Tasktop’s coffers looking tip-top as Vancouver tech company raises US$100m

Firm specializes in making software development more efficient

Mik Kersten, CEO and founder, Tasktop | BIV file photo

When Mik Kersten examined a client tapping his company’s platform for making software development more efficient, he soon realized the large insurance provider was taking 120 days to deliver any value to its customers.

“They thought, ‘Well, we have a shortage of talent and [we] need to get more developers,’” recalled the founder and CEO of Tasktop Technologies Inc. 

“We looked at how much of that time was spent in development — of actually developers doing any work — 2.5% of that time. Under three days of 120 days in development.”

Kersten said it’s a problem plaguing more and more companies as they rapidly shift towards providing technology-driven services to clients. It’s not really the number of developers, he said, but how they’re being used.

His Vancouver-based company’s platform, which helps companies visualize the development process to develop their own software more expediently, has caught the eye of major investors.

Tasktop revealed Thursday the close of a US$100-million ($126 million) funding round led by Sumeru Equity Partners with participation from previous investors.

With the close of the round, Sumeru managing directors Jason Babcoke and George Kadifa are joining Tasktop’s board of directors.

“They have this amazing track record of leadership of helping big companies all the way to IPO,” Kersten told BIV, adding the next priority for his company will be to further improve the platform and offer more analytics to clients.

“Having companies grown in Vancouver have access to this kind of financing — and hopefully this triggering more of it — I just think this is fantastic for the local ecosystem because we've had tons of seed-stage [financing], a bunch of tech giants. That middle has been lacking.”

Tasktop has a headcount of about 200 workers and Kersten said he expects to be filling out the roster with additional developers and data scientists.

Although remote working has accelerated over the past year of the pandemic and the company has some employees in the U.S. and Europe, most of Tasktop’s team remains based in southern B.C.

“We use our own tools. We use Tasktop for ourselves, so we can actually see when people move to work from home, we can actually see what the bottlenecks were and see how to best help them,” he said.

While tech companies have been effective at deploying their own developers to build software, Kersten said the same hasn’t been true for businesses more broadly as they shift to offering more of these types of services.

“It's taking months and their bottlenecks are not on development — they’re in these crazy and inefficient processes that can get in the way of developers,” he said.

“What so often happens is leadership completely overloads every one of their teams, and inundates them with work, and productivity grinds to a halt and everyone's unhappy. So we actually expose the dynamics of software you so often overlook.”