Months after Cisco bought AppDynamics for $3.7 billion, its founder is quietly building a new start-up

Key Points
  • Jyoti Bansal is now leading up continuous-delivery start-up Harness.io.
  • Early hires include a few of Bansal's former AppDynamics colleagues.
AppDynamics founder is building a new start-up

In January, Cisco bought app monitoring software company AppDynamics for $3.7 billion, one day before it was expected to go public. Now, AppDynamics founder Jyoti Bansal is working on a new start-up called Harness.io, CNBC has learned.

Bansal was AppDynamics' CEO for almost eight years before being replaced by former Adobe executive David Wadhwani in 2015, and left AppDynamics in 2016.

He first announced the existence of the new start-up in a brief LinkedIn post two weeks ago. "We are looking for senior/principal software engineers (backend infrastructure, distributed systems, and machine learning) for my new stealth start-up," he wrote.

The new start-up is focused on automating the process of testing and then deploying updates to software, a practice known as continuous delivery, a source familiar with the matter said. Amazon, Atlassian and Microsoft are among the companies that offer continuous-delivery services today. The product will be part of the broader category of "devops," a term that represents the merging of the traditionally separate roles of software developers, who write software, and operations people, who oversee the infrastructure on which those programs run. Devops software providers include Red Hat.

The Harness.io team includes founding engineer Raghvendra Singh, who previously spent four and a half years at AppDynamics, and vice president of marketing Greg Howard, who was AppDynamics' second marketing person.

The San Francisco start-up currently isn't seeking new venture capital backing, the source said, although AppDynamics did raise more than $200 million under Bansal. At the time of the Cisco acquisition, Bansal owned 14.2 percent of AppDynamics, which would have been worth around $525 million given the $3.7 billion acquisition price. The start-up is already working with some customers in beta, the source said.

Bansal declined to comment.

Before starting AppDynamics in 2008, Bansal was an architect at Wily, which was acquired by CA. While there he worked alongside Lew Cirne, who went on to be founder and CEO of AppDynamics competitor New Relic, which .