Geneva-based startup SonarSource raises 412 million and becomes a “quadruple unicorn” –

Geneva-based startup SonarSource raises 412 million and becomes a "quadruple unicorn" -


Switzerland has a new unicorn. Geneva-based computer company SonarSource has announced a $ 4.7 billion market capitalization, with the arrival of new US investors. Its products allow computer encoders to write more efficient and cleaner software.

On the roof of the IKEA store in Vernier (GE), start-ups no longer look like these young shoots in search of success. It has 180 employees in Geneva and 120 are distributed between France, Germany, Texas and soon in Singapore.

Above all, the computer code company, which already had a turnover of 150 million francs, has just become a “unicorn” – a nickname given to technology companies worth more than $ 1 billion. A turnover of 412 million is valued at $ 4.7 billion. “We are unicorn four times, almost five times,” smiles his very discreet boss, Olivier Godin.

The co-founder of the start-up in 2008 is now targeting one billion in turnover and is considering an IPO. But not immediately: “Economically, we are well past the moment we could enter the Nasdaq, for example. Our product is of very good quality. marketing.

Used by NASA

Its product is not known to the general public, but is aimed at software developers. Nearly 5 million now use SonarSource products and approximately 300,000 businesses. These include IBM, Microsoft, Barclays, Alphabet or NASA.

Branded users, as a guarantee for the quality of the solutions offered in the city at the end of Lake Geneva. According to Olivier Gaudin, the performance of a software is determined by the source code: “Fifteen years ago, no one looked at the quality of a source code, we were content to clean up leaks after a flood,” he explains.

Poor quality source code will cause problems such as difficulty reading code, errors, or security vulnerabilities. Its products would allow computer encoders to write not only more efficient software, without errors and vulnerabilities, but also to “clean up” the flaws of the past.

Possibility of savings

These “pure code” or “pure code” tools in French are potentially of interest to a huge global market. And at the same time it attracts investors. These include Advent International, General Catalyst, Insight Partners and Permira Growth Opportunities.

Deep Nishar, director of General Catalyst, an American venture capital firm, seems convinced of his investment. “All the companies in the world integrate software for the production of their goods and services.”

Therefore, the market is global. In a context of lack of developers, their productivity could increase by 30%, according to him: “A software developer spends on average almost 60% of his time to” unlock “someone else’s code! Write immediately better “Code, for themselves and for the groups that follow. If you write good code right away, the potential savings are significant.”

With these new investors, the youngest Swiss unicorn hopes to multiply its growth by 10. The goal is not utopian, because its market is large. It’s that of the 70 million computer programmers in a world where software is becoming increasingly important.

Pascal Jeannerat and Feriel Mestiri


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