run applications anywhere, while remaining secure and compliant.”


The CircleCI executive team includes from left to right, CEO Jim Rose, CTO Rob Zuber, CFO Chitra Balasubramanian, CRO Jane Kim, and CMO Erich Ziegler


Startup: CircleCI

Total funding raised:$112.5 million

What it does:CircleCI automates the building, testing and releasing of code, so that developers can quickly build web and mobile applications, and fix bugs before they reach customers.

Recommended by:Ariel Tseitlin, Scale Venture Partners (investor)

Why it will boom in 2020: “After software gets built and all the tests run, [CircleCI] makes sure there’s no regression in the code and it’s ready for production system,” Tseitlin said. “It’s orchestrating all those tasks. Running those tasks and managing those cloud resources is what CircleCI does. They’re a cloud based service that runs on your favorite cloud infrastructure. They manage all those resources.”


The Cyral team


Startup: Cyral

Total funding raised:$15.1 million

What it does:Cyral helps customers protect their most valuable information by monitoring for any unusual activity around how data is being used. It can be easily weaved into the development process.

Recommended by:Astasia Myers, Redpoint Ventures (investor)

Why it will boom in 2020: “I did a deep dive on data security and privacy last year for businesses of all sizes,” Myers said. “What we heard is that getting data visibility and access was the number one priority for them.”

Spectro Cloud

Spectro Cloud leadership team

Spectro Cloud

Startup: Spectro Cloud

Total funding raised:$7.5 million

What it does:Spectro Cloud helps developers manage Kubernetes, an open source cloud project started at Google that helps with running large-scale applications.

Recommended by:Ed Sim, Boldstart Ventures (investor)

Why it will boom in 2020:“Spectro Cloud is solving a massive pain that every large enterprise is struggling with: how to roll your own Kubernetes service on a managed platform without being beholden to any large vendor,” Sim said. “The team is also top notch having co-founded CliQr Technologies previously (sold to Cisco) and brings a design-first ethos which is quite unique in the infrastructure software market.”


Gatsby team


Startup: Gatsby

Total funding raised: $48.8 million

What it does:Gatsby builds tools that make it easy to develop websites, e-commerce apps, and more. It generates sites as static files, which allow them to load faster. 

Recommended by:Schwark Satyavolu, Trinity Ventures (investor)

Why it will boom in 2020:Not only do consumers expect super fast response times on the web, but speed is increasingly important as Google prioritizes it for search rankings, said Satyavolu. “Static is the way to go to deliver that,” he said. “So as the world is redoing their WordPress sites, most of them are making Gatsby the de facto front-end technology that they are building on top of. It is only a matter of time before most of the web is rebuilt, and it is looking like Gatsby is winning the hearts and minds of developers.”


env0 cofounders Ohad Maislish and Omry Hay



Total funding raised: $3.36 million

What it does:The env0 platform helps customers design cloud environments to fit their needs, including features for testing code and increasing productivity.

Recommended by:Ed Sim, Boldstart Ventures (investor)

Why it will boom in 2020:From Sim: “How do I proactively allow developers to have self service and make sure they’re securely setting up environments?” With env0.


Netlify cofounders Chris Bach and Matt Biilmann


Startup: Netlify

Total funding raised:$97.51 million

What it does:Netlify’s web development tools let customers easily design, scale, and host websites. 

Recommended by:Bucky Moore, Kleiner Perkins (investor)

Why it will boom in 2020: “By replacing web servers with its global application delivery network, Netlify enables developers to deploy their apps closer to end users, resulting in substantial improvements in performance, and lower hosting costs,” Moore said.


JFrog CEO and co-founder Shlomi Ben Haim


Startup: JFrog

Total funding raised:$228 million

What it does:With JFrog, developers can manage the software they’re building. It helps them be more productive by releasing code updates faster and more often.

Recommended by:Ariel Tseitlin, Scale Venture Partners (investor) 

Why it will boom in 2020: “They’ve been around for a while but they’ve become the de-facto standard every company uses for storing binary repositories,” Tseitlin said. They’re already a “reasonable sized company,” she says, and continuing to grow.  


GitLab CEO Sid Sijbrandij


Startup: GitLab

Total funding raised:$413.82 million

What it does:GitLab’s software helps developers collaborate on, review, manage, and release code faster and more often. 

Recommended by:Bucky Moore, Kleiner Perkins (no relationship) 

Why it will boom in 2020: “It’s a strong alternative for multi-cloud,” Moore said. “GitLab will be more valuable, since GitHub sold relatively early.”


Pinpoint team


Startup: Pinpoint

Total funding raised:$16.5 million

What it does:Pinpoint collects data on how people release code and work together, and uses it to provide insight on how to improve processes, as well as highlight what work is getting done and what issues need attention.

Recommended by:Ed Sim, Boldstart Ventures (investor)

Why it will boom in 2020: “[Pinpoint] helps engineering teams build software better and faster,” he said. “[It’s] super intriguing as many engineers are now work from home, and it’s hard for folks to easily collaborate.”


Pachyderm CEO and cofounder Joe Doliner


Startup: Pachyderm

Total funding raised:$29.32 million

What it does: Pachyderm’s platform helps developers build data science and artificial intelligence applications in any language they want.

Recommended by:David Blumberg, Blumberg Capital (investor)

Why it will boom in 2020:“Pachyderm gives data scientists the power to build robust, production-ready data pipelines without waiting on help from engineering,” says Blumberg. “This increases agility and reduces time-to-value for data-driven applications.”


HashiCorp founder and CTO Mitchell Hashimoto


Startup: HashiCorp

Total funding raised:$349.53 million

What it does:HashiCorp automates various tasks for cloud developers, such as operations and security. It also helps companies run their data and applications on multiple clouds so they aren’t locked into just one. 

Recommended by:Ed Sim, Boldstart Ventures

Why it will boom in 2020: “It’s leading the market in infrastructure automation enabling DevOps to deliver applications faster,” says Sim. 


Prisma cofounders Johannes Schickling and Søren Bramer Schmidt


Startup: Prisma

Total funding raised:$4.5 million

What it does: Prisma provides tools for developers working with GraphQL, an open source project started at Facebook that helps developers easily obtain data they need.

Recommended by:Bucky Moore, Kleiner Perkins (investor)

Why it will boom in 2020: “Working with databases is the major bottleneck in modern application development,” Moore says. “Prisma solves this problem through a unified set of tools which significantly increases developer productivity, and enables them to bring new applications to market faster.”


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