Harness Catches Split.io While Betting on Feature Indicators and Experiments

DevOps startup Harness has proven to be an ambitious company, building a broad platform of services while also dabbling in mergers and acquisitions when it made sense to complete functionality. On Wednesday, the company announced it was ready for a much bigger M&A deal, acquiring startup Split.io for an undisclosed amount of money.

Harness founder and CEO Jyoti Bansal admits that Split is a larger company than the one he bought in the past, without disclosing the purchase price. However, it’s worth noting that Split raised over $100 million before the sale was announced today.

“The feature flag is a way for developers to implement a new feature and control who has access to it, so they can reduce the risk of a new code change,” Bansal told TechCrunch.

So what does Split have to offer that Harness’ organically developed feature flagging tool is missing? Well, quite a bit, according to Bansal.

“We launched our feature flag on our platform in 2021. But we are very excited to bring Split and combine it with the Harness platform. Split has been one of the most advanced and mature feature signaling capabilities,” he said. “Where Split does a great job is allowing developers to run experiments with it. For example, they can run experiments with 1% of users to see what kind of impact it has on app conversion rates.”

Forrester analyst Christopher Condo says that’s a key, sophisticated differentiator for Split. “It allows users to perform audience segmentation in combination with a feature indicator and, very importantly, Split has a statistical engine to perform benchmarking experiments in production,” he said.

Brian Bell, CEO of Split, says the idea of ​​combining with the Harness DevOps platform was attractive in a maturing market. “What has happened in the market is that it has continued to mature. I mean, it’s still a huge market. It is still early in the evolution of that market. “Every developer is waking up, if they haven’t already, and realizing that you can’t really write code reliably and you can’t do it quickly if you don’t have a truly feature management platform.” powerful,” Bell said. .

The company’s main competitor in this space is LaunchDarkly, which has raised more than $330 million.

It remains to be seen how this will affect Split customers, especially those using a different DevOps platform, Condo says. “For a customer that already has a DevOps toolchain, I think their biggest question should be how this merger will impact Split’s price, quality, and service,” Condo told TechCrunch.

“It will be interesting to see if Harness can sell additional modules to Split users, such as some of its FinOps-related capabilities. As for staying independent, the general trend is consolidation in the DevOps space, so no customer should be surprised if the best tool they are using is acquired by one of the big tool vendors.”

Bell believes it has done the right thing by its customers, investors and employees. He says most employees hadn’t heard about it when we spoke last week because it hadn’t been officially announced yet, but those who had were excited about the outcome.

“Is this the right thing for customers? I think it absolutely is. And investors too. I mean, investors are bullish on the market. “I don’t think we are disclosing the structure of the deal, but they are excited about this, excited about us, and very happy with this outcome in this market,” he said.

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