ngrok Raises $50M for Ingress Without Infrastructure

December 13, 2022
min read
Alan Shreve
Cover Image for ngrok Raises $50M for Ingress Without Infrastructure

I released the first version of ngrok in 2013 with a simple goal: help developers build with webhooks. At the time, I had no idea it would blossom into the phenomenon it is today. 5 million developers across the globe have built with ngrok. The world’s leading software companies recommend ngrok in their documentation. ngrok runs everywhere: powering the APIs you consume daily to the point-of-sale systems where you order your morning coffee.

ngrok’s path to date has been unconventional, to say the least. We have grown organically, spreading solely by word of mouth when developers recommend us to their peers. But more exceptional than that, ngrok has never raised any capital. I’m tremendously proud that everything we’ve achieved at ngrok has been entirely funded with customer revenue. It speaks volumes about the company's ethos: we are focused on delivering real value to real customers.

Today, ngrok is growing faster than ever. To meet that increasing demand, we’re thrilled to announce our first-ever fundraising round of $50 million, led by Lightspeed Venture Partners with participation from Coatue Management. We’ve raised this round to scale ngrok’s business across the board and to dramatically increase our investment in delivering new products for ngrok developers.

Ingress as a Service

Since ngrok’s initial release, software development has evolved substantially, but our mission to empower developers has not.

As an industry, we are building more apps and APIs than ever before, and we’re deploying them into new environments. We’ve discovered that when it’s time to deliver to customers, developers are bogged down using primitive tools designed for a different era. Application developers are using the ‘assembly language’ of networking. We’re still fumbling about with ports and IPs, DNS, and firewall configurations. It’s not unlike asking us to write files by directly manipulating inodes and blocks on disk. It’s slowing us down.

ngrok is uniquely positioned to help developers get back to solving business problems by making application delivery as easy as we made local development. ngrok began with creating an instant, secured ingress to development environments, and now we’re bringing that same simplicity to your production apps and APIs.

We call ngrok ingress-as-a-service because instead of taping together chains of proxies, firewalls, routing configurations, gateways, and middleware, ngrok collapses those networking primitives into a single, unified layer of global infrastructure that we’ve operationalized for you.

We call ngrok a platform because instead of expecting the environment to provide ingress, we’re empowering application developers to declare the ingress they want to receive in the apps themselves. With a single command or line of code, an API might describe the configuration for the domains it wants to listen on, the authentication to enforce, and what load balancing topology to use.

ngrok decouples ingress from the environment where apps run. Your apps receive ingress exactly the same way no matter what environment you deploy them to: AWS, your own data center, serverless functions, CI containers, your laptop, or an IoT device.

What’s next?

It’s natural to wonder what this change means for ngrok, so let me be clear: our mission to empower developers has not changed. Our focus on delivering magical developer experiences has not changed. We’re simply executing faster and delivering more.

This year, we tripled the size of our team and launched Cloud Edge, Secure Tunnels, and an API-first programmable platform to deliver that vision to the world. And we’re just getting started. Keep an eye out in January on the ngrok blog and ngrok’s GitHub org for exciting new product releases. We can’t wait to share what’s next.

<3 inconshreveable + the ngrok team

Share this post
Alan Shreve
Alan Shreve is no stranger to building distributed systems at scale. He organically grew ngrok from zero to 5 million users before raising a $50 million Series A. He’s dedicated to empowering developers to build a safer and more secure internet.