CodeFights brings together coding challenges and skills-based recruiting. The company, which competes with the likes of HackerRank, today announced that it has raised a $10 million Series A round led by e.ventures.
As CodeFights CEO and founder Tigran Sloyan told me, the company’s user base has grown 10x since it announced its $2.4 million seed funding round last April. He attributes most of this growth to word of mouth marketing and the success of its “company bots” challenge that allows developers to compete against company-trained bots.
Sloyan admits that he wasn’t really sure how his company would find customers after it first launched. The seed round, however, allowed him to figure out how CodeFights company partnerships would work and how it could combine its coding challenges with its recruiting platform without alienating its members. On CodeFights, recruiters can only contact developers who have signalled that they are open to new opportunities, for example.
One topic Sloyan is especially passionate about is opening up more of the job market to developers who didn’t go to top engineering schools but do have the skills necessary to make valuable contributions to many companies. “If you go back 20 years, to be an amazing developer you had to go to MIT or Stanford or work at a great company,” he said. “Back then, the information just wasn’t available – you couldn’t watch online lectures and learn online.” He believes that today, if you’re smart and self-motivated, services like Udacity and others can help you acquire the skills you need to get a job. Still, he believes that businesses remain too focused on degrees. “Everybody is chasing the same 2% [of engineers] with the great pedigree,” he said. “But that leaves 98% of engineers who don’t have it and are still great engineers.”
CodeFights plans to use the new funding to quickly scale its team in engineering, ops and sales. It’s also working on new educational tools (along the lines of Duolingo) to teach beginners and advanced developers new skills.
Beside e.ventures, other investors in this round include SV Angel, Felicis Ventures, A Capital and Granatus Ventures.