Meet Crowd.dev, an open source user-led growth platform for fostering developer communities • TechCrunch

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Community-led growth (CLG) has emerged as a popular business leadership mechanism, as companies strive to foster an ecosystem of motivated users who organically attract new customers, serve as a support network for millions, and completely explode the corporate drum. of his own free will.

Companies like Stripe, Slack, Canva, Notion, and Figma have grown significantly behind their communities, which in turn has led to a slew of new technologies dedicated to helping these companies harness their fan base, discover their biggest advocates, and keep CLG’s flywheel spinning. Investors also note: In the past year alone we’ve seen companies like Commsor raise a $50 million Series B; common room $52 million insurance; Draw theme in $3.1 million seed round; And recently Talkbase Raising $2 Million to me User-led growth for any company.

Now, another new company is entering the community-led growth battle with a slightly different approach than the current players, one focusing on developer communities and open source at its core.

Founded in Berlin in 2021, Crowd.dev It collects data from countless developer communities including GitHub, Discord, Slack, Twitter, DEV and Hacker News, and provides analytics and workflow automation on top of this aggregated data.

For example, a developer tools company may want to better understand its users and build relationships with them and with employers to hone their product and find a better product that fits the market. This may include collecting and displaying all direct and indirect feedback in one interface, or using one of Crowd.dev’s premium tools such as Eagle Eye Which relies on Natural Language Processing (NLP) to identify community discussions that are ready for participation.

Crowd.dev: The Eagle Eye App IMage Credits: Crowd.dev

To help take things to the next level, Crowd.dev has just raised €2.2 million ($2.2 million) in a seed funding round led by Seedcamp and Lightbird, with participation from Possible Ventures, Angel Invest, and a handful of backer owners. On top of that, the German startup has open-sourced its platform, a step that goes a long way toward distinguishing itself in an increasingly crowded space.

But first, it’s worth thinking about Why Developer-focused companies may need a dedicated platform to drive community-led growth efforts, given that incumbents can already be used for any community of users – developers included.

cephalopods

Jonathan Reimer, CEO and co-founder of Crowd.dev, argues that the word “community” has a wide range of connotations, and can mean anything from social media influencers to online learning groups. Ultimately, the “one size fits all” approach doesn’t work — a company that is laser-focused on attracting developers may need different tools for a company looking to attract creators or crypto enthusiasts.

“There has been hype around the community, but also disappointment with the new tools that have been made to make it easier to build the community,” Reimer explained to TechCrunch. “I tried [existing] Tools in previous posts and was never satisfied as it didn’t match my use case. Similar to CRMs (CRM software), we believe there will be a vertical trend in the community software space. We are the first to start in the field of developers. “

This “vertical” is important in terms of building a platform that people actually want to use. In the case of Crowd.dev, which aims to create a product that suggests actions a user can take based on developer community data, specialization in this way allows him to design his product better and “create a more reliable model”, as Reimer puts it, for example in terms of discovery Feedback or evaluation of feelings.

“It’s going to be very difficult to achieve this for all kinds of societies at the same time,” Reimer said. “The developer community has amazing similarities, and especially for the open source community, we have access to a lot of historical training data.”

Crowd.dev . Analytics IMage Credits: Crowd.dev

open source agent

Open source communities have always played a key role in driving software adoption, which is partly why growing number companies choose to make their products available under Open source license. If developers are able to tinker with the software themselves with minimal friction, contribute some code, and even add new features, they are more inclined to use the software on their premises – and thus, are more inclined to convince employers that they are worth paying for premium features on top of an open product. Source. This is the main driving force behind Crowd.dev’s focus on open source development communities, and its reasons behind open source for its own platform.

“We believe that the primary tool for developer-focused open source companies – as well as community management – should be open source itself,” Reimer said.

Moving to an open source platform may have other benefits as well. For example, organizations seeking more transparency and control over their data can host Crowd.dev on their own infrastructure, and Then push Crowd.dev To unlock access to an unlimited number of users and integrations. Or companies can choose to pay for the hosted incarnation of Crowd.dev, which includes a basic free tier as well as more advanced enterprise plans.

In its short life to date, Crowd.dev claims an impressive list of clients such as The Linux Foundation and Microsoft, a company that has increasingly embraced Open source for the past eight years after somewhat lukewarm attitude Towards community-led programs in previous years.

Reimer said Microsoft is using Crowd.dev to run Flatcar Linux, a Linux distribution for container workloads that now runs after Acquisition of developer Kinvolk Back in 2021.

“They mainly use Crowd.dev to analyze community member engagement, identify relevant stargazers on GitHub, and generate reports,” Reimer said.

In truth, Microsoft and its big tech ilk will not be typical users, given the fact that most of Crowd.dev’s target customers will be smaller companies looking to grow. But it’s still an indication of the sharing of ideas Crowd.dev has managed to secure thus far, with “several hundred organizations” joining the company’s beta product since March of this year.

“Eighty percent of our users are companies between Seed and Series B that see the community as an important growth channel,” Reimer said.

With a new €2.2 million in the bank, the company said it plans to add more apps and data integration to the mix, before making it generally available to the public.

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