Today NYC-based AppFirst, providers of cloud-based enterprise application performance monitoring (APM) solutions, secured $8.7 million in Series B financing led by Safeguard Scientifics with additional participation from FirstMark Capital and Javelin Venture Partners. Since launching in 2009 to help companies monitor their enterprise apps and infrastructure, the company has raised a total of $12.7 million in funding, and has added 500 customers in over 70 countries.
CEO and co-founder David Roth said in an interview with BetaKit that the growth to date is mostly due to word-of-mouth. “A very common situation will be that if they’re using a lot of standard technology to get to root cause on their Linux or Windows stacks and have weeks go by and can’t find it,” said Roth. “ [On the] same day of loading us and finding us from a Google search, we solve the problem and then they tell friends and they tell two of their friends. That’s how we’ve grown [so far] without having hired a salesperson into the company.”
Application monitoring has become an increasingly important service to help enterprises troubleshoot problems quickly, with AppFirst providing a DevOps Dashboard which can be up and running in minutes and captures detailed information from an entire application stack. The data collected by the platform includes infrastructure, application, and business metrics which is then aggregated and correlated into a single big data repository so that businesses have a fundamental idea of how their core infrastructure affects their bottom line. Users can then use the continuously collected data to have an idea of what’s happening with every application running in production and respond immediately if something goes wrong.
The SaaS platforms uses a freemium model for its monetization strategy, offering a full-featured free edition that provides access to all of its monitoring, troubleshooting, and alerting features in addition to the DevOps dashboard for up to three servers. After that it charges $15 per month for each additional server and the ability to add more storage and analyze more business metrics. It also has a Pro plan at $25 a month which allows users to store metrics for a year, logs for a month, and monitor up to 2,000 business metrics.
“The industry average is that about five percent of all applications are actually getting insights or have a form of instrumentation to drive insights. So what’s really is the interesting opportunity here is getting to the other 95 percent. That was our original founding point,” Roth added.
With more enterprise application developers moving to cloud-based infrastructure and adopting agile development methodologies, the likes of which are provided by Continuuity, a company BetaKit covered recently when it raised $10 million, the need for monitoring solutions becomes even greater. Garner Research estimates the APM market is worth upwards of $2 billion, with Roth commenting that there are plenty of companies out there that provided monitoring solutions and others that provide companies access to metrics, but most of the services were complementary and will result in a number of partnerships the company will look to announce in 2013.
The company will be looking to leverage the funding to expand its global footprint at a much more rapid pace and put an emphasis on sales, marketing, and branding. The funding will also allow it to go beyond making the core product reliable and scalable and add a number of features it has seen demand for from existing customers. With enterprise applications being built at such a rapid pace, the company’s all-in-one monitoring solution will be a necessary component to help debug, troubleshoot, and make apps more reliable.