Seven months after Jyoti Bansal sold AppDynamics to Cisco for $3.7 Bn, he is back with another venture-startup studio Bansal Innovation Group (BIG) Labs. In Bansal’s words, BIG Labs is found with “the goal of researching multiple large problem areas, prototyping and validating unique technology solutions to those problems, establishing product-market fit, and if all of that is successful, building new companies into high-growth startups that could potentially be the tech industry’s next billion-dollar companies.” Simultaneously BIG Labs has also invested in the $20 Mn Series A round of Jyoti’s venture – Harness.io, a Continuous Delivery-as-a-Service platform, along with Menlo Ventures.
Jyoti Bansal has personally put in $50 Mn in BIG Labs. Elucidating further about BIG Labs in a LinkedIn post, he stated,
At BIG Labs, we will experiment with new technologies in order to find viable products that can ultimately sustain new businesses. Many of those experiments will not meet our bar, but those that do will be launched as new companies.
As Bansal has been a software engineer throughout, naturally BIG Labs’ focus will be on helping software professionals. Bansal added, “I have practised as a software engineer for years, and have built and run a company that sold products to software engineering and IT teams. So I have a natural affinity for the challenges and problems software engineers and IT teams face. Many of the problems we will tackle at BIG Labs will address making life easier for the world’s 20 Mn “software professionals” – e.g., software developers, testers, operations engineers, security engineers, data scientists, product managers, UX designers, and project managers.”
Jyoti Bansal is also seeking co-founders for new companies and experiments. He says,
“Here’s the core of what I’m looking for: a compelling problem, a large market, a viable path to building a billion dollar company, a sustainable technology moat, and a co-founding team that I can see myself working with for the next ten years.”
Harness.io: First Venture To Be Funded By Jyoti Bansal’s BIG Labs
Meanwhile, BIG Labs has made its first investment in the first BIG Labs project emerging from stealth – Harness, a Continuous Delivery-as-a-Service platform designed to help engineering teams deliver code to end users faster through the use of artificial intelligence. Menlo Ventures has led the $20 Mn Series A round for Harness.io along with participation from BIG Labs. Matt Murphy, partner at Menlo Ventures is joining the board of Harness.
Jyoti Bansal heads the company as CEO and co-founder and has founded the company just nine months after selling AppDynamics to Cisco. He is joined by Rishi Singh, former DevOps platform architect at Apple, as CTO and co-founder.
Businesses are under tremendous pressure to deliver new software and technology to users faster than ever, and with zero margins for error. Yet current approaches to software delivery remain complicated, highly manual, and risk-prone. Continuous delivery is a new software engineering practice that allows development teams to deliver their changes to end-users in hours instead of months. It has been successfully implemented by a handful of companies such as Amazon, Google and Facebook.
Thus Harness’ mission is to make the practice of continuous delivery accessible to every business. With its Smart Automation technology, Harness claims to be the first ever solution to automate the entire continuous delivery process. By applying unsupervised machine learning to the process, the platform understands an application’s baseline environment and can initiate automatic rollbacks when irregular activity is detected, avoiding application downtime or widespread failures. Harness claims to have reduced deployment time from many weeks to a few hours and has reduced errors by nearly 99%.
Bansal added, “At AppDynamics, our customers were happily using our platform to monitor their complex software applications, but almost all of them told me that the process for delivering rapid changes to those applications remained a huge problem. Software engineering teams need a platform that’s intuitive and powered by modern AI to meet the demand for incredibly fast, high-quality releases. Rishi and I are excited to launch Harness and address a massive problem challenging software engineering teams everywhere.”
Probably no one is more determined to make the lives of engineering teams easier than Jyoti Bansal. In Bansal’s own words, “The innovations coming out of these 20 million software professionals are driving the world forward in countless ways, and anything that helps them be more innovative and productive is good for us all.” With Harness.io and BIG Labs, Bansal is once again back in form to undertake what he has proven himself really good at with AppDynamics-not only building a world-class software company but also helping others through his startup studio to do the same.