A Cambridge company behind an innovative debugging tool has just raised $2m (£1.3m) in a funding round that brings long term investment company, Cambridge Innovation Capital, together with angel investors for the first time.
Undo Software helps developers make major time and cost-savings by letting them scroll back through their work in real time, a technology it’s been developing since 2007. However, it’s only recently that the company who claims its software could save the industry over £50bn a year by ‘turning back time’ to find the origins of software problems, has picked up a real head of steam having raised a six figure investment sum in 2012,$1.25m 12 months ago and now this latest round.
Co-founder, Greg Law, says the last 12 months has seen significant expansion for the company: “Until last year the company was literally five people in a garden shed. Now we have grown our international sales, with most of our customers in Silicon Valley.”
It also has CIC as a new investor, the first time the Cambridge University inspired investment body has invested alongside the Cambridge Angels syndicate since its launch 18 months ago, a move that senior investment director, Victor Christou, says could help to address the ‘funding gap’ experienced by many early stage, potentially high growth companies.
“Angel support is invaluable for early stage companies as it provides very high-risk capital, resources and access to the contacts that are essential in the formative days of an enterprise. However, many founders reach a point where they need more resources than the angels are able to provide and the company development stalls. At CIC, we aim to play a leading role guiding management and shareholders through this transition into institutional investment.
“Our investment in Undo is a perfect example. It is made alongside Cambridge Angels and has strengthened our relationship with this influential investor group. Hopefully, it will provide a template for future interactions and pave the way for many more promising Cambridge Cluster businesses to raise growth funding rounds.”
Undo Software was founded by programmers Law and Julian Smith (CEO and CTO respectively) out of frustration with the lack of a good debugging tool for Linux, the most widely used computer operating system for enterprise. Almost 50 per cent of a developer’s time is spent fixing bugs and this is particularly problematic if the issues occur after the software is released and operational on a customer site.
Undo’s core technology is a ‘black box’ that allows an application to record itself as it runs, and then save a copy of that recording. If the program crashes the recording can be sent back to the software developer and then replayed to see how and when the problem occurred without the need to recreate it.
The strength of Undo was recognised by Cambridge Angel investor, Dr Robert Brady, founder of stock market listed, commodities trading software firm, Brady PLC and then attracted other major technology and entrepreneurial figures including Robert Swann, the co-founder of Alphamosaic which sold to Broadcom for $123m, Skype co-founder, Jaan Tallinn, and Sir Peter Michael, founder of Classic FM.