After 7 years and growing to 70 people as a bootstrapped company, at the end of 2013, Tasktop made a decision to raise external financing. We’re very proud of what we’ve achieved as a bootstrapped entity and the innovations we’ve created including Mylyn, the task-focused interface, co-authoring the Change Management portion of the OSLC specification, the DevOps integration bus Tasktop Sync, and Software Lifecycle Integration. I am very proud of the organization that I’ve helped build, and the cool thing was that we could have kept growing without raising money. We made a choice because we felt that the opportunity to change how software was built was so big and the foundation we had put in place was so solid, that it was time to add a catalyst to our business. Also, our customers and partners wanted more from us than we could give to them organically so to grow commercially at the pace that the market was demanding, we felt the funding was needed.
Now as you know, wanting funding and actually getting funding are two different things. We were quite gratified as we went through the process that there was significant interest in the team we had built and what we had accomplished to date.
Today, I’m very pleased to announce that we’ve raised $11M. The primary focus of this investment is to expand the commercial part of our business. Over the past 7.5 years, we’ve created technology that drives tremendous value to our customers. When companies purchase Tasktop Sync or Tasktop Dev, they get software that pays for itself in the quarter it was purchased in (contact us to walk you through how Tasktop can drive significant returns for your organization). We need to get these innovations into the hands of even more organizations so that more of our colleagues who build software for banks, insurance, healthcare, manufacturing, government, retail, and the like can do it at the increasingly rapid pace demanded by today’s marketplace. We are proud that our customers get increased visibility into their software manufacturing processes, see improved collaboration between the various stakeholders involved in delivering software and get home to their families in time for dinner because they’ve been so productive during the day. So we will grow geographically, adding more local presences around the globe (in many cases with our growing partner ecosystem).
We will also grow the breadth of our integrations portfolio so that we will provide coverage for the top 80% of the market leading tools in every category we support (project/portfolio management, requirements management, Agile planning, change management, test / quality assurance, and help desk / ITSM). Finally, we will evaluate adding integrations into adjacent markets based on customer demand. In essence, we have raised funding to do a lot more of what we’ve been doing. That also means we will maintain the discipline that allowed us to bootstrap the business through the ups and downs of the past 7.5 years.
The round was led by Austin Ventures, the VC in my home state of Texas. With over $3.9B raised over the course of 10 funds, Austin Ventures has been the most active investor in Texas. We’re excited to be adding John Thornton to our board of directors. John has been a VC for Austin Ventures for the past 25 years, even leading the firm for a number of years as the managing director. John’s ability to reach into his decades of experience in enterprise software stemming all the way back to his Tivoli and BuildForge investments to some of his other investments like SolarWinds, Datical and ITInvolve will help us navigate the growth we will be going through over the next few years.
We also syndicated the round with Yaletown Ventures, the most active VC in Canada. Mike Satterfield will be representing Yaletown on the Tasktop board after spending about a year as a board observer. We’re thrilled to be continuing to get Mike’s experience working with enterprise software companies. He has already been critical to helping us in recruiting in Vancouver as well as helping us navigate some of the challenges we’ve faced as a Canadian company working on a global stage.
I’m also excited that my friends at the Capital Factory also chose to participate in this round. Both John and I are mentors at the Capital Factory, so this investment comes full circle for both of us.
I want to also say that I am proud that we’ve done it as a Canadian company. Mik Kersten, Gail Murphy and Rob Elves started this company 7.5 years ago out of the University of British Columbia. UBC has been a huge part of what we are, what we’ve been and what we will be. I’m proud of the partnership we have with UBC and am proud of our organization who takes time to give back to its roots. There are so many other people who have made a difference en route to this milestone for the company e.g., Rizwan Kheraj and all of the folks at the NRC, Bill Tam and the folks at BCTIA, and Mike Milinkovich and the Eclipse Foundation.
We also want to thank our customers, our partners, and our friends in the media and at analyst firms for their support over the past 7.5 years in allowing us to enter this new chapter of our company’s growth.