Port’s founders decided to build a developer portal, a central place for developers to find all the information about their development projects, at a good time. Companies have been recognizing the need for this tool, pushed in part by Spotify Backstage, an open source project released several years ago by the music streaming service.
This general market momentum, while offering a managed service to make it easier to implement, has helped drive the startup’s message and grow the company. Investors see the potential too, rewarding the company with an $18 million Series A just 10 months after announcing a $7 million seed round.
The company helps DevOps teams organize their development projects in a central portal to house things like APIs, documentation, microservices, developer tools, the CI/CD pipeline, and more, all in one place. The product comes with a set of project templates to get up and running very quickly, then customers can customize the base template as needed for the particular needs of their teams, says Zohar Einy, company co-founder and CEO. Companies each have different ways of operating, so that customizability is key, but so is speed to value, hence the templates to get started.
He says this approach, in part pushed by the Backstage project, has resulted in a new concept called the platform team, which sits between developers and operations and manages the platform. Einy says the folks on this team tend to be a combination of roles, understanding what developers and operations need, while acting almost as a product manager to coordinate the two teams.
As such, members of the platform team need to understand both teams’ needs, the underlying infrastructure and how things are operating and connected. “They need to think a little bit like product managers because they need to know what developers need to see, what will save them time, what is causing the most pain, and what they need to automate with Port,” he said.
This in turn is leading to some significant momentum for the startup, which offers a free version of the product for up to 15 users. “We are seeing thousands of organizations adopting Port and connecting it to their infrastructure,” he said. These don’t all translate into paying customers, but they have a lot of registrations and a lot of organizations using Port, and they hope to use the ‘land and expand’ concept to turn more of them into revenue-generating customers. His company sees itself as a hosted alternative to Backstage, one that lets the portal team concentrate on helping developers and operations get their work done, instead of building the tooling to do that.
The company currently have 35 employees and is looking to add another 25 or 30 in the coming year if things continue going well. In terms of diversity, Einy says that half of the management team are women, and they will continue to try and build a diverse company as they grow the workforce.
Today’s $18 million investment was led by Team8 with participation from seed investor TLV Partners and several prominent industry angels.