Wercker, Interview with CEO Micha Hernandez van Leuffen

Founded in 2012, Wercker is working hard to innovate the way developers to test and deploy code. The company, which just raised $1m (read here), is led by CEO Micha Hernandez van Leuffen. He joined us to answer our questions.

FinSMEs: Hello Micha, thank you for joining us. First, can you tell us a little bit more about you?
Micha: “Sure, my name is Micha Hernandez van Leuffen and I’m the cofounder and CEO of Wercker, a collaborative continuous delivery platform. I have a background as a developer. I studied computer science and wrote my Masters thesis at the University of San Francisco. I also have a Masters in Business Administration. My team and I are from Amsterdam, The Netherlands“.

FinSMEs: How did you come up with the idea of creating Wercker?
Micha: “Our team is very technically driven and we’ve all felt the pain of not having a solution like Wercker. We basically quit our jobs and decided to build it ourselves and thus started Wercker“.

FinSMEs: Tell me something more. How does it work?
Micha:Wercker integrates on the one hand with version control platforms like GitHub and Bitbucket and on the other end Infrastructure-as-a-Service providers like Amazon Web Services or Platform-as-a-Service clouds like Heroku. We are the step in the middle which is currently missing in the developer pipeline. Each time you push out new code to, say for instance, GitHub, we go ahead and fetch it and subsequently run your tests and other build steps. We give you a nice overview of the results on our dashboard, and if all is well, you are ready to deploy your application to the cloud.
Software is better developed together, so we also capture the social dynamics of software development. If someone in your team broke the code or just deployed it, we let you know through our activity feed and other forms of notifications. The whole movement of continuous delivery is about transparency and increasing developer velocity. Wercker enables both“.

FinSMEs: What’s your business model?
Micha: “Wercker is currently in private beta and free to use“.

FinSMEs: Who are the other team members?
Micha:We have an amazing team, Wouter Mooij is not only the CTO but also my co-founder. Benno van den Berg was our first engineering hire. Jacco Flenter is another engineer with a broad skill set, and the beautiful look and feel of Wercker was crafted by Lindsey Bateman, our designer“.

FinSMEs: You were part of Amsterdam-based RockStart Accelerator. Please, tell us something about that experience…
Micha:Rockstart helped us with some small seed capital after which we were part of the Mozilla WebFWD program in San Francisco. We just graduated from the Mozilla WebFWD program and pitched at their Demo Day held in San Francisco yesterday“.

FinSMEs: You just raised funding…Was it difficult? Who are the investors? what about your relationship with them?
Micha:We raised our round from Shamrock Ventures, with additional funding from Greylock Partners and Amsterdam-based MicroVC Vitulum Ventures. We went through several pitch sessions, and were assisted by Nexus Labs, a foundation that fosters innovation and helps entrepreneurs with offices in Amsterdam and Cambridge at MIT. NexusLabs assisted us with preparing out pitch and introduced us to Greylock“.

FinSMEs: how are you using the funds?
Micha: “We’ll be using the capital to expand our operations and further develop Wercker – all with the mission of increasing developer velocity worldwide“.

FinSMEs:…future plans?
Micha:Be on the lookout for some exciting news in the immediate future“.



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