Nrwl, a startup with a popular software development tool used by half of the Fortune 500, today announced that it has closed a $8.6 million seed funding round.
Andreessen Horowitz and Nexus Venture Partners jointly led the round. A number of angel investors participated as well.
The task of turning software code written by a company’s developers into a functioning application is known as the build process. As part of the build process, developers test their code to ensure that it doesn’t contain security vulnerabilities or other flaws. The finalized code is then packaged into a file format that allows it to run on user devices or data center infrastructure.
Software teams automate many of the steps involved in the build process using a type of tool known as a build system. Nrwl, incorporated as Narwhal Technologies Inc., is the developer of a popular open-source build system known as Nx. The startup says that Nx is used by more than 1.5 million developers as well as half of the companies on the Fortune 500 list.
One factor behind the popularity of Nx is that it can reduce the amount of time needed to complete software builds. Building an application can take a significant amount of time when there is a large number of code files to process, which is often the case in enterprise software projects. Speeding up the task enables enterprise software teams to complete application projects faster.
The build process involves many calculations that have to be repeated multiple times. Nrwl’s Nx system speeds up processing by saving the results of frequently recurring calculations in a cache. As a result, Nx doesn’t have to compute the results from scratch on every occasion but only retrieve them from the cache, which saves time.
Nrwl commercializes Nx with a managed cloud-based version of the tool called Nx Cloud. Nx Cloud doesn’t require companies to manage the infrastructure on which it runs and automates a number of other maintenance tasks as well.
According to Nrwl, Nx Cloud also offers features for optimizing the software build process. A capability called distributed task execution distributes the computations involved in software builds across multiple servers, which can significantly reduce processing times. The capability is available alongside an analytics tool that can identify additional ways to improve performance.
Another major selling point of Nx Cloud is that it supports the so-called monorepo approach to software development.
Developers store code files in a software environment known as a code repository. Typically, organizations store the code files of each application they develop in a separate repository. The monorepo approach involves storing all of a company’s code in a single repository rather than several, which can ease certain development tasks.
“We’ve determined that Nx and Nx Cloud have saved over 250 years of compute time since we started measuring,” Nrwl co-founder and Chief Executive Officer Jeff Cross detailed in a blog post.
Nrwl will use the proceeds from its newly announced funding round to develop additional features for Nx and Nx Cloud. The startup is also planning to enhance Nx Enterprise, a version of Nx Cloud that organizations can deploy on their own infrastructure.
“Some of the world’s leading brands are relying on Nx Enterprise to help their developers get products and features to market significantly faster,” Cross stated. “One repository powered by Nx Enterprise is saving over 40,000 hours per month of compute time.”