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VMblog Expert Interview: Tomer Barnea Explores Novu, the Open Source Notification Infrastructure for Developers


In this VMblog Q&A, we spoke to industry expert Tomer Barnea, Co-Founder and CEO of Novu, the creators of the open-source notification infrastructure for developers.

VMblog:  As we begin, can you provide some context for our readers by explaining what Novu does?

Tomer Barnea:  Novu builds an open-source notification infrastructure to help engineering teams to create the best-in-class notification experiences in their products. By taking away the heavy lifting of building and maintaining those systems in-house, and at the same time leveraging the knowledge aggregated from hundreds of tech companies who invested millions, to build those systems internally.

VMblog:  Talk about the background of the founders.

Barnea:  Myself and Dima Grossman, are working together as co-founders for the past 9 years, bootstrapped and created a couple of businesses together. In all of our previous ventures, it was really hard to make product notifications like the big tech companies. There was no product available off the shelf to buy, and we ended up building it internally. Speaking with other tech companies it was clear that we were not the only ones. This was the beginning of Novu.

VMblog:  What problem does Novu solve?

Barnea:  Novu solves the need of building and maintaining product-to-customer communication tools, a growing need amongst PLG, commerce, SaaS, and many other companies. In the time of the proliferation amongst communication channels, the task of orchestrating them falls on the engineering teams to solve.

VMblog:  Can you talk about the developer experience you get when you use Novu?

Barnea:  Novu gives developers the best practices they need to solve complex problems relevant to product communication. On top of that, it gives the developer the ability to quickly change communication providers (Sendgrid, Maingun, Twilio, Plivo..) by providing a level of abstraction, thus removing the traditional vendor locking. Last thing, is maintaining this new infrastructure is much easier: no more hardcoded content, no more re-deployment needed to update content, and no more "Hello null" being sent by accident. Novu creates a set of API's and components to make the developer experience around product communication easier.

VMblog:  What are some ideal use cases for Novu?

Barnea:  While Novu is an infrastructure solution, so there is actually no product and industry coupling, we found out that apps featuring collaboration, monitoring and reporting platforms, project management, CRM, marketplaces, and B2C companies have a lot to gain as product communication is a central piece in them.

VMblog:  You recently raised $6.6 million in venture funding. Who are your investors and how do you plan to use those funds?

Barnea:  Novu has raised $6.6 million in seed funding led by Crane Venture Partners, Eniac, Entrée Capital, Ariel Maislos and a variety of individual angel investors. We're developing a notification infrastructure that enables developers and product teams to provide their customers with the best possible notification experience.

VMblog:  Can you provide a general product roadmap for Novu over the next 12 months?

Barnea:  Currently, we are releasing the alpha version of the Novu platform and building our new roadmap. Being an open-source company, all of our handbooks are public, and we update our community on the progress regularly on our Discord server, GitHub and Twitter.

Published Wednesday, May 11, 2022 8:00 AM by David Marshall
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