Application Security , Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning , Next-Generation Technologies & Secure Development

Snyk Buys Reviewpad to Help Developers Contribute Code Fast

Reviewpad Will Help Developers Secure Pull Requests, Vet Code Generated by AI Tools
Snyk Buys Reviewpad to Help Developers Contribute Code Fast

Snyk purchased a Portuguese startup founded by SonarSource and European Parliament veterans to help developers contribute to code bases more quickly.

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The Boston-based security vendor said its buy of Porto-based Reviewpad will help developers secure pull requests, which today are one of the biggest bottlenecks in the entire software development life cycle. The challenge will only be exacerbated by the rise of AI-powered code generation tools, and Reviewpad CEO Marcelo Sousa said pull requests will play a role in accepting changes generated by AI.

"Developers should be able to go faster without increasing the risk of introducing changes that can hurt their products, users and organizations," Sousa wrote in a blog post. "We have found Snyk's values to be aligned with our core values; bringing developers and security practitioners together so that AppSec can become developer-first."

Why Snyk Wanted Reviewpad

Reviewpad's technology embeds governance into the pull request workflow as part of the software development life cycle and automatically determines which information should be routed to which people in the company, Snyk Chief Product Officer Manoj Nair told Information Security Media Group. It make that determination based on the importance of the code and the level of developer experience.

Nair said Reviewpad will become part of Snyk's team focused on developer experience, with a quarterly cadence around how it manifests into the company's existing technology stack and capabilities. Snyk will focus more on the security aspects of Reviewpad's portfolio as it moves through closed beta, early access and general access for the new integrated capabilities based on the acquired technology, Nair said.

From a metrics standpoint, Nair said, Snyk will track figures around developer adoption of the Reviewpad capabilities as well as its impact on developer productivity and risk reduction. Automating pull request checks as part of the software development life cycle can speed up the process from days to just minutes and free up developers to work on other tasks, according to Nair.

"We saw an opportunity here to take this bottleneck of the pull request workflow to the next level of automation rather than waiting for a manual process," Nair said.

What Reviewpad Brings to the Table

Embracing AI means more code is being created than ever before and has resulted in teams being unable to keep up with the speed of code review, Nair wrote in a blog post. The rise in pull requests has forced development teams to either wait for approval or bypass reviews and risk merging insecure code, and many organizations choose speed over security to ensure they don't fall behind competitors.

"With the help of Reviewpad's amazing founders and team, we plan to redefine pull request checks and further elevate the overall developer experience on the Snyk platform," Nair wrote in the blog post. "Developers will be able to move faster than ever, while knowing that their commits are being secured by Snyk's industry-leading security intelligence."

Reviewpad, founded in 2019, employs nine people and completed a $1 million pre-seed funding round in April 2023 led by Shilling VC. Since Reviewpad's inception, former SonarSource Scientist Sousa has served as its CEO and longtime European Parliament Assistant Adriano Martins has served as its chief operating officer. Sousa will now be Snyk's director of engineering.

"We have closely followed Snyk's path and it has been an inspiration to see them disrupt the AppSec market and improve the security of software products used by millions," Sousa and Martins wrote in a blog post. "By joining Snyk, we're doubling down on our mission to positively impact developers' lives."

This is Snyk's ninth acquisition since being founded eight years ago, according to Crunchbase. The firm most recently bought application security posture management startup Enso in June to help customers govern developer security. In early 2022, Snyk purchased data analytics consultancy TopCoat Data and cloud security posture management vendor Fugue to help better manage compliance and security (see: Snyk to Acquire App Security Posture Management Startup Enso).

Amid the acquisitions, Snyk has also carried out three rounds of layoffs, axing 128 workers - or 11% of its staff - in April 2023 amid projections of challenging market conditions persisting into early 2024. Those cuts came less than six months after Snyk had laid off 198 people and less than 10 months after it had axed 30 staffers. Snyk's headcount has fallen 21.5% over the past year to just 1,116 employees today, IT-Harvest found.

About the Author

Michael Novinson

Michael Novinson

Managing Editor, Business, ISMG

Novinson is responsible for covering the vendor and technology landscape. Prior to joining ISMG, he spent four and a half years covering all the major cybersecurity vendors at CRN, with a focus on their programs and offerings for IT service providers. He was recognized for his breaking news coverage of the August 2019 coordinated ransomware attack against local governments in Texas as well as for his continued reporting around the SolarWinds hack in late 2020 and early 2021.

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