Interview with Darren Rush, CEO of Koders

Last week, Google made waves with the launch of a new source code search engine, Google Code Search. Google joins several other companies aready in the space, including Santa Monica-based Koders (, a venture-backed startup that provides and online code search service and code search tools. The firm is backed by the Founders Fund, the VC arm of Paypal founders Peter Thiel and Ken Howery. We spoke with Darren Rush, CEO of Koders, to understand what the impact of Google's entry into the market has on the firm and its strategy.

Ben Kuo: Let's address the Google move first--what does the Google launch mean for you?

Darren Rush: All in all, I think we're very positive on the Google Code search announcement. It provides a lot of validation for what we've been saying since we launched at the end of 2004. We have been making great progress, and someone like Google coming into our space is valuable and important, and very good for us. The problem of indexing web content is that it hits a dead end when it hits zip files and source code archives. I would guess, that as they did an analysis they saw that source code and software content was a big challenge, and code search is just a natural evolution for them. What they've done so far is fairly different from what we do. The functionality is somewhat the same, but the focal point really started from the web content, instead of where we started, which was connecting directly to open source projects and repositories, connecting to CVS and other source control systems, and rolling out a roadmap that is not just on the open source side. We're also in the enterprise space, and we're seeing good use of our tools.

Ben Kuo: Who are your main customers?

Darren Rush: is a well trafficked site, with hundreds of thousands of unique visitors. Global 200 companies are big users of Koders, who use it to discover open source projects. On the enterprise side, we've gotten the most traction from large organizations, especially in financial services and telecommunications providers. Any company with a large software development staff can use us to improve their collaboration and visibility. It allows them to look at their asset base, and provide visibility, and solves some very specific, high value problems in the enterprise.

Ben Kuo: What does your Enterprise tool do?

Darren Rush: The enterprise version of the technology is deployed out of the box, and indexes code in Perforce, ClearCase, CVS, and Visual SourceSafe code repositories. Even if a company has standardized on a single version of source control, we find they usually have two or three version control systems in house. Our product connects to all of those systems, out of the box, and integrates with developer workflow and enterprise search products.

Ben Kuo: Remind me again how you are funded?

Darren Rush: We closed a Series A round last year, the lead investor group was the Founders Fund out of San Francisco, which is run by Ken Howry and Peter Thiel, who founded Paypal.

Ben Kuo: So how do you plan to deal with one of the "big guys" now in your space?

Darren Rush: We have been at this for awhile, and are specializing in this area. Code search is fundamentally different--the nuances are different that content-based search. We just rolled out a site update and upgrade over the weekend, and the size of our index is now 425 million lines of code. We have added addtional projects and repositories, advanced search and filtering capabilities, and deal with code as code. Source code inherently has lots of structural text, not just straight text. In a broader view, only time will tell how Google and their approach will be accepted, but we're happy to see what they're doing as they are very complementary. We certainly have a lead in this space, but we're looking beyond, which is just part of our business. We're not just indexing open source projects, but also really valuable code inside the enterprise. There's lots of value being unlocked there, and that's our big focus.

Ben Kuo: Thanks, and good luck!


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