Undo software ‘turns back time’

Undo Software, producers of debugging tools that could save the industry $81.1bn a year by ‘turning back time’ to find the origins of software problems, has announced it has raised $2m in funding from Cambridge Innovation Capital (CIC), Cambridge Angels, Jaan Tallinn (co-founder of Skype) and Sir Peter Michael (founder of Classic FM), to accelerate its growth.

Undo Software was founded by programmers Greg Law and Julian Smith out of frustration with the lack of a good debugging tool for Linux, the most widely used computer operating system for enterprise. Almost 50% of a developer’s time is spent fixing bugs and this is particularly problematic if the issues occur after the software is released and operational on a customer site.

Undo’s core technology is a ‘black box’ that allows an application to record itself as it runs, and then save a copy of that recording. If the program crashes the recording can be sent back to the software developer and then replayed to see how and when the problem occurred without the need to recreate it. The strength of Undo was recognised by Cambridge Angel Dr Robert Brady, founder of Brady PLC, the leading global provider of trading, risk management and settlement solutions. This led to a seed funding in 2012 closely followed by a larger funding round a year later when Dr Brady, now chairman, was joined on the board by Robert Swann, co-founder of Alphamosaic (acquired by Broadcom).

Undo has done something truly unique. Various research projects over the past few decades have tried to do what the team has achieved, but this is the first time the concept has been developed in a usable, scalable way.

 Dr Robert Brady

CIC is a new investor in the latest round; it was established by Cambridge Enterprise as a University affiliated fund to provide long-term, follow-on capital to companies with disruptive technologies originating in the Cambridge cluster. This is the first time CIC has invested alongside Cambridge Angels and Victor Christou, Senior Investment Director of CIC, says that this model will help to address the ‘funding gap’ experienced by many early stage, potentially high growth companies.

“Angel support is invaluable for early stage companies as it provides very high-risk capital, resources and access to the contacts that are essential in the formative days of an enterprise. However, many founders reach a point where they need more resources than the angels are able to provide and the company development stalls. At CIC, we aim to play a leading role guiding management and shareholders through this transition into institutional investment.

We plan to use the investment to accelerate our expansion and become a major global player.

Greg Law

“Our investment in Undo is a perfect example. It is made alongside Cambridge Angels and has strengthened our relationship with this influential investor group. Hopefully, it will provide a template for future interactions and pave the way for many more promising Cambridge Cluster businesses to raise growth funding rounds.” Dr Robert Brady, Cambridge Angel and Undo chairman, comments that the global market potential is enormous: “Undo has done something truly unique. Various research projects over the past few decades have tried to do what the team has achieved, but this is the first time the concept has been developed in a usable, scalable way. “Customers have been able to use the products to solve difficult problems that it is just not practical to solve using other techniques. It is trusted by companies such as ARM and Rogue Wave who integrate Undo into their solutions for shipping to their customers.”

Greg Law, CEO and Co-founder of Undo Software, says the last twelve months has seen significant expansion for the company: “Until last year the company was literally five people in a garden shed. Now we have grown our international sales, with most of our customers in Silicon Valley, and launched two new products: Live Recorder, which allows remote debugging, and Out-and-About, which supports a new way of licensing the software. We have also attracted investors such as Jaan Talinn, co-founder of Skype as an investor which is a powerful endorsement of the company.” Undo has also expanded its team including the recent appointment of Elan Tanzer (previously at ARM) as Vice-President of Marketing, and Mike Wittingham Vice-President of Sales (previously at Canonical, the maker of Ubuntu Linux). Law says: “We plan to use the investment to accelerate our expansion and become a major global player.”

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