Palo Alto, Calif.-based Wavefront, a cloud-based metrics monitoring and analytics platform, closed a $52 million Series B funding round today.

The new capital will be used for research and development, as well as global expansion of Wavefront’s sales, marketing and support operations, the company said.

Founded in 2013, Wavefront's platform stores time series data at millions of points per second, making it possible to detect any divergence from “normal” in hybrid and cloud infrastructures before anomalies happen.

Wavefront: Experiencing 'Hyper-Growth'

"It's a pretty significant amount of money for a Series B," said Wavefront CMO Rob Markovich. "We're providing cloud application monitoring for primarily large (Software-as-a-Service) SaaS companies, large enterprises doing some type of digital transformation and moving to the cloud. They use our system to put all their metrics around their entire environment — from business application metrics to infrastructure metrics." 

Company officials said Wavefront is experiencing hyper-growth, noting that its valuation has increased by four times since it closed on $13.5 million in Series A funding in 2014 while the company was still in stealth. That round was led by Sutter Hill Ventures and Sequoia Capital, which joined new investor Tenaya Capital and other equity holders in today's Series B round. 

Pete Cittadini, President and CEO of Wavefront, said this was the "ideal time" for a Series B round to "fuel our already impressive adoption into the SaaS 250, as well as into digital enterprises and e-commerce companies that are fully embracing the cloud.”

Notable Wavefront Milestones

Wavefront officials said the company has achieved several notable milestones in the past two years. It:

  • Increased the aggregate metric data ingestion rate into its service by more than 10 times
  • Acquired customers including Workday, Box, Intuit, Lyft, Groupon, Okta, British Gas, Citrix, Doordash, Xactly, and Medallia
  • Developed 30-plus data plugins to ingest metrics across application, cloud and infrastructure sources
  • Introduced intelligent alerting, expanded query functions, quick start configuration wizards and a suite of default dashboards
  • Attracted executives with more than 100 years of experience in systems monitoring, enterprise software and hyper-growth startups

Brian Melton, Managing Director at Tenaya Capital, said his firm was impressed by Wavefront’s technology solutions, category creation leadership and growth.

Wavefront History

Wavefront was founded by three current employees — Dev Nag, now CTO; engineer Durren Shen and Chief Architect Clement Pang — and Sam Pullara, who was a senior infrastructure engineer at Twitter before becoming managing director at Sutter Hill Ventures.

Dev Nag
Dev Nag
Nag and Pang worked together as engineers at Google, where Nag helped develop the back-end for all financial processing of Google ad revenue and Pang led the infrastructure group that handled the processing of signals and machine learning models responsible for protecting major Google properties (AdWords, AdSense, Checkout and Gmail) against fraud and abuse.

They helped developed a system to monitor Google's own health called Borg-Mon (named after the Star Trek character). 

Later, Facebook and Twitter faced similar challenges and had to build similar company-health monitoring platforms. Facebook called the platforms Scuba and ODS, Twitter named its Viz.

Learning Opportunities

Google’s former SVP of Engineering, Bill Coughran, now a partner at Sequoia Capital, saw the problems first hand. So did Pullara, when he was working at Twitter. 

The founders and investors all knew each other and began talking and realized they had a common vision for how to solve the problem, Nag said.

"Back in 2005, Google had a problem no one else had seen before," Nag told CMSWire. "There were no off-the-shelf monitoring platforms that could handle that." Until Wavefront, he added.

As Coughran noted in a statement, "the engineering team at Google faced operational challenges driven by growing complexity. Today a whole new generation of companies are operating at scale and running into these same issues. At Google, we needed to build our own solution. Now companies can just use Wavefront."

Inside Wavefront Monitoring

Wavefront officials said legacy monitoring is too simple for today's cloud applications. Monitoring, they say, needs a system-wide and service view, not an infrastructure and siloed component view. 

wavefront metrics dashboard
Wavefront's metrics dashboard

Wavefront partners with Amazon Web Services in cloud infrastructure. Wavefront also works with commercial and open source components and tools including monitoring services New Relic and Sensu, notification services PagerDuty and VictorOps, messaging services Slack and Atlassian, and single sign-on services Microsoft and Okta.

Wavefront expects to grow from 40 employees to 70 by the end of 2017.