It only took a few weeks after its Y Combinator demo day debut for the Atlanta-based API test automation company Speedscale to raise its first $2.2 million.
Founded by longtime developers and Georgia Institute of Technology alumni Ken Ahrens, Matthew LeRay and Nate Lee, the trio had known each other for roughly 20 years before making the jump to working together.
A circuitous path of interconnecting programming jobs in the DevOps and monitoring space led the three men to realize there was an opportunity to address one of the main struggles new programmers now face — making sure that updates to API integrations in a containerized programming world don’t wind up breaking apps or services.
“We were helping to solve incident outages and incidents that would cause downtime,” said Lee. “It’s hard to ensure the quality between all of these connection points [between applications]. And these connection points are growing as people add APIs and containers. We said, ‘How about we solve this space? How could we preempt all of this and ensure maintaining release velocity with scalable automation?’ ”
Typically companies release new updates to code in a phased approach or in a test environment to ensure that they’re not going to break anything. Speedscale proposes test automation using real traffic so that developers can accelerate the release time.
“They want to change very frequently,” said Ahrens, speaking about the development life cycle. “Most of the changes are great, but every once in a while they make a change and break part of the system. The state of the art is to wait for it to be broken and get someone to fix it quickly.”
The pitch SpeedScale makes to developers is that its service can give coders the ability to see the problems before the release. They automate the creation of the staging environment, automation suite and orchestration to create that environment.
“One of the big things for me was when I saw the rise of Kubernetes was what’s really happening is that engineering leaders have been able to give more autonomy to developers, but no one has come up with a great way to validate and I really think that Speedscale can solve that problem.”
The Atlanta-based company, which only just graduated from Y Combinator a few months ago, is currently in a closed alpha with select pilot partners, according to LeRay. And the nine-month-old company has raised $2.2 million from investors, including Sierra Ventures from the Bay Area and Atlanta’s own Tech Square Ventures, to grow the business.
“APIs are a huge market,” Ahrens said of the potential opportunity for the company. “There’s 11 million developers who develop against APIs… We think the addressable market for us is in the billions.”