Community-led growth (CLG) has emerged as a popular mechanism for driving business, as companies strive to foster an ecosystem of fervent users that draws in new customers organically, serves as a support network for millions, and bangs a company’s drum completely off its own volition.
Now, another new company has entered the community-led growth fray with a slightly different approach to the existing players, one focused on developer communities and with open source at its core.
To help take things to the next level, Crowd.dev has just raised €2.2 million ($2.2 million) in a pre-seed round of funding led by Seedcamp and Lightbird, with participation from Possible Ventures, Angel Invest, and a handful of angel backers. On top of that, the German startup has open-sourced its core platform, a move that goes some way toward differentiating itself in an increasingly crowded space.
But first, it’s worth considering why developer-focused firms might need a dedicated platform to steer their community-led growth efforts, given that the incumbents can already be used for any community of users — including developers.
Crowd.dev CEO and cofounder Jonathan Reimer argues that the word “community” has a broad gamut of connotations, and could mean anything from from social media influencers to online learning groups. Ultimately, a “one-size-fits-all” approach doesn’t work — a company laser-focused on attracting developers will probably need different tools to a company seeking to attract creators or crypto fans.
This “verticalization” is important in terms of building a platform that people actually want to use. In the case of Crowd.dev, which is aiming to create a product that suggests actions that a user can take based on developer community data, specializing in this way allows it to better tailor its product and “build more reliable model,” as Reimer puts it, for example in terms of detecting feedback or evaluating sentiment.
“Achieving this for all kinds of communities at the same time would be incredibly hard,” Reimer said. “Developer communities have astonishing similarities, and especially for open source communities, we have access to a ton of historical training data.”
“We believe that an essential tool for developer-focused, open source companies — as community management is — should be open source itself,” Reimer said.
“They use Crowd.dev mainly to analyze community members’ engagement, spot relevant stargazers on GitHub, and create reports,” Reimer said.
In truth, Microsoft and its big tech ilk won’t be typical users, due to the fact that most of Crowd.dev’s target customers will be smaller companies seeking growth. But still, it’s an indication of the mindshare that Crowd.dev has managed to secure so far, with “several hundred organizations” joining the company’s beta product since March this year.
“Eighty percent of our users are companies between Seed and Series B that see community as one of their critical growth channels,” Reimer said.
With a fresh €2.2 million in the bank, the company said that it plans to add more applications and data integrations to the mix, before making it generally available to the public.
Meet Crowd.dev, an open source user-led growth platform for fostering developer communities by Paul Sawers originally published on TechCrunch