We are excited to announce that our company, Dev Community Inc., has raised a new round of funding. Last year, we raised ~$950k from a group of developer-focused angel investors and funds. This new round is an $11.5M Series A led by Mayfield, with participation from a few of our previous investors such as OSS Capital and Charge VC.
We want to tell you all about the deal itself, and what this means for the future of DEV.
Partnering with an investment firm is a major decision, so we prioritized working with people that saw eye-to-eye with our values and long-term ambitions. Mayfield has a track-record of supporting open-source companies; for example, they led Hashicorp’s Series A back in 2014. We came to them with a plan that centers around supporting open source, and we’re confident that Mayfield will make great partners in this regard.
Peter, Jess, and I will maintain majority control of the board, something we feel is important at this stage to ensure the community’s interests are always put first. With that being said, finding supportive and experienced new board members was also a key factor that attracted us to working with Mayfield. With that, we are welcoming Navin Chaddha and Vivek Saraswat to fill out our board. Navin is an extremely accomplished investor and entrepreneur, and leads the entire Mayfield firm. Vivek brings super relevant experience from his time at VMWare, Docker, and Amazon (AWS). As we encounter challenges along the way, we now have these two on speed dial.
Some more details about company structure: Jess, Peter and I have not talked a lot about our specific titles, but this announcement feels like as good a time as any to provide a bit more detail. Jess serves as COO of our organization, while Peter and I act as Co-CEOs. Jess typically leads internal operations, hiring plans, and team organization. I spend most of my time on our long-term vision, product decisions, and community leadership; whereas Peter focuses more on partnerships, growth, and new opportunities. This operating arrangement reflects how we’ve come to work together for years. Jess has also taken on the duty as our representative in a newly-formed compensation committee alongside Navin. Jess and Navin will get together to have the final decision on executive salary and related items.
Now that we’ve raised a larger round of funding, it’s natural to ask questions about DEV’s business model.
We have always been proud of the fact that we have generated revenue in ways that are value-add to the community. We have a useful and unobtrusive classified listings section, ongoing high level sponsorship relations, and other community-oriented services in the works. We continue to establish healthy sponsorships that act as a truly useful community resources.
These services, however, do not represent the end game in our business model. As an open source platform, we serve the community through transparency and collaboration. Our true north star has long centered around this model, and the Series A allows us to plan years ahead in order to execute.
I wrote about that vision recently:
The most important point to understand is that we are growing our business in a way that does not rely on a massive collection of user data. Our leverage will be centered on our ability to deliver and support software that powers a more distributed and community-driven Internet — not maxing out the attention and data of individual platform users.
We look forward to enabling independent entrepreneurs, as well as large organizations, to build standalone online communities on top of the DEV open-source software. We will host and support these new communities following the models of successful commercial open-source companies such as Automattic, Hashicorp, GitLab, and others.
Of course, this funding opportunity comes on the heels of a year of great growth. We now serve about 5.5 million unique visitors per month, up from about 1.5 million this time last year. More than 250,000 developers have registered to our service in order to customize their experience, create content, and participate alongside the broader community.
We launched ecosystem-oriented partnerships in order to help users control their content and data more seamlessly. Some of these initiatives are launched, some continue to be in the works. We also served as co-presenters of Hacktoberfest, the world’s largest celebration of open source.
We recently welcomed a few new team members — Molly, Jacob and Avery — bringing our team up to 13 people total. We are also in the midst of interviewing amazing candidates to bring on a few more team members. We hire on a cyclical basis and will be opening up a new hiring period early next year. If you are interested in becoming part of our team, we hope you keep an eye out for that. In the meantime, you are more than welcome to contribute to our open source goals via our GitHub repo.
Thank you for being part of a journey that started as a Twitter account which I registered in 2014. We promise to always put the community first and push our industry forward.