Announcing Rome Tools, Inc.

The JavaScript ecosystem has undergone rapid evolution in the last decade. I started Babel in 2014 not knowing what I was getting myself into, and have been offered a unique perspective watching it grow. Since then we’ve had an explosion in developer tooling and seen the web take an even bigger role in application development.

Our tools haven’t caught up with this evolution though. They struggle to work together, upgrades are painful, configuration is convoluted, errors are confusing, and everything is slow. We don’t need an incremental improvement, we need to fundamentally change how this tooling is built and used.

Rome is an end-to-end development toolchain. We consolidate dozens of separate tools into one, with support for JavaScript, TypeScript, HTML, and CSS. Rome can install your dependencies, check your code for errors, run your tests, bundle your code, and more, all via a single CLI. Rome is not a collection of tools, it has been written from scratch.

Today I’m excited to announce a few changes to the project and the formation of the Rome company.

First, I’d like to welcome Jamie Kyle as cofounder for Rome. Jamie and I have worked together on Babel, Yarn, and Lerna. Jamie has been pivotal to their adoption and success, bringing a much needed product-oriented approach and user focus.

Sebastian and Jamie speaking at SFJS in July 2015

Together, we’re announcing that we’ve raised $4.5 million in seed funding, led by A.Capital Ventures and OSS Capital. We also welcome some incredible partners including Tom-Preston Werner, cofounder of GitHub; Amjad Masad, founder of Replit; and Paul St. John, former VP of Worldwide Sales at GitHub.

We are lucky to have found some amazing investors who believe in our mission and ethos. It was important to us that we worked with those that fundamentally believe in open source.

A.Capital Ventures LogoOSS Capital LogoBloomberg Beta LogoSV Angel LogoRemote First Capital

With this funding we’ll be able to commit significantly more resources to building and growing the open source project. We will be able to provide more meaningful support and larger development efforts with full-time staff. Improved documentation and consistent releases will be the most immediate change. Long-time contributors Yasser Elassal and Emanuele Stoppa will be joining the company to support these efforts.

Rome is an open source first company. The company exists to support the open source project, not the other way around. We don’t believe in placing artificial constraints on the tool or having functionality behind a paywall. In order to support the open source project, we’ll be building supplemental products and services. This aligns our incentives with the community and our open source users, with a focus on interoperability, performance, and usability.

We’re excited for what’s next! Expect a lot of movement as we grow over the coming months and fit into our new identity. Let’s get into it.

— Jamie and Sebastian