Divergent Invests in Shippable

In December of 2013, Divergent joined a seed round led by Founders CoOp in Shippable. Shippable helps teams ship software faster by giving them a virtual build, test, and deploy software platform. Shippable is part of a broad trend toward “DevOps”—integrating software development with data center operations and supporting rapid testing and deployment of software, often numerous times a day. Specifically, Shippable provides an easy to set up continuous integration services that can be linked quickly from github and other source code management systems. We are very impressed with the team’s technical capabilities and product vision. Shippable fits into our Cloud infrastructure theme. The product is already gaining significant traction among software developers. Kevin Ober is a board observer.

Trends Driving ShippableWide adoption of the internet and the cloud as a platform has revolutionized and accelerated many fields, no where is this more apparent than in software development. The rate of innovation of new languages, frameworks and tools continues to accelerate. This movement has already created great companies like GitHub, and Rally Software; and we believe the idea of continuous integration as a service fits naturally into that evolution, as well as the movement of the underlying infrastructure for software to be cloud based. The methodological change,  DevOps, is an outgrowth of software development methodologies adapting to the web and web based platforms. The beginning of the century began the movement of ‘Agile’ software development, characterized by approaches such as eXtreme, and Scrum; as an alternative to the waterfall model that dominated software development in the late 20th century.   A core practice that has evolved in agile, is the use of Continuous Integration.  Consistent with the underlying thinking in methodologies like eXtreme, which takes proven practices and accelerates them, the idea of continuous integration comes from the view that if frequent integrations and automated unit and integration testing is good, doing it more frequently can accelerate the delivery of software value to customers. Additionally, as we move from “packaged” software to software as a service, integrating test and development of software development with the operations of running the service makes sense as a strategy. We’ve long experienced the situation that as software teams scale to more developers, the need to automate the process of assembling software becomes important.   Continuous integration, and the shippable service, provide a “build team in the sky” that can enable teams to quickly and cost effectively build, test, and deploy software multiple time a day to their customers.   Before services like shippable, customers would need to deploy and manage their own servers using projects like Jenkins or their own home grown code to automate their builds.  Indeed, large projects at companies like Microsoft often have significant “build” teams that manage and deploy these services for the development teams.

In addition to harnessing these broad trends, shippable is taking advantage of specific technical innovations that differentiate the company and tie them to new factors in internet software development. In particular, shippable is implemented using an operating system level method of virtualization called containers, first implemented in Solaris and now spreading to many other Unix implementations especially through the docker project. Unlike traditional hypervisors, containers permit a greater density of independent user spaces running on single Unix implementation. This means teams get not only the ease of not having to deploy, maintain, and configure their own CI server, they also get better efficiency.

The team, who developed the company and product during TechStars Seattle, is led by Avi Cavale, impressed us with their passion, vision, and progress. Avi is an alum of Microsoft and IBM and his cofounder Manisha Sahasrabudhe is also a Microsoft alum.

The software is simple to use.   If you have a project in github, getting started with shippable is simply a mater of pointing the service at your repository.    it’s free to try; so give shippable a whirl.


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