Startups

r2c raises $27M to scale its security-focused code analysis service

Comment

Image Credits: MR Cole Photographer (opens in a new window) / Getty Images

This morning r2c, a startup building a SaaS service around the Semgrep open-source project, announced that it has closed a $27 million Series B. Felicis led the round, which the company said was a pre-emptive deal.

Prior investors firms Redpoint and Sequoia also participated in the fundraising event; r2c last raised a $13 million Series A in October of 2020.

The startup fits into several trends that TechCrunch has explored in recent quarters, including what appears to be a growing number of open-source (OSS) grounded startups raising capital, more rounds coming to exist thanks to investors looking to get the jump on inside rounds before they can form.

On the OSS point, r2c works with Semgrep, which the company likens to a “code-aware grep.” Still confused? Don’t worry, this is all a bit technical, but interesting. Grep is a tool for searching through plain-text that has been around for decades. Semgrep is related, but focused on finding things inside of written code.

Given the sheer volume of code that is written daily in the world, you can imagine that there is an ever-rising demand for finding particular bits of text quickly; Semgrep is an evolution of the original project, that was initially built inside of Facebook.

Per r2c CEO Isaac Evans, however, the project failed to attract much awareness. His startup has built what Evans described to TechCrunch has the “canonical” Semgrep fork, or version, and has crafted a software service around the code to make it easier for other companies to use.

The r2c team, via the company.

There are many ways to generate revenue from open-source software. Two popular monetization routes are througuh support services or offers to host particular projects. But, R2c is a doing something a bit different. The startup sells a monthly, per-developer subscription (SaaS) that packages a broad set of security-focused rules across different coding languages, allowing companies to easily check their own software for possible security issues.

Or as Evans succinctly explained it, r2c offers something akin to application security in a box.

Focusing on cybersecurity is a reasonable tack for the company. Given the ever-growing number of breaches that the public endures, helping companies leak less data, and suffer fewer intrusions is big business.

You don’t have to pay r2c, however. Semgrep is OSS and the rules associated with various languages are available under a LGPL license — more on that definition here. Developers could build their own version of what the company offers. But, Evans argued, it won’t be ready to help you pick which rules you may want to apply to your code, something that his company is happy to help with for a fee.

From a wide lens, r2c fits into the developer tools category. It is content to land and expand inside of companies, perhaps allowing it a lower cost of acquiring customers than we see at some SaaS startups. But that doesn’t mean that the company won’t go to market to sell its service. Per Evans, the startup has historically underinvested in marketing, something that it may now be able to focus more on thanks to its recent financing.

It is not uncommon to see companies with technically-minded founders initially spend too little on the sales and marketing parts of operating a software business. But our impression after discussing the company’s plans with Evans is that r2c intends to get that part of its house in order.

Evans told TechCrunch that his company took aboard more cash because it doesn’t want to build the best search tool for, say, the C programming language. It wants to go broad, fusing what the CEO described as the “customizability of Semgrep” and wide language support.

Let’s see how quickly the company can staff up, bolster its marketing efforts, and take on enterprise clients. Raising a Series C puts the company somewhere past its startup adolescence, so from here on out we can pester the company for concrete growth numbers.

More TechCrunch

Blue Origin has successfully completed its NS-25 mission, resuming crewed flights for the first time in nearly two years. The mission brought six tourist crew members to the edge of…

Blue Origin successfully launches its first crewed mission since 2022

Creative Artists Agency (CAA), one of the top entertainment and sports talent agencies, is hoping to be at the forefront of AI protection services for celebrities in Hollywood. With many…

Hollywood agency CAA aims to help stars manage their own AI likenesses

Expedia says Rathi Murthy and Sreenivas Rachamadugu, respectively its CTO and senior vice president of core services product & engineering, are no longer employed at the travel booking company. In…

Expedia says two execs dismissed after ‘violation of company policy’

Welcome back to TechCrunch’s Week in Review. This week had two major events from OpenAI and Google. OpenAI’s spring update event saw the reveal of its new model, GPT-4o, which…

OpenAI and Google lay out their competing AI visions

When Jeffrey Wang posted to X asking if anyone wanted to go in on an order of fancy-but-affordable office nap pods, he didn’t expect the post to go viral.

With AI startups booming, nap pods and Silicon Valley hustle culture are back

OpenAI’s Superalignment team, responsible for developing ways to govern and steer “superintelligent” AI systems, was promised 20% of the company’s compute resources, according to a person from that team. But…

OpenAI created a team to control ‘superintelligent’ AI — then let it wither, source says

A new crop of early-stage startups — along with some recent VC investments — illustrates a niche emerging in the autonomous vehicle technology sector. Unlike the companies bringing robotaxis to…

VCs and the military are fueling self-driving startups that don’t need roads

When the founders of Sagetap, Sahil Khanna and Kevin Hughes, started working at early-stage enterprise software startups, they were surprised to find that the companies they worked at were trying…

Deal Dive: Sagetap looks to bring enterprise software sales into the 21st century

Keeping up with an industry as fast-moving as AI is a tall order. So until an AI can do it for you, here’s a handy roundup of recent stories in the world…

This Week in AI: OpenAI moves away from safety

After Apple loosened its App Store guidelines to permit game emulators, the retro game emulator Delta — an app 10 years in the making — hit the top of the…

Adobe comes after indie game emulator Delta for copying its logo

Meta is once again taking on its competitors by developing a feature that borrows concepts from others — in this case, BeReal and Snapchat. The company is developing a feature…

Meta’s latest experiment borrows from BeReal’s and Snapchat’s core ideas

Welcome to Startups Weekly! We’ve been drowning in AI news this week, with Google’s I/O setting the pace. And Elon Musk rages against the machine.

Startups Weekly: It’s the dawning of the age of AI — plus,  Musk is raging against the machine

IndieBio’s Bay Area incubator is about to debut its 15th cohort of biotech startups. We took special note of a few, which were making some major, bordering on ludicrous, claims…

IndieBio’s SF incubator lineup is making some wild biotech promises

YouTube TV has announced that its multiview feature for watching four streams at once is now available on Android phones and tablets. The Android launch comes two months after YouTube…

YouTube TV’s ‘multiview’ feature is now available on Android phones and tablets

Featured Article

Two Santa Cruz students uncover security bug that could let millions do their laundry for free

CSC ServiceWorks provides laundry machines to thousands of residential homes and universities, but the company ignored requests to fix a security bug.

2 days ago
Two Santa Cruz students uncover security bug that could let millions do their laundry for free

TechCrunch Disrupt 2024 is just around the corner, and the buzz is palpable. But what if we told you there’s a chance for you to not just attend, but also…

Harness the TechCrunch Effect: Host a Side Event at Disrupt 2024

Decks are all about telling a compelling story and Goodcarbon does a good job on that front. But there’s important information missing too.

Pitch Deck Teardown: Goodcarbon’s $5.5M seed deck

Slack is making it difficult for its customers if they want the company to stop using its data for model training.

Slack under attack over sneaky AI training policy

A Texas-based company that provides health insurance and benefit plans disclosed a data breach affecting almost 2.5 million people, some of whom had their Social Security number stolen. WebTPA said…

Healthcare company WebTPA discloses breach affecting 2.5 million people

Featured Article

Microsoft dodges UK antitrust scrutiny over its Mistral AI stake

Microsoft won’t be facing antitrust scrutiny in the U.K. over its recent investment into French AI startup Mistral AI.

2 days ago
Microsoft dodges UK antitrust scrutiny over its Mistral AI stake

Ember has partnered with HSBC in the U.K. so that the bank’s business customers can access Ember’s services from their online accounts.

Embedded finance is still trendy as accounting automation startup Ember partners with HSBC UK

Kudos uses AI to figure out consumer spending habits so it can then provide more personalized financial advice, like maximizing rewards and utilizing credit effectively.

Kudos lands $10M for an AI smart wallet that picks the best credit card for purchases

The EU’s warning comes after Microsoft failed to respond to a legally binding request for information that focused on its generative AI tools.

EU warns Microsoft it could be fined billions over missing GenAI risk info

The prospects for troubled banking-as-a-service startup Synapse have gone from bad to worse this week after a United States Trustee filed an emergency motion on Wednesday.  The trustee is asking…

A US Trustee wants troubled fintech Synapse to be liquidated via Chapter 7 bankruptcy, cites ‘gross mismanagement’

U.K.-based Seraphim Space is spinning up its 13th accelerator program, with nine participating companies working on a range of tech from propulsion to in-space manufacturing and space situational awareness. The…

Seraphim’s latest space accelerator welcomes nine companies

OpenAI has reached a deal with Reddit to use the social news site’s data for training AI models. In a blog post on OpenAI’s press relations site, the company said…

OpenAI inks deal to train AI on Reddit data

X users will now be able to discover posts from new Communities that are trending directly from an Explore tab within the section.

X pushes more users to Communities

For Mark Zuckerberg’s 40th birthday, his wife got him a photoshoot. Zuckerberg gives the camera a sly smile as he sits amid a carefully crafted re-creation of his childhood bedroom.…

Mark Zuckerberg’s makeover: Midlife crisis or carefully crafted rebrand?

Strava announced a slew of features, including AI to weed out leaderboard cheats, a new ‘family’ subscription plan, dark mode and more.

Strava taps AI to weed out leaderboard cheats, unveils ‘family’ plan, dark mode and more

We all fall down sometimes. Astronauts are no exception. You need to be in peak physical condition for space travel, but bulky space suits and lower gravity levels can be…

Astronauts fall over. Robotic limbs can help them back up.