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Former Google engineer chips €4.5M to his cloud platform revolutionising how startups scale web apps


The Codesphere cloud platform has revolutionised how new startups create and scale their web apps. The service offers a unique and cost-effective option to new and existing businesses that facilitates the development of web apps from conception to launch, all on a single platform. 

The Germany-founded and California-based company has raised €4.5M in a seed funding round. Codesphere’s success has also enticed some prominent partners and investors. The lead investors contributing most of the fund, were LEA Partners, 42CAP, NewForge, and 468 Capital. 

The remainder of the €4.5M came from angel investors, Dion Almaer [VP Engineering for Shopify, former Director for Google Cloud], Ben Uretsky [Founder of Digital Ocean], Christian Stiebner [LP KFW], and footballer Mario Götze.

Here is what some investors had to say about Groll’s Codesphere.

“When I met Elias and saw Codesphere, it became crystal clear to me that this is how cloud software will be developed in the future. Reducing complexity through simplicity lets developers focus on solving the real problems – I strongly believe the Codesphere team will shape the future of developer experience a lot.” – says Nils Seele, Principal at LEA Partners. 

“We see a huge value in Codesphere’s promise of a much simpler cloud offering that just works out of the gate and brings a truly cloud-native development paradigm to the world. We can see Codesphere filling a much-needed gap and become the infrastructure of choice for a huge chunk of applications in the future.” – says Moritz Zimmermann, Partner at 42cap.

“DX is beyond what it seems; it’s not just about easily navigating the tool, but also accessing what you need at all stages of the journey quickly and efficiently. Developers deserve solutions as well designed as for non-technical people.” – says Dion Almaer, VP of Engineering at Shopify.

The funding will allow Codesphere to continue its rapid growth, expand its team, build new data centres, including the first outside Germany, in the US, with more to follow across Europe and Asia, and develop more features for their IDE. 

Future upgrades to the IDE include managed databases, event streaming, VScode extension, CLI, and Public API, Autoscaling in the EU and USA, and Custom Cloud Services. 

Codesphere’s new disruptive and simple IDE is likely to be the model of how all developers will code in the future.

Frustration leading innovation

Codesphere is an innovation created in 2020 by former Google engineer, Elias Groll, and fellow software engineer Jonas Zipprick. The idea occurred to Groll through the frustration of having to conduct repetitive tasks during his time at Google. 

“Throughout my early career, even at Google, I found it extremely time-consuming and complex to bring even the simplest apps to production with tools like AWS and Kubernetes,” said Codesphere CEO and founder, Elias Groll. “DevOps doesn’t get any easier when you need to scale to thousands of users. I immediately wanted to build my alternative.”

Developers must currently follow a fragmented, expensive, and time-consuming process. Groll’s alternative was to fully integrate the entire process into a single end-to-end platform. That platform would then be the home of the web app after launch, allowing continued development and scaling without the need to reconfigure the app for new coding environments or infrastructures. Codesphere also includes all the best collaboration tools and can be integrated with other popular services like GitHub and Code Assist. 

Simplifying the process

“Web apps should be built where they are – in the cloud” – Elias Groll.

Groll and his team have made the entire process more efficient, and simple, due to the fact Codesphere is not just a front-end platform. They also own and oversee the back-end infrastructure including their own data centres. This means Codesphere can offer customers faster speeds and storage along with greater control over data, better security, as well as eliminating the need to deal with separate cloud providers and coding environments. 

As the app grows in popularity, Codesphere can automatically scale it up to cope with the increased number of users thanks to its unique distributed architecture. No need to hire a DevOps team even if a scale-up to millions of users is required. 

With Codesphere, our focus is on creating a smooth, efficient, and cost-effective infrastructure for developers by stripping back the complexity,” said Codesphere CEO and founder, Elias Groll. “We’re obsessed with developer productivity and Codesphere is the perfect solution for corporations, start-ups, freelancers, and teams that want to write code without having to first worry about DevOps and infrastructure. We’re a new type of cloud provider designed for developing scalable web apps, and one we believe is the future of online coding.”

Unlike existing development platforms, such as AWS, GPC, and Heroku, Codesphere’s front end is a fully optimised Integrated Development Environment [IDE], can be spun up in less than a second and is powered by their back-end data centres. This delivers better performance than the most powerful PC’s, and live code that is instantly scalable and fully testable within the browser. 

Current features include.

  • Multiplayer coding,
  • 1-click deployment,
  • Pseudo access within the terminal,
  • Keymaps,
  • Code completion for JavaScript, NodeJs, and TypeScript.

Success attracts investment

Despite only securing pre-seed funding in October 2020 and launching in March 2021, Codesphere has already attracted over 26,000 sign-ups, increasing by an estimated one thousand per day. They now employ five times the number of team members they had at launch and have attracted high-profile talent, most notably, former Digital Ocean Chief Technical Evangelist & VP Strategy, John Edgar as CMO; Elias’ former Google Tech Lead Michal Gornisiewicz and SAP Gardener core-contributor Tim Schrodi. 

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