Over the last decade, the modern data stack and developer platform ecosystem have undergone a major transformation. There have been broad industry shifts such as the unbundling of monolithic workloads into microservices. Cutting-edge, specialized tools have emerged in countless categories such as authentication, database, compute, and storage, among others. Developers now also have flexible architecture options such as containers, Kubernetes, static sites, and a host of modern networking protocols.
While the landscape has evolved, accessibility of these tools for cloud application developers haven’t kept pace with the rate of infrastructure and tooling innovation. Developers are excited about building applications with these new capabilities, but the process to get projects online is still tedious, expensive, and time-consuming. Incumbent options are uninspiring, inflexible, and expensive for modern developers and software teams.
Render to the rescue!
Rule of thumb: if you want to find the next great business-to-developer investment go straight to the source—developers! At our portfolio companies, engineers were clamoring for a new and better cloud solution for application development. As we built our thesis on the future of the cloud, we learned of a magical product, Render, that was winning the hearts and minds of developers by offering faster time-to-market and better performance, with modern features like HTTP/3, self-healing apps, preview environments, DDoS protection, private networking, persistent disks, and auto-deploys from Git. Across the public domain, early evangelism for Render (aligned with BVP Developer Law #5), in comparison to legacy tools, was a telltale sign they were a clear leader in the developer stack and a breakout startup we had to back. Effusive reviews highlighted Render’s empathy for their users and a true evolution of tooling that was changing the game:
Render’s rise to market
Anurag Goel, CEO and founder of Render, started the company in 2019 with the very purpose of creating the modern cloud platform for any and all apps deployed in the cloud. As Engineer #5 at Stripe and eventually becoming the company’s Head of Risk, Anurag experienced what it was like to build and scale one of the decade’s most iconic cloud startups.
On the rocketship, he grappled with the challenges of managing an organization’s varying dynamics and scaling technology platform. First hand, he knew how rapid growth can feel like both a celebration and crisis at the same time. As Stripe grew, the company dedicated over one hundred highly-specialized engineers to DevOps due to the immense complexity of hosting and deploying on tools offered by existing providers; this was inaccessible and expensive from a resource and vendor cost perspective, and also engineers found the experience painful. This infrastructure issue also prevented the organization from evolving in an agile manner.
"Whether you’re a hobbyist or a massive enterprise, building in the cloud doesn’t have to be tedious, time consuming, or clunky” shared Anurag. “Render is on a mission to build a simpler and more powerful interface to cloud computing, making full-stack app development significantly more productive.”
Render’s modern cloud offering provides the best of both worlds — incredible ease of use coupled with immense power and scalability to host everything from a simple hobby project website to complex enterprise applications with hundreds of microservices. On Render, developers simply select a service type they’d like to launch (e.g., static site, web server, Docker containers, Cron jobs, fully managed databases, and more) and click to deploy it in seconds. Services can then be automatically updated through a git push, and high-fidelity copies of production can be created on every pull request. Render streamlines the entire product development lifecycle from development, building, testing, deployment, operating, to monitoring. This means software companies of any size can deploy and ship products and features lightning fast into the cloud. And as if that wasn’t magical enough, Render does all this with an inspirational UI/UX and outstanding dev experience that feels incredibly intuitive, since it was built for developers by developers!
Render’s traction speaks for itself—without ever establishing a dedicated sales and marketing team, websites hosted on Render served over one billion visits in the past month. Powered by phenomenal organic bottoms-up developer love, Render’s platform now serves over 500,000 developers, and also offers enterprise-grade compliance and collaboration features with multi-region support to reach teams and businesses of all sizes, from early-stage venture-backed startups like Watershed to large enterprises like Red Bull.
When we met Anurag and the Render team, we were struck by their powerful vision, customer empathy, and product centricity. But most importantly, we were values-aligned. At Bessemer, we’re looking to partner with companies like Render that have the courage to challenge the status quo and redefine categories with innovation. We are beyond excited to join Anurag and the Render team on this journey to bring power, ease, and magic back the lives of developers.