Home » Codemotion announces an 8 million euro round: “We were about to fail, we reinvented ourselves”

Codemotion announces an 8 million euro round: “We were about to fail, we reinvented ourselves”

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Codemotion announces an 8 million euro round: “We were about to fail, we reinvented ourselves”

They go through very tough years, they change their business models, they do what in startup jargon is called a pivot. They start almost from scratch (“yes, we were about to fail”). And today they are announcing an 8 million euro round. That of Codemotion, a scaleup created by two developers who managed to transform their developer conferences into a matching platform for selection of IT profiles, is a story of great transformation. Between the before and after, there is the lockdown in between.

The new round, which brings the total funding at 15.5 million euros, is led by Sinergia Venture Fund, a venture capital fund specializing in B2B scaleups. It sees the confirmed confidence of old investors and the entry of an American fund.

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“The pandemic for us who held large tech conferences around Europe was a punch in the face. In that terrible 2020, we had expected to invoice 7 million, of which more than 5 from major events. But in mid-April, after closing a round 15 days earlier, we realized we were going to lose everything. I woke up that morning and I couldn’t even breathe for fear. I decided to react, to look at change as an opportunity and to accelerate”. Clare Russo (in the picture) is co-founder and CEO of Codemotion. He created the largest community of tech developers in Europe. A network that involves 250,000 active professionals, figures that are difficult for companies to select and retain: “Today we are a platform that supports, on the one hand, the professional growth of developers, offering them updates and training, and on the other, it helps companies find professionals right to digitize.The market of developers is a very fast growing market. There is incredible demand in Europe. Exceeds the offer. All companies, of all sizes, are desperate for developers.”

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Codemotion’s new business model is B2B. The matchmaking service it’s called Codemotion Talent. A machine learning algorithm creates the perfect match between the aspirations of developers and the requests of companies: “Artificial intelligence makes an initial match between supply and demand but then human intelligence enters the field. We support companies from the moment where they attract developers”. In a world where everything is based on technology, the developers are for Chiara the true pioneers. Those who build the future: “Lines of code are the basis of the largest space missions, but they are also in everyday life, when we shop online or pay with open banking”. And coding has always been his passion. Child prodigy, at the age of 8 she sits in front of a Commodore 64 and writes her first line of code. In high school, she dreams of creating software that impacts people’s lives. She then she chooses computer engineering to really try to do it. She is the only girl among 250 male classmates. She graduates and starts working as a developer for a Roman company. At 25 you are already a project manager. One day you go to the university for a lunch with former professors. That same day, Mara Marzocchi, now co-founder, calls those professors to say that she is unable to organize the Java Daya small event dedicated to Java technology scheduled at the University of Rome 3: “Why don’t you give Mara a hand?, they asked me. I replied: Introduce her to me”.

Codemotion was born like this, “for a pure case of sliding doors: we were two developers with the dream of creating a moment of quality discussion for us and the developers in general. It was a hobby, to which we devoted all our free time for 3 years. In 2013 we decided to turn it into a business. They called us from abroad to replicate that conference model we did in Rome. We started organizing conferences all over Europe. Berlin, Warsaw, Amsterdam, but also Tel Aviv. We have built a very strong developer community. In 2017, once the first round was closed, we started thinking like a real startup. In those years, we already had the idea of ​​creating something more than a conference, a content platform to be close to developers every day”.

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Suddenly, however, the pandemic arrives. Chiara and Mara manage to close a round. They’re happy. They give interviews, they have the first aperitif on Zoom to celebrate with the team: “Then, suddenly, locked up at home, we understood that everything was skipping. 2020 has been a crazy year. We never gave up. In 2021 we started again rolling up our sleeves. All roles upset, everyone went all out. And the community came to our aid to develop lines of code and help us accelerate. In 3 months we made the first online version of the new platform. It was a job that took two years.”

How did you do it? “I started out as an entrepreneur without ever studying business or doing acceleration programs. Passion and a pinch of madness helped me to go forward. There were many difficult moments even before the coronavirus, because we collided with the international market. Too often you think that if you have a model that works in Italy it can also work elsewhere. It is not so. We made a lot of mistakes.”

Again: “During those months, I too, who am a very sociable person, started to close myself off. Changing the business model of a company with already 50 employees it’s not like starting from scratch. It’s worse. It’s more difficult. But I learned so much because I learned to ask for help. I never did. I always said It’s okay, even though inside I was dying. And, surprise, that day in front of entrepreneur friends for the first time at Come va? I replied with Bad, I need help. And the response I’ve received is incredible.”

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The new round, which also sees the participation of Azimut Digitech Fund (with Gellify as advisor), Primo Ventures, P101 and CDP Venture Capital, and the entry of Endeavor Catalyst, is focused on product development, internationalization and small acquisitions: “We have a huge expansion plan abroad. We hire every day. Today we have 62 employees. But I’m no longer afraid. I’ve learned that I’m not invincible. And that taking this trip with someone close is more beautiful. With entrepreneurs at the your same level, share stomach aches.With who is a little more avanti, you learn the way. With whom is more backwards, return. And helping younger startups feels so good.”

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