Release, which provides environments-as-a-service (EaaS), has announced it has completed a $20 million Series A funding round. Led by CRV with participation from Sequoia, Y Combinator, Bow Capital, Artisanal Ventures, Hack VC and angel investors Amit Agarwal (Datadog), Bill Clerico (WePay) and Chase Gilbert (Built Technologies), the Series A follows a $2.7 million seed round in April 2020.
Release solves the universal problem of the costs and difficulty of creating, managing and maintaining increasingly complex environments for software developers. Customers of Release are using EaaS to create cloud native full-stack environments with data, on-demand. These environments are being used for previewing and QA’ing features in the dev workflow, demoing software with sales demo environments, running production applications and delivering SaaS products into their customer’s virtual private clouds. Release’s EaaS delivers an exceptional and simple development experience with environments as its core, with the full capability of the major cloud providers.
“Making developers and organizations more effective and efficient has been a problem and a challenge everywhere we’ve worked,” said co-founder and CEO Tommy McClung. “In addition, development in the cloud has become more complicated. Using Kubernetes and deep integrations with each cloud provider to facilitate the ability to reproduce environments, Release can replace a ton of work that has been a bespoke maintenance nightmare allowing developers to do it instantaneously.”
Part of the Y Combinator winter 2020 cohort, Release was founded by McClung along with Erik Landerholm and David Giffin. They previously led the technology team at an ecommerce company where they spearheaded the companywide effort to remove environment bottlenecks. There were no commercial solutions at the time so the founders built their own environment management solution and soon after launched Release to commercialize EaaS.
"Time and time again we hear from technology companies that managing their environments is becoming increasingly complex as we move to hybrid and microservice based architectures,” said James Green, venture investor at CRV. “Given this complexity, a logical step to making development teams more productive is a platform to automate many of these workflows around environments. We came across Release through the developer community and were blown away by their product and progress. The team experienced this pain themselves while on the leadership team at TrueCar and are now solving this issue at many complex organizations including Shogun, Monad Security and BraveCare. We're delighted to partner with them.”
Reflective of the challenges and opportunities of launching, hiring and scaling during the pandemic, Release will remain 100 percent remote and has added Artisanal Ventures as an investor to gain an edge in recruiting as they aggressively hire top talent across executive, product, engineering and go-to-market functions. Eschewing the reputation of tech companies that prioritize work over all else, Release is leaning into remote work and purposefully advocating for team members to better weave their life, work and family together making it an appealing workplace.
CRV is a venture capital firm that invests in early-stage enterprise and consumer startups. Since 1970, the firm has invested in more than 400 startups at their most crucial stages, including DoorDash, Airtable, Patreon, Drift and Iterable. Founders need more than capital to build a great company. It takes a partner who understands the entrepreneurial journey and knows what it takes to win. From founding to IPO and beyond, CRV is there every step of the way. Founders rely on CRV to be trusted, long-term, committed partners, which has helped make CRV into one of the longest-running venture capital firms in the world. Learn more about CRV and the companies shaping the future at crv.com.
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