CodeLingo is a Dunedin based startup that plans to help change the way software engineering teams scale without sacrificing code quality. CodeLingo’s toolset gives engineers the ability to track patterns across their codebase allowing them to measure and manage their ‘technical debt’.
Jesse Meek, CEO and Founder of CodeLingo, discussed with us his journey so far and working with Simmonds Stewart during their recent cap raise.
The idea for CodeLingo stemmed from an issue Jesse experienced when working as part of an engineering team at Canonical, the company behind Ubuntu. As the team scaled, code quality issues began to develop in the codebase, despite the fact that each engineer had over a decade’s worth of coding experience.
After discovering this issue was experienced industry wide, Jesse seized the opportunity to create a toolset which would allow engineers to scale their codebase quickly without jeopardising its quality. As a result, features would be able to be delivered to customers in a timely manner while managing ‘technical debt’ – a concept which reflects the extra development required when easy to implement code is used in the short run, instead of the best overall solution.
Jesse decided to take 3 months off work to pursue this as a personal project.
The first challenge was setting up the business, something which Jesse admitted to having limited knowledge about. Tactfully, he decided to work in a local incubator, surrounded by other resident startups who were able to offer guidance.
Things progressed and Jesse soon found himself partnering with a local businessman who was interested in bankrolling CodeLingo. Unfortunately, while their conversations were promising, a monetary commitment was never made. His 3 month ‘sabbatical’ was quickly drawing to an end and he was now confronted with the challenge of seeking capital elsewhere.
In need of advice, Jesse got in touch with SuchCrowd co-founder and peer mentor, Jacob Manning, who connected him with Andrew Simmonds.
I jumped on the phone with Andrew and explained the situation. Within the space of a day he turned my whole life around. He introduced me to his networks which I am indebted to, says Jesse. CodeLingo was able to secure funding from two investors in Andrew’s network, both with deep experience in software development and commercialisation of technical software.
Jesse says, the technical input I’ve received from my investors has been at least as important as the money they provided – working with them has been like being part of a much bigger team, something I missed a great deal when I left Canonical.
Simmonds Stewart helped Jesse through the process of finalizing this investment. Jesse admits, I did fumble the ball a few times during the conversation. Andrew picked me back up, got me back on track and brought the other parties back into the conversation to make the next steps. I wouldn’t be in the position I am today if it wasn’t for the work Andrew did.
In the near future, Jesse plans to utilise his software engineer contacts in San Francisco to test a beta version of the CodeLingo toolset. From there, a larger capital raising is likely to complete the development of a commercial release version.
Simmonds Stewart is delighted to have supported CodeLingo so far, and we look forward to helping Jesse and the team on the rest of their journey.
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