Raycast picks up $2.7m seed

Raycast, an app that provides developers quick access to their tools, has raised $2.7 million in seed funding.

Raycast, an app that provides developers quick access to their tools, has raised $2.7 million in seed funding. Accel led the round with participation from other investors that included Y Combinator and Chapter One.

PRESS RELEASE

London, Thursday 29th October, 2020: Raycast, the app that provides developers quick access to their tools, today announces it has raised a $2.7 million seed round led by Accel with participation from Y Combinator, Jeff Morris Jr.’s fund Chapter One and angel investors Charlie Cheever, Calvin French-Owen and Manik Gupta among others. The investment will be used to launch Raycast’s public beta, and build an ecosystem of productivity tools that save developers’ time on every-day routines, such as simplifying issue tracking, triggering developer workflows, and accessing internal information.

The number of SaaS tools that a company relies on has exploded in recent years. The more tools that are used by a company, the more fragmented the information for the employee becomes. Today, developers constantly find themselves jumping around browser tabs to fix bugs, keep their team updated, or find information instead of staying in the flow in their integrated development environment (IDE). This continuous context switching eats up to 80% of the productivity of millions of developers worldwide.

Raycast wants to solve this problem for developers by making it easy, fast and delightful for them to find and update information with its command line inspired interface, enabling automation of developers’ day-to-day processes and tasks, and allowing them to focus on the work that matters. Instead of opening dozens of websites and clicking through tabs, Raycast cuts through the noise by unifying tools as commands and optimizing efficiency by making them accessible with a few keyboard shortcuts. The app is built natively to be simple, lightweight and efficient and already connects with Jira, GitHub, and G Suite amongst others.

Founders Thomas Paul Mann (CEO) and Petr Nikolaev (CTO) were formerly Facebook software engineers who built internal productivity tools on the side. They had the vision to create a platform and developer community based around productivity. They built the app as part of Y Combinator’s Winter 2020 batch and have been using a private beta to onboard a waiting list of users since January.

In addition to the public beta launch, which will make the app universally accessible to the public, Raycast will launch a program that will give developers early access to an API. With the API, developers can build custom integrations to speed up common tasks and share them with their team or the community, enabling the creation of an ecosystem of productivity tools.

“Most work tools today simply aren’t optimized for developers. They are bloated, slow and miss keyboard shortcuts. Developers hate that and will stop using them if they’re not up to scratch, to such an extreme that many actually quit their companies because of bad tooling. We want to allow developers to focus on the tasks that matter. With Raycast, developers can optimise existing tools and build new custom integrations that speed up common tasks for them and their team. We think it’s the first step in building an ecosystem of productivity tools”, said Raycast CEO Thomas Paul Mann.

Andrei Brasoveanu, Partner at Accel, said, “Thomas and Petr have identified a real pain point for developers – a huge amount of their productivity is lost because of so much time spent dealing with non-coding tasks. We’ve been impressed by how Raycast can bring massive improvements to developers’ lives by automating these day-to-day processes and tasks through a simple and easy to use command line inspired interface on the desktop. Raycast has the potential to become the essential productivity add-on for every developer and we are excited to back this up with our investment today.”

Both founders were early engineers at Spark AR (Facebook) where they helped build a community of creators.

Raycast is built with privacy in mind: No login is required, everything is stored encrypted on the local hard drive, and nothing sensitive is tracked.

The API reduces the amount of time spent to build a great productivity tool for developers. And the platform makes it easy to share the tool within teams, organizations and industries.

About Raycast
Raycast is an app that provides developers with quick access to their tools. The app reduces the continuous context switching that millions of developers face every day with a command line inspired interface. It connects with Jira, GitHub and G Suite among others. The vision is to create a platform and developer community around productivity tools. An API allows developers to build custom integrations to speed up common tasks and share them with their team or the community. For more information: https://raycast.com/

About Accel
Accel is a global venture capital firm that is the first partner to exceptional teams everywhere, from inception through all phases of private company growth. Arista, Atlassian, Braintree, Celonis, CrowdStrike, Deliveroo, DJI, Dropbox, Etsy, Facebook, Flipkart, Freshworks, Jet, Kayak, Lynda.com, Qualtrics, Rovio, Slack, Spotify, Supercell, Swiggy, Tenable, UiPath, and Venmo are among the companies the firm has backed over the past 35+ years. We help ambitious entrepreneurs build iconic global businesses. For more, visit www.accel.com or www.twitter.com/accel.

About Y Combinator
Y Combinator is a startup fund based in Mountain View, CA. In 2005, Y Combinator developed a new model of startup funding. Twice a year they invest a small amount of money in a large number of startups. The startups move to Silicon Valley for 3 months, and the YC partners work closely with each company to get them into the best possible shape and refine their pitch to investors. Each batch culminates in Demo Day, when the startups present their companies to a carefully selected audience of investors. Y Combinator has invested in over 2,000 companies including Airbnb, Dropbox, Stripe, Reddit, Instacart, Docker and Gusto. The combined valuation of YC companies is over $100B.

About Chapter One
Chapter One is an early stage seed fund that backs founders who are passionate about product design and building world-class products. Portfolio companies include Lyft, Cameo, Superhuman and Roman. The fund was founded by Jeff Morris Jr., formerly VP of Product at Tinder and is backed by top funds including Sequoia, Kleiner Perkins, and Bessemer Ventures Partners.