Code review is a key step during the software development process — when people test a program by looking at and reading parts of the source code. But despite its importance, not all developers are satisfied with the way traditional code reviews work. For example, a Microsoft Study Code review results often do not match motivation due to unrealistic expectations or insufficient developer resources.
Aiming to change code review for the better, Jaime Jorge co-founded Codacy, which provides information on code quality, security, compliance and performance. Fresh off the launch of a new product designed to measure engineering performance metrics, Lisbon-based Codacy has closed a $15 million Series B funding round led by Sone Group’s corporate VC Bright Pixel Capital, one of Portugal’s largest employers.
To date, Codacy has raised $28 million.
“To stay competitive in a world where every company is software managed, companies need to balance quality with speed of delivery,” George told TechCrunch in an email interview. “The industry’s adoption of remote work has sent companies into disarray, creating tension between engineers who crave flexibility and freedom and managers who are held accountable for results. Many companies have mistakenly looked at monitoring as a solution, which in the long run erodes culture and prevents them from recruiting and retaining the best talent possible.”
George did a master’s thesis focusing on duplicate code detection, which sparked his interest in the business of code review. He teamed up with Joao Caxaria, Codasi’s other co-founder, to launch the startup in 2012.
Since Codacy’s founding ten years ago, the code review market has grown substantially, with companies like SonarSource and DeepCode — whose platforms scan codebases for bugs — raising hundreds of millions of dollars in venture capital. Even incumbents like Amazon have thrown their hat in the ring (see: Codeguru).
But George argues that the scale of Codacy’s platform is indicative of its success. In the last 12 months, the platform has seen more than 20 million vulnerabilities and, George claims, the time developers spend on quality reviews has decreased by up to 60%.
We have to take his word for it – such figures are difficult to independently confirm. but what is Verifiable sees a strong business opportunity outside of code review in the field of Codecsi engineering performance monitoring. That’s the focus of Pulse, the company’s second product, which aims to measure the frequency of software deployments, timeframes for changes to code and other aspects of software development that relate to “business impact.”
“Pulse collects metrics that enable teams to understand performance without compromising a healthy culture,” said George. “We’ve seen firsthand the struggle among our customers to maintain a healthy performance culture over remote work. Pulse aims to help in this process.”
Of course not every developer will be on board with the idea of keeping a close eye on their work. On the other hand, it does not matter whether managers see the benefit of trying to quantify or at least measure individual contributions to the project.
George said that Codacy “routinely” deletes customer data, including performance metrics, that is “no longer needed to maintain its normal functionality. [the company’s] product[s]”
“We’ve found over time that … leadership cares about metrics that are closer to larger business outcomes. In other words, leadership takes care of the forest, not the trees. That’s why we designed Pulse: to provide a meaningful, integrated set of metrics that lead care,” says George, adding that Pulse is non-invasive by nature. “That way, they follow what their colleagues in other departments are already doing by measuring performance without compromising their engineering culture.”
With a customer base of around 870 brands, including Panasonic and Delivery Hero, and a user base of over 300,000 developers, Codacy seems to be doing something right. George said the funding will be put mostly toward product R&D, including adding new capabilities to Codacy’s existing services, bringing new services to market, and hiring senior talent across the company’s engineering, support, and success teams, as well as sales and marketing. (Codacy’s headcount today is 100 employees.)
“The broad slowdown in technology is proving to be beneficial to us as companies hope to automate processes while maintaining quality and understand their engineering performance. Despite the frequency of layoffs in the industry, we have seen many of our customers expand their use of our product suite,” continued George. “We’re really bullish on the timeless, contingent nature of software development. It does not rely on cycles and its momentum is built on the back of global digital transformation. Now is the time to be greedy about every company wanting to be software-led.”