With $8.6M in seed funding, Nx wants to take monorepos mainstream • TechCrunch

Narwhal, the company behind the popular monorepo-based open source Nx build system for JavaScript code, has announced that it has raised $8.6 million in seed funding co-led by Nexus Venture Partners and Andreesen Horowitz. Several angel investors participated in this round, including GitHub founder Tom Preston-Werner.

Founded by two former Google employees in the Angular team, Jeff Cross (CEO) and Viktor Savkin (CTO), it began as an Angular consulting shop, helping large banks, airlines, and other enterprises — companies that typically use Angular. . Cross told me, it’s working with Capital One that led the team to pursue Nx and turn that into the company’s flagship product. At that time, the concept of monorepos was already familiar to them, thanks to their work at Google, which uses one of the world’s largest monorepos to manage its codebase.

Image Credits: Nx

“They had their entry team,” Cross explained. “If you go into CapitalOne.com, it’s seven lines of business building one unified application — and it’s split into multiple repositories, they couldn’t coordinate across deployments, they couldn’t really coordinate across anything. And they really needed MonoRepo. And so we built Nx as a use case, and then from these big We have made it work with other clients who have been in most of the companies.

Cross believes that monorepos are inherently easier for large teams to manage. The founders are screwed at Google because thanks to monorepo, any developer can build any part of Google’s codebase with minimal effort. Everything, after all, used the same tool chain and test infrastructure. Meanwhile, having multiple teams working on different repositories creates a lot of friction, as the teams then have to build a common API – and create a new repository for it, create the integration process, and figure out how to publish that. “With publishing, every company inevitably adds an edition to its publication. So it’s never ‘let’s print every word and it’s instantly updated in the repository’. It’s like: ‘Let’s print it, this is a breaking change, is it a small one, or do we use a space to say this is a patch? And that’s what’s happening in most companies is they never really have time to update it,” Cross said.

So the idea behind Nx is to give every company the tools to manage their JavaScript monorepos and migrate to one if necessary.

As Cross explained, the open source Nx Project and Nx Cloud help companies organize their code in these massive repositories using Nx’s concept of project graphs. It’s worth noting that EnX was inspired by Google’s Basel build and test system, so it includes some common features, such as the ability to distribute compute and task execution across multiple machines. Cross cites a large retail organization the company is currently working with that has transitioned to an EnX Enterprise product and now saves more than 40,000 hours of computing time per month with its distributed caching system. One of the nicest features of Nx (and Basel, to be fair) is that when two developers are trying to do the same tasks, it checks if there’s already a cached version.

Narwhal/Nx already has a hosted service (Nx Cloud) and an enterprise version as its core products, so it’s a bit ahead of most open source companies. Given the type of large enterprise customers that Nx serves, it’s no surprise that Nx allows them to run their services independently and in isolation from external APIs.

The company currently has more than 30 employees in the group, which is mostly remote. 25 of them are engineers.

Most recently, Narwhal took over the stewardship of Lerna.js, a popular open source JavaScript monorepo tool that has been somewhat neglected in the past. Narwhal now features critical bug fixes and security improvements for it.

Abhishek Sharma, Managing Director, Nexus Venture Partners, said, “MonoRepo adoption is exploding worldwide, driven by benefits such as ease of collaboration, shared codebase visibility, dependency management and reproducibility. However, as a monorepo scale, a solid tool will be necessary to manage them, and build time will be a critical factor. This is where Nx shines. We were drawn to Nx because of its world-class team, category leadership, strong developer community and massive global adoption: from startups to Fortune 500 companies. Thanks to Jeff and Victor for choosing us as their partner for this trip.

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