Automating the Management and Deployment of Software
Today we are proud to announce our investment in JFrog.
At ScaleVP we continue to invest in innovative companies that are being buoyed by the DevOps trend. JFrog is at the epicenter of the merger between dev and ops teams. More important, it is automating a large number of processes that previously were tedius, prone to introducing bugs in production code, and highly insecure. JFrog's suite of products (JFrog Artifactory, JFrog Bintray, and JFrog Mission Control) provide an automated, continuous delivery pipeline that extends all the way from the developer to the end user of the software.
Complexity on the Rise
Looking at the history of software over a long timeframe, it is clear that complexity continues to rise. In the same way that early airplanes, cars, and trains were relatively simple machines that today are incredibly complex, software over the past 50 years has become a complex composition of microservices, API's, and layer upon layer of binary abstraction. Hard though it is to imagine, the software of today will look simple in another 50 years. JFrog's products will bring order and discipline to the development of software applications for decades to come.
Even leading edge development teams are engaging in practices that will chill the heart of any semi-serious operations manager. Bundling libraries of code from the wild, storing custom builds of Ubuntu on S3, manual integration testing: these are all practices that should not be acceptable. I remember a time when developers questioned the utility of source code repositories that are now widely accepted. Binary repositories and thorough auditability will eventually follow the same trajectory and be seen as an essential part of releasing production software.
Earning Trust through OSS
We believe that strong conversion from free open source software to paid accounts is the only viable business model for modern OSS companies. It builds trust with developers, removes adoption friction, and creates strong product market fit with the broadest audience.
As we spoke to our portfolio companies, we were surprised to find that almost all of them were adopting JFrog's products. True, some of them were using the free open source versions of the product. But across the board, from our fledgling companies to those preparing to go public, the engineers running operations were citing Artifactory, Bintray, and Mission Control as core parts of their infrastructure and were paying for critical features.
An Integrated Ecosystem
We also believe that it is essential for companies selling infrastructure software to be "Too Connected To Fail". We loved the fact that JFrog has built strong integrations into the other core components of the ecosystem. A key theme of our investing philosophy is that automation will eliminate both drudgery and humans from the business of software. No one company can accomplish this singlehandedly but JFrog is a vital cog in the orchestration machine.
Finally, capital efficiency is an investing principle that will never go out of style. Great management teams use every dollar of capital they raise, and later the earnings they retain, to create significantly more than a dollar of value. We love investing behind entrepreneurs who intuitively understand that relationship and so we are thrilled to be partnering with Shlomi and the rest of the JFrog team.
Originally published January 20, 2016.