Refactoring refers to the process of restructuring code to improve design, structure, and implementation without changing external behavior. With the increased usage of external and complex code structures, refactoring although not typically a part of the software development lifecycle is critical as software invariably decays over time even if unchanged. However, the process of refactoring often is so intensive that many organizations, especially for larger enterprises, that they often leave their codebases as is, creating more significant problems down the road. Grit is an AI-powered solution that creates workflows that allows for the automatic maintenance of codebases at scale. The platform starts by analyzing the entire codebase holistically to find what needs to be modified and then autogenerates the subsequent updates. Other platforms tend to focus on making file-by-file changes without considering the context of the whole codebase and its functionality. Grit is very useful for migrations and includes a library of 40+ default migrations that have reduced migration times for beta customers by 10x, saving organizations valuable resources and time without accumulating technical debt.
AlleyWatch caught up with Grit Founder and CEO Morgante Pell to learn more about the business, the company’s strategic plans, recent round of funding, and much, much more…
Who were your investors and how much did you raise?
Grit launched with $7M in Seed funding led by Founders Fund and Abstract Ventures with support from Quiet Capital, 8VC, A* Capital, AME Cloud Ventures, SV Angel, Operator Partners, CoFound Partners, and Uncorrelated Ventures. Our angel investors include Vercel’s Guillermo Rauch, Adobe’s Scott Belsky, and entrepreneur Sahil Bloom.
Tell us about the product or service that Grit offers.
What inspired the start of Grit?
Before starting Grit, I led development of different onboarding and infrastructure tools at Google Cloud. One of the biggest blockers our customers hit in cloud adoption was the amount of toil in modernizing legacy software—meaning lots of it ends up being left to decay and ultimately cause catastrophes. With advances in AI, I realized we could delegate a lot of this rote code transformation work to intelligent agents.
How is Grit different?
We seamlessly combine static analysis and artificial intelligence to deliver results at scale. Other tools allow you to generate one file at a time, but they lack the context of the whole codebase to intelligently make large-scale changes. With Grit, we are able to analyze the entire codebase at once to find components that need to be modified and auto-generate the necessary transformations.
What market does Grit target and how big is it?
We’re targeting the billions of lines of code that power our whole economy, from banks to delivery services. Companies spend over $100B a year on maintaining existing software.
What’s your business model?
We provide our software as a paid service to enterprise customers.
How are you preparing for a potential economic slowdown?
The AI space is accelerating, rather than slowing down, so we mostly see strong tailwinds. In fact, as businesses aim for financial efficiency, Grit is well-positioned to lower the cost of maintenance.
What was the funding process like?
I shared the vision behind Grit with investors and they pretty quickly came on board with it.
What are the biggest challenges that you faced while raising capital?
Our product is highly technical, so it took some refinement for me to explain the vision to investors with more of a financial background.
What factors about your business led your investors to write the check?
Investors have seen many companies struggle with technical debt and modernization projects, so the need for a product like Grit was clear, and the opportunity to apply AI to this problem was particularly compelling.
What are the milestones you plan to achieve in the next six months?
What advice can you offer companies in New York that do not have a fresh injection of capital in the bank?
Every company should be looking for more opportunities to adopt AI to streamline operations—we use AI not just in our product, but also in recruiting, sales, and marketing. The latest models make it really easy to accomplish incredible feats with minimal capital.
Where do you see the company going now over the near term?
We’re excited to see more developers adopt our product and see all the different AI-enabled workflows they discover.
What’s your favorite summer destination in and around the city?
Every summer, I like to go on a short backpacking trip on the Appalachian Trail, right off Metro-North.