In the era of product-led growth, a company's code speaks for itself. Customers can try out a SaaS product, and if they like it, they'll continue to use it and ideally pay for advanced features.
Even so, the developers responsible for that code are often relegated to the virtual "back office," using tools like Jira for bug tracking. "Front office" tools that are directly related to sales and revenue generation, like a CRM, are siloed from developer tools.
The new company DevRev is launching out of stealth on Wednesday, intending to change that. With $50 million in seed funding, it's aiming to bring the developer closer to the revenue -- hence, the name DevRev.
"In the DevOps era, code redefined building and operating," DevRev co-founder Dheeraj Pandey said to ZDNet. "In the world of RevOps, code has to redefine supporting and growing."
Pandey is launching DevRev just a little over six months after stepping down from his role as CEO of Nutanix, the successful HCI software company he founded in 2009. He's launching DevRev with Manoj Agarwal, Nutanix's former SVP of engineering. They plan to work with early adopters to make DevRev generally available by 2022.
DevRev's investors so far include Mayfield Fund and Khosla Ventures. The "post-pandemic company" has already recruited more than 75 people around the globe, with members of its team so far located in Austin, Bangalore, Ljubljana (Slovenia), and the San Francisco Bay area.
With the DevRev platform, developers will be able to connect their code to both production issues and customer interactions. The platform can offer real-time feedback on customer engagement and app performance, pulling data via APIs.
Developers will be able to access data to understand better how to prioritize their work -- data such as what features customers are using, how much revenue is at stake, what the pipeline of new customers looks like. The DevRev platform will use AI, Pandey and Agarwal said, to sift through the data and offer meaningful insight to developers.
Another key part of the platform, Pandey said, will be creating a fun, collaborative and social experience for developers and customers.
"I think it goes a long way," he said. "When I founded co-founded Nutanix 10,11 years ago, we did a pretty good job of really getting developers closer to the customers, and Slack helped a lot, but it lacked context -- it didn't have the context of the work, the customer, the business."
DevRev initially focuses on serving SaaS developers -- smaller digital companies focused on delivering code through the cloud. From there, Pandey said the company would move on timid-market SaaS companies while also delivering more features.
"Customer Support is an important piece of the puzzle, but over time it could be things like engagement and identity," he said or helping a business grow from building to deploying code.
Growing a successful SaaS business, Pandey said, requires a developer-centric approach that can mitigate customer churn.
"Customer loyalty is going through this phase where things are becoming a little less sticky," he said. "People are buying smaller things, and in this world of everything digital, monthly subscriptions, and things like that, it's easy to switch" to a competing product. High churn, he said, is the consequence of having "the end-user very far away from the makers."
The increasingly digitized economy, Pandey said, requires thinking of developers as merchants.
"They're delivering something to the rest of the world, which is code," he said. "And if we can provide the platform that makes them think like merchants and entrepreneurs, then we have become successful."