How Hatica Plans To Make Your Software Engineers More Productive
What’s the hardest thing to get right in software development? It’s not the intellectual effort required to innovate, argue the founders of Californian start-up Hatica, but the far more prosaic matter of productivity. Far too often, development gets mired in a spiral of inefficiency that slows time to market and delays growth, argues Hatica, which is today announcing a $3.7 million seed funding round.
The inspiration for Hatica lies in co-founder Naomi Chopra’s experience of software development at former employers Cisco and Uber; Chopra met the company’s other co-founder, Haritabh Singh, at the latter business. “I saw the problems that developers have first hand, and it’s not, as you might expect, about the difficulty of writing new code,” Chopra says. “Rather, it’s about inefficiency.”
Simply put, the software development process gets mired at key stages. One common problem is that developers are pulled away from their focus on coding by a host of other bureaucratic and administrative tasks. Another is that once written, new code has to be reviewed and tested, but few organisations resource this properly. Alternatively, developers often find themselves dragged into fire-fighting problems on products and services already launched – often out of hours as things break – leaving them short of time and energy for innovation.
“By some estimates, engineers are spending only 30% of their time actually doing the job they’re supposed to be doing – writing new code,” adds Chopra. “The other 70% of their time is just disappearing.”
Hatica’s solution is a productivity tool that plugs into all the other tools that developers use in their roles. This includes traditional developer tools such as Github and JIRA, but also the collaboration tools that teams and businesses use to manage work and communicate.
Hatica extracts pulls down data from each of these tools and presents it in easy-to-read dashboards for managers and leaders. The idea is to make it much more straightforward to identify the pain points in the software development workflow. Are developers writing code only to have it sit around for an age waiting for review? Are they spending more time in meetings or on other tasks, rather than coding? Are they constantly being pulled off new projects to attend to problems with existing products?
“Once you can diagnose your blockages, you can begin to find ways to resolve them,” Chopra adds. Hatica’s tool can help here too. For example, it can be set to send a manager an alert when a piece of code is not picked up for review within a set time limit.
Used well, Hatica’s tool should enable organisations to use their developers much more productively, reducing the cost of innovation and securing a more rapid path to value. Chopra points to the examples of two clients – a real estate technology company that saw the uninterrupted time its developers had to code increase by 55%, and a social media platform that saw its time to production accelerate by 50%.
Such success stories are underpinning rapid growth at Hatica, which is currently in use at more than 100 engineering teams with more than 20,000 individual developers. Launched only last summer, Hatica has gained traction rapidly, particularly in the US and India.
Chopra is hopeful that its latest fund-raising will now help it scale up at pace. The company has raised $3.7 million of seed funding in a round led by Surge, Sequoia Capital India and Southeast Asia’s rapid scale-up program. Existing investor Kae Capital also took part, and the round was also supported by angel investors with backgrounds at companies including Google, Uber, Twitter, Okta and Notion.
The money will largely be deployed to build Hatica’s engineering capacity, though the company also plans further investment in sales and marketing.