The pandemic has illuminated the vital importance of software in every facet of our lives. Software-based services like Zoom, Gmail, Twitter, Amazon, and Slack have become so essential that any downtime is disastrous. Yet the growing complexity of software development (e.g. micro-services, open source, third-party dependencies, distributed architectures, etc.), along with the speed at which code gets pushed to production and the huge scale that needs to be supported make it more difficult than ever to ensure stability and consistency of these software services.
Ever since leading Twilio’s seed round in 2009, we have been big believers in developer-focused companies. This has inspired us to invest in companies like SendGrid, LaunchDarkly, Hashicorp, Cloudinary, and PagerDuty, all of which equip developers with the tools they need to achieve success.
Today we are excited to announce our investment in StackPulse, a company that empowers developers to manage the growing number of incidents in production to ensure the service runs smoothly at scale.
The decision to lead StackPulse’s seed round when the company was founded a year ago was an easy one. It’s not every day that we encounter such a strong team addressing a significant problem in a space we know and like so much. With the shift to agile software development and DevOps methodologies over the past decade, nearly all elements of the software lifecycle have been codified and automated: developers use CI/CD tools to manage the pipeline, infrastructure-as-code to set up production environments, automatic testing tools to perform QA, and more. It’s difficult to imagine running these tasks manually or unsupervised. Yet, when an incident occurs (as they often do), developers and DevOps engineers frequently need to manually investigate and fix the cause for the error (often in the middle of the night). This is a slow and inefficient process that keeps services down longer than necessary, making customers unhappy.
This is exactly the problem StackPulse helps solve. Often referred to as Site Reliability Engineering (SRE), this work is a fast-growing discipline that incorporates principles of software engineering and applies them to IT operations with the goal of creating and maintaining scalable and reliable software systems. StackPulse connects to application and infrastructure monitoring, and other observability tools to enrich and triage signals to help developers quickly detect incidents and their causes. The solution lets developers codify playbooks to investigate and remediate incidents, replacing the manual work of incident response with code-based automation just as developers have done across the rest of the application lifecycle.
The secret sauce behind StackPulse is its co-founders, CEO Ofer Smadari, CTO Leonid Belkind, CPO Eldad Livni who have already demonstrated their ability to move quickly and drive success in their previous company, Luminate, which was acquired by Symantec. But what excited us most about them is the strength of their partnership – how well the three co-founders work together and complement each other. It’s also rare to find a team that is so experienced yet constantly looking to evolve, and, even with a good exit under their belt, they remain humble and open to learning from others.
Witnessing StackPulse’s incredible progress since we first invested feels like watching a movie in 2x speed.
What was still just an idea only a year ago is now a company which has raised two rounds of financing, deployed a product that is loved by customers, and has built a strong momentum thanks to its go-to-market leadership headed by Brian Lake (COO) and Josh Thorngren (VP Growth). If this is what StackPulse achieved in a year, I can’t wait to see what the future holds for the company.