Greptile raises $4M to build an AI-fueled code base expert

When you look at how generative AI is being implemented across developer tools, the focus for the most part has been on generating code, as with GitHub Copilot. Greptile, an early-stage startup from a group of recent Georgia Tech grads, decided to take a different approach: using AI to help developers understand the code base.

And rather than solely using a chat interface, as most vendors have done, the startup provided another unique twist by building an API that developers could connect to the code base and build custom apps based on an AI-driven query. On Thursday, the company announced a $4 million seed round.

Greptile CEO and co-founder Daksh Gupta says the Greptile bot is like having a highly experienced coworker who has a deep understanding of your code. “So we’re building AI tools that understand large code bases at companies because as time goes on, and multiple programmers work on the codebase, it tends to get very difficult to understand,” Gupta told TechCrunch.

“The API has essentially two parameters: One is you connect the repositories that you want referenced, and it makes sure they’re indexed. Once the repositories have been indexed by the system, you add a natural language query such as, ‘How does the authentication work in this code base?’” he said.

The startup launched last July after the founders came up with the idea for the company at a hackathon. They released the product, quickly grew to around 100 customers paying $10 to $20 a month and applied and got into Y Combinator for the Winter 2024 batch.

But even prior to founding Greptile, while still in college, the founders created an enterprise feedback management chatbot and raised enough money to move to San Francisco, where they quickly learned there was a big gap in their knowledge when it came to founding a company.

“First we made the canonical mistake of focusing on attracting investors instead of actual customer needs, building things that were plausibly good startup ideas instead of looking for real problems that real people had and solving them with technology. We did all those things. And we learned the hard way we shouldn’t do that,” he said.

As they shifted their focus and got more serious, the pieces began to fall into place. “No one told us that what you’re doing is the purest form of capitalism. You’re creating value for people, so much so that they’re happy to pay you for the value you’re creating for them.”

Y Combinator drove home those lessons about being customer centric. Today, they have 500 paying customers, including individuals, teams and organizations.

As the company grows, the founders have bigger goals. “We want to provide software teams with the building blocks that they need to build custom, bespoke AI developer tools that are specific to how their system is set up,” Gupta said.

Today’s round was led by Initialized Capital with participation from various prominent industry angels.

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