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Amazon Acquire Fig, a Command Line Startup to Enhances Developer Experience

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Amazon has made a strategic move in the tech realm by acquiring Fig, a startup that specializes in optimizing the command line terminal experience. The announcement comes through a blog post written by Fig’s CEO and co-founder, Brendan Falk. According to Falk, Amazon will acquire Fig’s technology, while its talented team, including both co-founders, will become part of Amazon Web Services, Amazon’s cloud subsidiary.

Although the specific financial terms of the deal have not been disclosed, Fig, founded in 2020 in San Francisco, had secured over $2 million in funding. This suggests that Amazon’s investment is likely to be a prudent one. Notably, Fig boasts support from prominent backers such as Y Combinator (YC), General Catalyst, Olivier Pomel (CEO of Datadog), Kevin Hartz (founder of Eventbrite), and Jason Warner (former CTO of GitHub).

Fig’s primary offering is an advanced tool called “autocomplete,” designed to provide real-time suggestions and explanations as developers type commands in the terminal. This feature aims to expedite workflows, minimize repetitive keystrokes, and ultimately enhance productivity. Despite the prevalence of graphical user interfaces (GUIs), many developers still prefer the command line interface (CLI) due to its flexibility, speed, and resource efficiency.

Fig’s mission revolves around bridging the gap between the CLI and integrated development environments (IDEs). The company’s services include a free tier for individual users and small teams, along with premium plans catering to larger enterprises. However, with Amazon’s acquisition, Fig has decided to make all its paid features available for free to existing users.

The strategic significance of Amazon’s move is rooted in its aim to bolster the developer experience. Falk suggests that Amazon’s interest might be tied to the growing role of generative AI in technology. Fig’s platform aligns with this trend, offering AI-powered suggestions that streamline developers’ tasks—akin to GitHub’s Copilot and similar tools developed by competitors like Google and Meta.

While Fig’s scale is not on par with Copilot, AWS has been signaling its commitment to generative AI. In June, AWS launched its AI pair-programmer named CodeWhisperer.

With the acquisition of Fig, AWS can further enrich its generative AI capabilities and stay competitive in the cloud industry.

Remarkably, Fig has gained traction among renowned organizations including Google, Microsoft, and even Amazon itself. This suggests that Fig’s technology had already piqued the interest of Amazon’s engineers, potentially prompting the acquisition.

As Fig integrates into AWS, existing users can continue utilizing the platform with support. However, new signups will be temporarily suspended to facilitate Fig’s integration with AWS. The long-term implications of this acquisition on developers and engineers using other cloud providers remain uncertain.

Falk remains forward-looking, hinting at continued innovation in the terminal and shell space. While specifics about future plans are not available, Fig’s integration with Amazon’s cloud prowess holds promise for the developer community.

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