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Kinde, a Sydney-based startup developing tech infrastructure for software-as-a-service (SaaS) companies, today announced that it raised $10.6 million in a seed round led by Blackbird Ventures with participation from Felicis Ventures. The closure of the round coincides with the launch of Kinde’s early accelerator program, which gives founders free access to the company’s user management and authentication platform for SaaS products.

Kinde — which was cofounded by Atlassian, Campaign Monitor, and Shopify veteran CEO Chaldecott Ross and two of his ex-Campaign Monitor colleagues, Dave Berner and Evgeny Komarevtsev — aims to simplify the process of turning existing or new software into SaaS offerings. Ross sees his startup’s mission as “democratizing software” by helping to shorten the distance between having an idea and getting it into the hands of customers.

“Founding a startup is hard. Before early-stage founders can start on their product, they spend valuable time and money building essential infrastructure,” Chaldecott said in a statement. “Our mission is to reinvent the way that software teams get started, with infrastructure that they can build on top of, allowing them to focus on what makes their business unique. Giving them access to this technology — that historically only established businesses could afford — means they can accelerate from day one.”

Supporting SaaS development

SaaS adoption in the enterprise continues to grow at an accelerating pace. In a 2021 survey, LeanIX found that 70% of IT leaders report “strong” SaaS growth over the past two years — in some cases doubling the number of SaaS applications in use over that time. One source estimates that the SaaS industry reached $171.9 billion in worth toward the end of 2021.

But while there’s a healthy appetite for SaaS, it hasn’t become easier to bring SaaS products to market. Among other aspects, SaaS companies have to consider aspects like how to comply with data protection requirements, payment processing, update mechanisms, third-party service integration, and time and cost management.

Kinde’s product includes tools for these companies to authenticate and manage their user bases, create feature flags for managing access within their products, and build feature plans for billing their customers. The company, which is accepting requests from startups wanting to join its early accelerator program, hopes to partner with accelerators and tech bootcamps to offer additional support to entrepreneurs, according to Chaldecott.

“We have an MVP ready for early stage businesses, but still have a lot of product to build and need to assemble a team to do this. We will also be building the operational side of the business to take the product to market, support it and build community and ecosystem around it,” Chaldecott told VentureBeat via email. “We’re growing fast considering we’re only four months old. This investment allows us to invest heavily in growing our team. We’re currently a team of eight but aim to be around 50 in the next 18 months”

Kinde competes against SaaS consultancies like Pulse Solutions, Bursys, and e-Zest, which work with customers to ideate and launch SaaS products. But Chaldecott claims that Kinde’s self-service tools — and expertise — differentiate it from what’s available on the market today.

“Most SaaS businesses build their infrastructure organically or bring together different solutions to do what they need. In time, this translates into systems that are hard to scale, don’t work that well together, and are full of custom code to make them do what is needed. Kinde aims to replace this all with a simple, highly scalable and performant infrastructure layer that empowers leaders across the business to run and manage users, features and plans in a single place,” Chaldecott added. “This will massively reduce the cost and time involved in maintaining and running SaaS infrastructure.”

Time will tell whether customers agree.

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