In the next few years, 80% of adults will be online and will have smartphones. That’s almost 4 billion people online using mobile apps. As early-stage venture capital investors, it’s an exciting time as we find and support the visionary founders building critical enterprise software tools and the latest consumer apps.
But, over the last 40 years, Matrix Partners has had a particular focus on backing not just the end products we all hear about and use, but the foundational systems and infrastructure that emerging industries require, and the tools that help software developers be more productive.
Today, we see two foundational areas that are critical to the new types of apps and experiences that consumers now demand in a post uber world:
- Tools to enable a broader group of software developers to create apps
- Tools to ensure these sites and apps run bug free
Today, we are excited to announce Bugsnag’s Series A fundraising and welcome Benchmark Capital to the support team. Bugsnag is focused on the second area, making sure the software running the sites and apps these 4 billion people will use, runs as expected.
As consumers, we don’t think about software until errors and performance issues stop us from doing what we want to do. But, as all companies have realized, when their product stops working, users are quick to leave. In fact, according to AppDynamics, eight out of ten people have deleted an app because of performance issues, and 19% of those who experience an issue tell their friends and family. This has caused companies to spend over $300 billion annually on debugging software–a costly process when over 50% of engineering time is now spent finding and fixing bugs. And, this problem is only going to get worse as users’ expectations of performance go up, as the complexities of sites and apps increase, and as the price of software developers continues to rise in our severely supply constrained labor market. Bugsnag is fixing this problem.
I met James Smith and Simon Maynard, the founders of Bugsnag, in the summer of 2013. Friends from university days, they were rolling out of a friend’s consumer startup. They’d both directly experienced, at every company they’d worked at, the impact of software errors–specifically the impact of lost revenue and a decreased ability to ship new features as their teams were bogged down trying to triage and fix errors. Tools were available, but most, including Splunk, offered passive monitoring environments. Errors happen, you use a tool like Splunk to mine the log files to figure out what happened. It can be a long and tedious debug process.
James and Simon had a very different vision for a platform that could substantially increase the productivity of developers–one that was active vs passive, and worked on all platforms and with all languages. They wanted to make it seamless for developers and dramatically reduce the time spent on monitoring and fixing errors.
As we started talking it became clear to me that James and Simon were on to something big. Matrix ultimately led the Seed financing in Bugsnag in that summer of 2013.
As native mobile clients exploded, the industry evolved and others like Handlebar, Crashlytics and Critticism emerged as players in the space. Crashlytics was ultimately acquired by Twitter and expanded as a free product that would give Twitter a means to have its SDK installed in as many native mobile apps as possible. (A strategy that worked well for Google with its free Google Analytics offering.) However, all of these solutions offered limited features sets, required data sharing in the case of Crashlytics, and were mobile only solutions.
Bugsnag stands apart as the only full-stack, cross-platform error monitoring tool that offers both a SaaS and on-premise solutions. Time will tell, but their growth to date has certainly shown the extent of the problem and the hunger companies have for great tools. Bugsnag now processes 250 million crashes per day, up from 5 million per day less than 2 years ago. And revenue has increased 20X during this same time period as thousands of companies, including Square, Slack, Shopify, GitHub, and VMware, use Bugsnag to ensure their users have as much of an error-free experience as possible.
We congratulate Bugsnag on their Series A round and we welcome Benchmark to the team and Eric Vishria to the board. It’s an exciting time as companies strive to deliver the best experiences to billions of connected individuals. We’re proud to be backing the companies that make these experiences possible.
See Bugsnag’s post for more details.