Kyle Wiggers – April 27, 2020
Companies like Codota seem to be getting a lot of investor attention lately, and there’s a reason. According to a study published by the University of Cambridge’s Judge Business School, programmers spend 50.1% of their work time not programming; the other half is debugging. And the total estimated cost of debugging is $312 billion per year. AI-powered code suggestion and review tools, then, promise to cut development costs substantially while enabling coders to focus on more creative, less repetitive tasks.
Codota’s cloud-based and on-premises solutions — which it claims are used by developers at Google, Alibaba, Amazon, Airbnb, Atlassian, and Netflix — complete lines of code based on millions of Java programs and individual context locally, without sending any sensitive data to remote servers. They surface relevant examples of Java API within integrated development environments (IDE) including Android Studio, VSCode, IntelliJ, Webstorm, and Eclipse, and Codota’s engineers vet the recommendations to ensure they’ve been debugged and tested.
Codota says the program analysis, natural language processing, and machine learning algorithms powering its platform learn individual best practices and warn of deviation, largely by extracting an anonymized summary of the current IDE scope (but not keystrokes or string contents) and sending it via an encrypted connection to Codota. The algorithms are trained to understand the semantic models of code — not just the source code itself — and trigger automatically whenever they identify useful suggestions. (Alternatively, suggestions can be manually triggered with a keyboard shortcut.)
Codota is free for individual users — the company makes money from Codota Enterprise, which learns the patterns and rules in a company’s proprietary code. The free tier’s algorithms are trained only on vetted open source code from GitHub, StackOverflow, and other sources.
Codota acquired competitor TabNine in December last year, and since then, its user base has grown by more than 1,000% to more than a million developers monthly. That positions it well against potential rivals like Kite, which raised $17 million last January for its free developer tool that leverages AI to autocomplete code, and DeepCode, whose product learns from GitHub project data to give developers AI-powered code reviews.
This latest funding round — which was led by e.ventures, with the participation of existing investor Khosla Ventures and new investors TPY Capital and Hetz Ventures — came after seed rounds totaling just over $2.5 million. It brings Codota’s total raised to over $16 million. As a part of it, e.ventures general partner Tom Gieselmann will join Codota’s board of directors.
Codota is headquartered in Tel Aviv. It was founded in 2015 by Weiss and CTO Eran Yahav, a Technion professor and former IBM Watson Fellow.