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Trunk raises $25M to build a unified DevEx Platform

By Eli SchleiferApril 5, 2022

Our founding team started Trunk last year to bring world-class developer experience to everyone. We started Trunk because DevEx (developer experience) is an industry-wide mess. The workflows of coding, testing, and merging code is a fragmented landscape that has created tremendous developer inefficiencies. Four months ago we released the first piece of our DevEx platform, Trunk Check. The feedback from our early users and founding customers has only reinforced the need to bring a unified DevEx platform to market.

Today we are proud to announce our $25M Series A, led by Initialized Capital with participation from our existing investors a16z, Haystack Ventures and Garage Capital. We’re also welcoming our new investors GitHub Co-Founder Tom Preston-Werner, Apollo GraphQL Co-Founder Geoffrey Schmidt, CEO Oleg Rogynskyy and Algolia Co-Founder Nicolas Dessaigne.

The traditional thinking in software engineering has been that scaling a software team has the perverse effect of slowing down productivity. The Mythical Man-Month laid bare the problems of attempting to accelerate projects with more people; in headcount math — one plus one does not equal two, and the problems compound the more you scale. Somehow Google and Meta, giant software-first companies, have flattened the lost productivity curve. They achieved this by building internal, world-class, developer experience solutions. The roadmap for building software at scale is thus well-trodden, but available only to those largest companies that have spent years building internal best-in-class solutions.

When we founded Trunk last January, we didn’t have a line of code written, but we did have a blueprint to bring Google quality developer experience to every company on Earth.

Every GANTT chart is a lie

The only GANTT chart that has accurately reflected the timeline of a software project is one created after the fact. Forward-looking timelines are built on SWAGs which aren’t worth the virtual bits they’re printed on. On top of the SWAGs, teams factor in 2x multipliers to try to account for all the stuff that will come up over the course of development.

Sure, part of the problem is our propensity to habitually underestimate tasks, but a major factor is the discrepancy between the efficiency of a solo engineer working in a vacuum compared to the slog of development at scale. At Trunk, we can close that gap by fixing DevEx.

Stop Reinventing the Wheel

As software engineering organizations grow they will inevitably spin up a team focused on developer experience. These teams go by many different names - Code Heath, Code Team, Developer Experience, Developer Excellence, but their universal goal is to keep the other engineers working. They are the mechanics keeping the software machinery working so more software can be built.

These teams are burning a lot of time building solutions that are not specific to their organization's goals. That is a recipe for long-term inefficiency. When business needs do not directly align with the software a team is building the resulting solution will be under-invested in, and understaffed. We’ve seen this countless times. Work is only done to the point of keeping the machine from breaking down, but the larger, enterprise-grade solutions don’t get built because the upfront investment is too great to justify. That is where we come in.

Our entire focus at Trunk is to build the 95% of the developer experience stack that is not specific to a particular company’s workflows. For the remaining 5%, we will provide supporting frameworks that will allow for the closest thing to no-code for developer experience.

None of this work will be particularly easy, but we are building the team to make it real. We’re just getting started and feel tremendously privileged to have the support of our investors and development partners to bring something truly unique and delightful to market. We’re spending an enormous amount of time building a world-class solution that companies can rely on to accelerate their development efforts.

The Next Piece of the Platform
Today alongside this funding announcement we’re launching a new facet to our trunk check product. It provides a historical view and live insight into the tech debt of a codebase. With this new offering, we empower companies to slowly burn down their tech debt and get a birds-eye-view of the common problems affecting the correctness of their codebase. We invite you to check it out and as always all feedback good and bad is most welcome.

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