Runway Raises $ 2 Million In Seeds, Launches ‘Air Traffic Control’ System For Mobile App Versions – TechCrunch

Runway, a startup that emerged from the challenges that Rent the Runway’s first iOS team faced, is now coming out of beta and launching its service that streamlines the mobile app’s release cycle – or, as the team describes it, offers an “air traffic control” for mobile releases. The company also raised $ 2 million in seed funding for its product, led by Bedrock Capital.

Other investors include Array Ventures, Chapter One, Breakpoint Capital, Liquid 2 Ventures, Four Cities, Harvard Management, Seed Capital, SoftBank Opportunity Fund, and various angel investors.

The idea for Runway came from co-founders Gabriel Savit, Isabel Barrera, David Filion and Matt Varghese, who all worked together on the first team of mobile apps at Rent the Runway. While there, they learned that releasing an app involved a lot of overhead in terms of time spent and wasted, and a lot of back and forth on internal communications apps like Slack. Interdisciplinary teams made up of engineers, products, marketing, design, quality assurance, etc. all need to keep abreast of their own part of the app publishing process, which is still often done using things like shared documents and spreadsheets.

Rather, Runway offers an alternative with its dedicated software specially designed to manage the different parts of the application’s publication cycle.

The system integrates with a company’s existing tools, such as GitHub, JIRA, Trello, Bitrise, CircleCI and others, to automatically notify teams of what has been done and what to do next. Since launching in beta this spring, Runway has doubled the number of supported integrations, which now also include tools like Linear, Pivotal Tracker, Jenkins, GitHub Actions, GitLab CI, Travis CI, Slack, Bugsnag, Sentry , TestRail, and more, with more on the way soon.

Image credits: Track

During its testing period, Runway was used by a handful of early customers, including ClassPass, Kickstarter, Capsule and others, who as of last March had released over 40 versions of apps through its platform. .

Since its beta, its customer base has grown to 15 and now includes Gusto, NTWRK, Brex and Chick-fil-A as customers, as well as a few big names in the corporate sector, the company notes. (One is a “favorite food delivery app” we understand). Several of these customers have also provided statements of support for using Runway over their old ways. For example, ClassPass mobile manager Sanjay Thakur said the system resulted in “less confusion” and less time spent on versions.

“Our engineers have told me that their load during sprints in the version manager role has decreased,” Thakur said.

Kickstarter senior iOS engineer Hari Singh noted that “things are easier now” with Runway, and said, “It’s nice to have all of our team watching the same thing, everything. the weather. There is no subjective opinion on what is going on, ”he said.

“Runway has not only made versions faster, but the mental stress of versioning is something we no longer have to worry about,” said senior software engineer Hari Singh of NTWRK. “Before, we were reluctant to go out as often as we would have liked. Now we know it will be okay, and we know it will take a minimum of effort.

To date, Runway claims that its early adopters have since released 60 versions of apps through its platform. It has also made a number of key product changes and updates since its beta release in March.

Image credits: Track

These include adding much more automation for tasks that would otherwise have been handled manually or other tasks such as auto-pausing unstable versions in phases, auto-accelerating stable versions in phases, adding default release notes for the “What’s New” section of app stores, support for deployments with automatic percentage increase in stages (including Android), selecting the latest version in the app stores, submitting new versions for beta review on iOS, marking the version at the end of the release cycle, automatically generating change logs, attaching artifacts, adding missing labels or fixing ticket versions in project management tools, and more.

Runway also added support for faster patch releases, approval feature that loops through external stakeholders, screenshot viewer and approval gate, build artifact downloads directly from the CI pipeline, regression testing integrations, stability monitoring integrations, beta track testing integrations from TestFlight and Play Store, additional features for frequent releases such as version number override in code and support for roles, permissions, and access control lists, among others. It has also obtained SOC 2 certification.

One area he is still working on is simplifying the onboarding of new customers. Because it is designed to be a broad platform, the initial setup process where a customer connects Runway to its many internal applications and services can be time consuming. However, Runway believes that ultimately its ability to adapt to the different tools and processes of many teams will be a selling point, not a barrier to its adoption.

At launch, Runway continues to charge $ 400 per month per app for its standard tier, but has now added custom enterprise rates for large businesses as it has more high-end businesses in the pipeline. . This could add new awards for independent teams in the future, we’re told.

Runway says he will direct the new funds to hiring, including the hiring of several full engineers (especially former mobile engineers) and a full-time employee to help with growth and marketing. She has already made her first full-time hire with the addition of a senior mobile engineer.

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