What's 🔥 in Enterprise IT/VC #255

Gitlab - focus on community and don't go enterprise too early = 152% Net % Retention and S-1 Filing

What a huge week for product led growth, including developer first and open source! First we have Canva raising at a $40B valuation 😲 and now GitLab filing its S-1 to go public. Before I dive into both, I wanted to share a podcast I did with Blake Bartlett from OpenView on the PLG journey from Day One to later rounds.

If you're founder and wondering how we at boldstart partner with PLG and developer first founders from Day 1, 🎧 to this. We dive deep into product obsession, focus on users and the value of patience...

And if you're wondering how firms like OpenView evaluate PLG cos in the next rounds in companies like Calendly and Datadog, then this is the podcast for you! Also day one lessons learned from Superhuman, Snyk, Dooly and more!

🎙️👂 Listen on Spotify and show notes here.

Now on to Canva 🤯 (via Forbes):

Originally known as a tool for amateur designers or small businesses, Canva’s freemium software is used by more than 60 million monthly users. But more than 500,000 paying teams now use Canva, too, including companies like American Airlines, CBRE, Intel, Kimberly-Clark and Zoom, for everything from social media assets to sales and human resources presentations, or, in the case of Live Nation, assets for upcoming rock concerts.

Profitable, doubling growth and with hundreds of millions of revenue — why bother raising at all? One reason, says Perkins, is to keep doubling headcount, which reached 2,000 this year (Perkins says Canva received 180,000 job applications over the past 12 months). Another could be acquisitions, sources close to Canva add. Then there’s Perkins’ own lifelong mission for Canva, one for which she thinks it’s worth it to play it safe.

Next up is GitLab which is a MONUMENTAL IPO filing for 2 reasons - first it’s another best in class open source company like MongoDB, Confluent, and JFrog and second because it really is an explainer on what DevOps is to Wall Street, a back office IT infrastructure play which is finally seeing the light of day in the public. Of course, I expect more of these companies to go public in the future as there is no digital transformation with developers and DevOp.

So let’s look at some of the metrics 🤯

And here’s the product story - one platform vs. numerous point solutions and only named competitor in the S-1 is Github, owned by Microsoft. If you look at the Manage, Plan, Create, Secure…just imagine dozens of point solutions in each category that DevOps teams stitch together to operate. This is the default method but GitLab is showing that there is still a massive market for one platform to do it all.

What I ❤️ most is the S-1 primer on DevOps to the less sophisticated public equity buyers in the market.

We believe in an innovative world powered by software. To realize this vision, we pioneered The DevOps Platform, a fundamentally new approach to DevOps consisting of a single codebase and interface with a unified data model. The DevOps Platform allows everyone to contribute to build better software rapidly, efficiently, and securely.

Today, every industry, business, and function within a company is dependent on software. To remain competitive and survive, nearly all companies must digitally transform and become experts at building and delivering software.

GitLab is The DevOps Platform, a single application that brings together development, operations, IT, security, and business teams to deliver desired business outcomes. Having all teams on a single application with a single interface represents a step change in how organizations plan, build, secure, and deliver software.

The DevOps Platform accelerates our customers’ ability to create business value and innovate by reducing their software development cycle times from weeks to minutes. It removes the need for point tools and delivers enhanced operational efficiency by eliminating manual work, increasing productivity, and creating a culture of innovation and velocity. The DevOps Platform also embeds security earlier into the development process, improving our customers’ software security, quality, and overall compliance.

Winning the ❤️ and 🧠 of developers to win the enterprise…

We employ a land-and-expand sales model. Our customer journey typically begins with developers and then expands into senior executive buyers. We believe serving as this system of record for code and our high engagement with developers is a competitive advantage in realizing our single application vision as it creates interdependence and adoption across more stages of the DevOps lifecycle, such as Package, Secure, and Release. As more stages are addressed within a single application, the benefits of The DevOps Platform are enhanced.

New features always drives more usage.

Our monthly cadence of releasing new features iteratively also drives greater velocity of increased usage by existing users and increased adoption of The DevOps Platform by new users. As more users join within a single organization, those organizations standardize on The DevOps Platform and convert their plans into higher tiers with additional features, such as those within our Secure stage. The strength of our land-and-expand strategy is evidenced by our Dollar-Based Net Retention Rate. For fiscal 2020 and 2021, our Dollar-Based Net Retention Rate was 179% and 148%, respectively. As of July 31, 2020 and 2021, our Dollar-Based Net Retention Rate was 153% and 152%, respectively.

And here’s the value of the open source

Our open source approach is intended to increase our development velocity as the developer pool who contributes to our codebase is greater than the size of any single engineering organization. As of June 30, 2021, more than 3,000 individuals have contributed to The DevOps Platform and since April 30, 2019 community contributions have averaged more than 200 per month. Because people outside of our organization can read our code, users can contribute to identifying and solving issues, which accelerates the time we can release new software to market. This has also been a big contribution to enabling us to release a new version of our software for 118 months in a row and counting as of July 31, 2021.

We believe our open source approach helps us acquire, retain, and grow our paying customer base. They benefit from the advanced innovation that comes from distributed development, the documentation, best practices, and knowledge sharing across our community, as well as the engagement of making their own contributions back to our codebase.

And as I always say, focus on your North 🌠 which is your product and amazing developer experience. Here’s Gitlab’s Timeline:

As always, 🙏🏼 for reading, and please share with your friends and colleagues!

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Scaling Startups

  1. Don’t folks on Twitter make startups seem so easy?

  2. Simply amazing and lots of dollars for angel syndicates

  3. While not enterprise, I love Whoop and this is simply awesome…


Enterprise Tech

  1. What’s in store for Palo Alto Networks and the future of security? Check out its Analyst Day Presentation

  2. Collaboration for all software as an API? ✅ - super excited for us @boldstartvc to partner with the Liveblocks team! APIs to easily build collaboration into any application!

  3. API Landscape as described by CEO & Founder of Postman

  4. Developer experience and API Design for the win

  5. 👇🏼💯

  6. Microsoft Research published its study on remote work after analyzing 60,000 employees and their communications habits


Markets

  1. 📈 growth accelerating! Good signs for the rest of the year 👇🏼

  2. Market forecasts are rarely right but nice to see how Goldman views the rest of the year 🧵

  3. Mailchimp bought for $12B by Intuit - why it took no outside funding…(Axios)

What's 🔥 in Enterprise IT/VC #254

What does the day one launch of an $8.5 Billion developer first company look like and why developer experience matters?

For followers of this newsletter, you’re quite familiar with my journey with Snyk from day one in middle of 2015 and the fact that we’ve invested in every single round since then. The book is still being written but I learn so much every day as the company continues to grow and scale and I love sharing the lessons learned along the way. With that, a heartfelt and huge 👏🏼 to Guy Podjarny and Peter McKay and the entire, amazing Snyk team on this milestone.

To be honest the best founders don’t set out to build $10B companies, they start with solving a nagging problem that they believe needs to be fixed and bring a unique TECHNICAL insight to solve that problem 10-100x better. For Guy and team it was to build a “developer friendly security” platform starting with OSS code and third party packages, to make it so easy for developers to not only test but also FIX and constantly monitor the packages they are using. Sounds simple but the developer experience was so 🔑 and something they still maniacally focus on today. And if you want the full playbook, I shared that in What’s 🔥 earlier this year.

Here is the original launch of Snyk at the Velocity Conference, 10/29/15 with co-founders Guy Podjarny and Assaf Hefetz (missing Danny Grander). It’s a must-see video because at the time many were not convince of the need for “developer friendly security” and the team knew that part of their mission was simply educating the market on the why. Building a movement takes time! I remember it took a couple years for this to truly take hold and hit the 100k a month download mark.

And bravely they did a live demo with code - can’t be dev first without the code!

Started with individual developers and eventually expanded to some of these early teams…

The coolest part of all of this is the product north 🌠 and message continue to be the same - “developer friendly security.”

Here’s Guy from his post last week reiterating the why and the how

Which gets us to the last and most important point — developers. 

Digital transformation hinges on independent developers working continuously and rapidly. Businesses live or die depending on how well — and how quickly — their dev teams are able to build new functionality, get it to customers, and adapt to what they learn. Cloud removes barriers, giving developers more control over the underlying infrastructure, and accelerating the deployment of new updates. 

Developers are also the only way we can scale security. From writing safe code to updating a vulnerable open source library to configuring infrastructure correctly, developers are the ones making the decisions that decide how secure the app is. If we equip them with the right tools, and give them the mandate and process to use them, they can build security in and stay ahead of the attackers. If we don’t — we’re never going to keep up. 

And so, I would repeat the question — how can developer security be anything but an enormous market? How can we afford, as an industry and a society, to not invest in developer security and do all we can to accelerate its adoption? 

At Snyk, we are committed to doing precisely that — get developers to embrace security, and build it into the fabric of software development

Believe it or not, the hardest part as you keep growing is to maintain focus and to be relentless on not forgetting the product north 🌠 that got you here in the first place. Snyk has continued to focus on that developer experience and now

is already used by millions of developers and more than 1,200 customers worldwide, including Asurion, Google, Intuit, MongoDB, New Relic, Revolut and Salesforce. Snyk customers and users collectively have run more than 300 million tests in the last 12 months and fixed more than 30 million vulnerabilities in the last 90 days. 

Snyk creates a seamless developer experience for security that embeds application and security intelligence in a SaaS platform with products that directly address both the needs of legacy as well as modern technology stacks, including open source, containers and infrastructure as code.

As always, 🙏🏼 for reading and please share with your friends and colleagues. Also, “never forget” 9/11 and please take a moment to reflect on that time…

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Scaling Startups

  1. 👇🏼 Solid advice for future founders

  2. So what does a Product Manager do?

  3. Getting harder to standout at YC and giving up even more equity than before really makes you 🤔 (Axios Pro Rata)

    What’s more: YC this year cut its own investment in participating startups from $150,000 for a 7% ownership stake to $125,000 for the same stake (via SAFE note), slashing the pre-money valuation from just under $2 million to $1.66 million. It also cut its pro rata rights to a 4% cap.

    • Investors have long complained about the discount YC gets and this change has only turned up the volume.

    What they're saying: “Pretty much everywhere in venture things have gotten better for founders — more money, higher valuations, less dilution, more favorable terms, more (promised) value-add,” says one investor, who runs a specialized accelerator. “Except YC, where founders now seem to be getting a worse deal.”


Enterprise Tech

  1. Speaking of developers and security, I’m super excited for Jit.io to be out of stealth! From my LinkedIn post

  2. 👇🏼💯 just the beginning - and as @shomikghosh21 from my team says, spells out a big portion of our investment thesis the last 10 years - add security to this mix like @snyksec and Infra as Code @env0 and shift left testing @atomicjar

  3. AWS in 2006 and AWS today - EC2 and S3 still driving huge portion of sales - read 🧵 along with original deep dive from Jordan Novet at CNBC

    Twitter avatar for @edsimEd Sim @edsim
    Great breakdown, still EC2 #1 for the 💰 Reminds me of post I wrote in 2006, many VCs were quite skeptical of startups built on EC2. Web scale consumer cos were 1st to take advantage, amazing what world looks like today 15 yrs later where it is default
    beyondvc.com/2006/11/utilit…

    Jordan Novet @jordannovet

    for months i went around asking people, where does AWS' profit come from? here's the result of that work. it's not comprehensive by any means, but it is meant to give people a rough sense https://t.co/sd1NMtok1T
  4. I ❤️ Docker but here’s a story on what happened to the business of Docker, an artistic success for sure but still TBD on the business side - great interviews with several executives with solid feedback from Solomon Hykes, the founder - focus matters!

    “We never shipped a great commercial product,” Hykes told InfoWorld while on vacation in France this summer. “The reason for that is we didn’t focus. We tried to do a little bit of everything. It’s hard enough to maintain the growth of your developer community and build one great commercial product, let alone three or four, and it is impossible to do both, but that’s what we tried to do and we spent an enormous amount of money doing it.”

    With the benefit of hindsight, Hykes believes that Docker should have spent less time shipping products and more time listening to customers. “I would have held off rushing to scale a commercial product and invested more in collecting insight from our community and building a team dedicated to understanding their commercial needs,” Hykes said. “We had a window in 2014, which was an inflection point and we felt like we couldn’t wait, but I think we had the luxury of waiting more than we realized.”

    and 😲

    Craig McLuckie, Kubernetes cofounder and now vice president at VMware, says he offered to donate Kubernetes to Docker, but the two sides couldn’t come to an agreement. “There was a mutual element of hubris there, from them that we didn’t understand developer experience, but the reciprocal feeling was these young upstarts really don’t understand distributed systems management,” he told InfoWorld

  5. More on developer experience from Jean Yang (Akita Software) on the a16z blog - a must read

    What I mean by developer experience is the sum total of how developers interface with their tools, end-to-end, day-in and day-out. Sure, there’s more focus than ever on how developers use and adopt tools (even in consumer tools), and there are entire talks and panels devoted to the topic of so-called “DX” — yet large parts of developer experience are still largely ignored. With developers spending less than a third of their time actually writing code, developer experience includes all the other stuff: maintaining code, testing, security issues, addressing incidents, and more. And many of these aspects of developer experience continue getting ignored because they’re complex, they’re messy, and they don’t have “silver bullet” solutions.

  6. One of best reads on building a career in Developer Relations from Slack and what a career arc looks like…

    Developer Relations at Slack is currently a 12-person-strong team, and at this size, we’re generalists by preference and by necessity. Everyone writes docs, everyone builds tools and sample code, everyone gathers and shares developer feedback, and everyone works on events. We also come from different backgrounds: people on our team have joined us from core engineering, from developer support, from non-engineering operations roles, and some have been doing DevRel their entire careers. For our whole team, we have a single path.

    Even for us, this path is imprecise, designed to be a set of guidelines rather than a series of job descriptions. Not everyone’s role will be neatly outlined by the content of the path, and, in my opinion, that’s not the point.

  7. Wannabe dev first? Simply ❤️ the growth hacks from Max Stoiber and the GraphCDN team to offer true value for community

  8. 🤯 Microsoft to spend $20 Billion on cybersecurity over the next five years!

  9. What’s web3? How do you get started?


Markets

  1. Automation Anywhere, UiPath competitor, to IPO in 2021 (Bloomberg)?

  2. Pubic investors pay for growth - Why Monday.com Soared and Sprinklr Flopped (The Information)

  3. WOW, $53B for Palm

What's 🔥 in Enterprise IT/VC #253

📈 The future of enterprise software is ☀️ - MongoDB, Asana, Okta - 🦄 or 🐲

Given that it is Q2 earnings season for some of the bellwether tech companies in infrastructure, developer, and SaaS markets, I wanted to continue my thread from last week. Yes, valuations are at all time highs, there is so much pent up demand in the private markets to fund 🦄 in search of the next 🐲 (see below) and growth is what matters. While I’ve been working with enterprise founders from Day One for over 25 years and feel valuations are high, what gives me comfort is IT Spending. With that, I like to read between the lines, not just looking at earnings but also what the CEOs are telling Wall Street about what’s ahead - are choppy waters ahead for those companies or are they more optimistic, especially given the Delta variant? I’ve extracted a few notes from MongoDB, Asana, and Okta to start.

Here’s the short optimistic version for the road ahead:

MongoDB - We believe our strong second-quarter results are a clear indication that customers view MongoDB as a critical platform to accelerate their digital innovation agenda.

Asana - We are currently experiencing one of the biggest workplace transformations in history

Okta - These factors, combined with the ever-evolving security threats, landscape, meaning that the demand for Okta's modern identity solutions has never been greater.

Conclusion - 2021 is looking darn good and lots of IT 💰 up for grabs in developer infra and productivity, SaaS, and cybersecurity!!!

Longer versions below along with links to transcripts.

MongoDB - win the ❤️ and 🧠 of developers and win the enterprise

Looking quickly at our second-quarter financial results, we generated revenue of $199 million, a 44% year-over-year increase and above the high-end of our guidance. We grew subscription revenue 44% year over year. Atlas revenue grew 83% year over year and now represents 56% of our revenue, and we had another strong quarter of customer growth, ending the quarter with over 29,000 customers. Businesses across nearly every industry have realized that in today's highly dynamic global markets, speed of development is a meaningful competitive advantage.

Businesses that can develop software faster are able to improve their products faster and ultimately, grow more quickly than their competition. We believe our strong second-quarter results are a clear indication that customers view MongoDB as a critical platform to accelerate their digital innovation agenda. Customers of all types are choosing MongoDB because they can develop so much faster using our platform to build new applications and replatform legacy applications across a broad range of use cases to drive their business forward. Fundamentally, MongoDB's application data platform offers three intrinsic advantages.

First, MongoDB's document model is designed around developers think and code unlike legacy data technologies. 

Asana - collaboration software and workplace productivity

We had another great quarter in Q2. We accelerated revenues, accelerated enterprise customer growth and increased dollar-based net retention rates across the board. Revenues of $89.5 million grew 72% year-over-year, accelerating 11 percentage points versus Q1. This is a very significant acceleration and the third quarter in a row of acceleration. We are now at a $358 million GAAP revenue run-rate.

As everyone is probably well aware, we are currently experiencing one of the biggest workplace transformations in history. Even after a year of surprising changes, the situation remains fluid. It can be difficult to achieve organizational wide clarity under normal circumstances. And for the past 18 months, this challenge has hit an entirely new level. The reality of the moment is that increased workloads and too many emails, messages, meetings and video calls are barriers to productivity. According to our annual survey called the Anatomy of Work, limited employee bandwidth has meant that over one-fourth of deadlines are missed. A key driver is the lack of clarity caused by unclear processes. Large enterprises, in particular, delays in the inability to successfully pivot as needed can add up to a significant drain on resources, revenue and profitability. While the symptoms around these types of pains have evolved, their root causes have been with us for a long time. Through it all, Asana’s mission to help humanity thrive by enabling the world’s teams to work together effortlessly has remained constant.

Okta - the identity and access management company for secure access

Regardless of the timeline, it's clear that most organizations are adopting plans that include more remote access. Organizations also realized that their interactions with customers will continue to shift more online and need to accelerate their digital transformation business plans.

These factors, combined with the ever-evolving security threats, landscape, meaning that the demand for Okta's modern identity solutions has never been greater. I'll start with a quick recap of our Q2 financial results and then get into some of the other notable highlights from the quarter.

To highlight just a few of our second-quarter financial metrics, revenue growth for both standalone Okta and Auth0 were strong, which produced combined Company revenue growth of 57% and subscription revenue growth of 59%.

RPO surpassed the $2 billion milestones. For reference, it took Okta 10 years to reach the $1 billion RPO milestone and less than 2 years to hit the $2 billion milestones. That's tremendous progress. The current RPO also reached a milestone by surpassing the $1 billion mark. Our total base of customers now stands at over 13,000.

Okta Standalone added 750 customers, which is a record for any quarter. Also, included in the base is the addition of 1,650 off zero customers net of common customers. Our total base of $100,000 plus average contract value customers or ACV, now stands at over 2600. Okta's standalone added 160 new $100,000 customers, and once again, half of the brand-new customers.

And off to 0 brings 375 $100,000 customers to the base.

As always, 🙏🏼 for reading and please share with your friends and colleagues.

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Scaling Startups

  1. Founders, raising more money right after you raised weeks or months prior is great, right? Well, frankly one issue that is not talked about enough is below 👇🏼

  2. It’s easier to raise money than get a story in TechCrunch - prep accordingly

  3. No conflict, no interest? An important read for founders as VCs raise even more capital and expand their strategies - what does it mean to invest in a competitor?

  4. Secrets of the best performing teams 🧵

  5. YC Summer 21 - 377 companies

  6. 🐲 or 🦄

    And even better - a 3x fund maker!

  7. Here’s the complete list of 🦄 from CBINSIGHTS.


Enterprise Tech

  1. I do agree that founders in their first sales often are just happy to have a paying customer and don’t ask for enough to start - from Mitchell at Hashicorp 🧵

  2. Huge Q2 in cybersecurity - check out Momentum Cyber report - a must read

    The most active sectors for financings in the first half of 2021 included: Risk & Compliance (64), Data Security (60), Network & Infrastructure Security (50), & Security Ops & Incident Response (47)

  3. What is developer experience?

  4. Love it when The Economist covers enterprise infrastructure companies - great read on Databricks

    The software-maker is soon likely to be known farther afield. Later this year it is expected to stage the largest-ever initial public offering (ipo) of a software firm—larger than that in late 2020 of Snowflake, its most serious rival. Alternatively, some predict, it could be snapped up by Microsoft in the largest ever software takeover. Whatever the outcome, there is substance to the hype. Databricks could become, in the age of artificial intelligence (ai), what Oracle and its databases once were in the world of conventional corporate software: the dominant platform on top of which applications are built and run.

    I must say Ali is doing such a great job telling the story of why this is different and better than Snowflake without having to mention its main competitor

    Yet Databricks only really took off when it added another component called “lakehouse”. It is a combination of two sorts of databases, a “data warehouse” and a “data lake” (hence the portmanteau). Both have historically been separate because of technical constraints and because they serve different purposes. Data warehouses are filled with well-defined corporate data that allow a firm to look into its past, for instance at how its sales have evolved, something called “business intelligence” (bi). Data lakes are essentially a dumping ground for all sorts of data that can reveal a firm’s future, including whether sales are likely to go up or down. Yet this separation is increasingly inefficient and unnecessary, explains Max Schireson of Battery Ventures, an investor in Databricks. “Doing bi and ai in different systems today is kind of stupid,” he notes.

  5. 🤣 some 💎 in 🧵

  6. Workato State of Business Technology Survey is out and no surprise where the most 💰 continues to go in 2021

  7. Blue Prism for sale in the automation space (FT)?

    Blue Prism surged in value from less than £50m at flotation in 2016 to almost £2bn by mid-2018 over hype around robotic process automation, which transfers repetitive workplace tasks from humans to computers. And, as is normal when a fledgling business reaches a stratospheric valuation, professional short sellers gathered to pick at its numbers. Talk of cash burn and drifting targets for break-even soon eclipsed the sellside analysts’ total addressable market estimates, with the cynics zooming in on some unorthodox accounting around sales costs and a research and development budget that looked miserly relative to peers. By mid-2019, the stock had lost about two-thirds of its value.


Markets

  1. Amplitude files S-1 and preps for direct listing

    Founded in 2012, Amplitude provides product intelligence tools designed to help teams run and grow digital businesses. Amplitude records how users interact with a service via the web and native apps to create a detailed picture of activity.

    Amplitude’s service brings together information collected from different platforms into a centralized dashboard that automatically organizes everything without the need for manual cleansing. Visual controls enable users to weave the individual data points into meaningful patterns.

    Clients include a range of Fortune 100 companies, with notable customers including NBCUniversal Media LLC, Burger King, PayPal Holdings Inc., Peloton Interactive Inc., Cisco Systems Inc., Atlassian plc and Instacart.

    For the year ended Dec. 31, Amplitude reported revenue of $102.5 million and a net loss of $23.7 million, or 98 cents per share. For the six months ended July 30, revenue came in at $72 million, up from $46 million in the first half of 2020, with a loss of $16.5 million, or 57 cents per share.

  2. Okta (thanks Jamin!!!)

  3. What’s next for Zoom?

    Slamming the brakes on growth

    In its Q2 earnings release, Zoom said for the current quarter it expects revenue of between $1.015 billion and $1.020 billion and earnings per share of between $1.07 and $1.08. Analysts polled by Refinitiv had predicted $1.013 billion in revenue and earnings per share of $1.09.

    Perhaps more problematic for the company, though, is its significant slowdown in year-over-year revenue growth. In Q2 2020, Zoom saw its year-over-year revenue explode 355%. But in Q2 2021, revenue growth slowed to 54% year-over-year.

    The slowdown was even starker when compared to the 191% growth Zoom saw in Q1 2021.

    It’s not just revenue growth, though. User growth exploded for Zoom throughout the pandemic, with the number of customers with 10 or more employees skyrocketing 458% from 66,300 in Q2 2019 to 370,200 during the company’s Q2 2020.

    That stratospheric increase, though, was never going to last. In its latest quarter, Zoom reported a 36% increase in customers with 10 or more employees, topping out at 504,900 such subscribers.

What's 🔥 in Enterprise IT/VC #252

❄️ and Salesforce earnings 😲 - eventually you have to grow into your valuations and performance matters

It seems that every week, What’s 🔥 is chock full of massive financing rounds for private enterprise companies. Behind all of these funding announcements, however, is the need for founders to keep delivering on growth. And while we all worry about the massive uptick of valuations and growth expectations, I do find comfort in looking at the bellwether public companies announcing their earnings and continuing to deliver on results.

This week is a reminder of why 💰 continues to pour into enterprise startups. When public companies like Salesforce and Snowflake continue to crush it in the public markets at their respective scales, it shows there is still tons of upside when it comes to IT spending from large enterprises.

First up is Salesforce - 😲 look at those numbers at their scale - absolutely incredible - the platform sales seems to be working as it continues to go after Microsoft.

Here’s a tweet from Brett Taylor, #2 to Marc Benioff at Salesforce.

Taylor said:

The real power of Salesforce platform is bringing all of these capabilities together into a Customer 360, a single source of truth for your customers. Our industry strategy is enabling our customers to get started with an end-to-end Customer 360 faster than ever before, tailored to the specific needs of every industry. Our Industry Cloud saw 58% year-over-year growth in annual recurring revenue. We had especially strong performance in the public sector, in our Health Cloud business and financial services. In fact, 4 of our top 10 deals in the second quarter came from the public sector. 

Taylor added that Slack can show similar bundling power. He said: "Slack comes up in every single one of my customer conversations."

Next up is Snowflake - all I can say is 🤯! More here from their Q2 release:

And if you want to know the big idea for Snowflake, here is what’s in store for the future:

Strategically, Snowflake is emerging as a highly secure, compliant, global and efficient data network in the infrastructure across the major public cloud domains. The combination of world-class data workload execution with cloud application development, cross-cloud operations, data and data application marketplaces as well as planned monetization is what makes Snowflake stand out.

As always, 🙏🏼 for reading and please share with your friends and colleagues!

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Scaling Startups

  1. 🤣

  2. As I’ve said before, one of hardest challenges for founders is the ability to zoom in myopically on the product and the end user and how to make their daily life 10x better with your product than without. However, we also can’t fund unless founders are able to zoom out to tell us what is possible!

  3. Speaking of user focus 👇🏼 - must read 🧵

  4. Importance of employee growth from Travis leading product security at Databricks 🧵

  5. If it’s too good to be true, then…in a world of rapid fundraisings, this is super sad to see: Feds charge tech founder Manish Lachwani with fraud

    Palo Alto-based HeadSpin raised over $100 million from such veteran firms as Tiger Global, Google Ventures, EQT Ventures and Battery Ventures.

  6. 💯👇🏼 Prep accordingly

  7. Sign of the Apocalypse - Overemployed? 🎩 @LeUnicornHunter

    Overemployed is a community of professionals looking to work two remote jobs, earn extra income, and achieve financial freedom. Be free from office politics and layoffs. Instead, negotiate a severance and invest in your life.

  8. Great list of books for team leaders from Shreyas Doshi (Stripe) 🧵


Enterprise Tech

  1. Enterprise on 🔥: seed valuations on the rise along with every other round - data from Pitchbook

  2. 🤯 Another huge win for OSS as Grafana Labs Raises $220M at a $3B valuation “to Accelerate Global Adoption and Development of Open Source Visualization and Observability Platform”

    The “actually useful” free forever tier of Grafana Cloud provides the industry’s most generous no-cost observability stack, and with the funding round, Grafana Labs is adding 50GB of traces to the 50GB of logs, 10,000 series of Prometheus metrics, and 3 Grafana dashboard users that come with the free offering. Both Grafana Cloud and the on-premises Grafana Enterprise Stack offering include access to free and commercial plugins, such as Elasticsearch, Jira, Datadog, Splunk, AppDynamics, Oracle, MongoDB, Snowflake, ServiceNow, and more.

    “In just a few years, Grafana Labs has grown from a single open source project into a comprehensive platform that is widely used across the Fortune 500 and Forbes Global 2000, helping companies make better decisions based on actionable data,” said Eschenbach. “I see a lot of similarities between the growth at Grafana Labs and the early years at VMware: focusing on solving problems for developers, and scaling those solutions across the enterprise. We’re eager to partner with Grafana Labs and look forward to working with Raj and team to continue building world-class observability products.”

  3. Sales engagement as a space is on 🔥 - SalesLoft at over $100M ARR with >50% growth - those numbers on growth side though is not as high as many others which is why its still listing $1B valuation in early 2021…

    SalesLoft, provider of the most complete Sales Engagement platform that includes Cadence, Conversations, and Deals today announced that during the prior quarter it far exceeded its financial plan, surpassing $100 million in annual recurring revenue, and growing 50% annually.

    The revenue achievement is the latest in a series of accomplishments for the sales engagement leader, which has grown recurring revenue nearly 40% since reporting a valuation exceeding $1 billion in early 2021. The company also announced that Calendly founder and CEO Tope Awotona has joined its Board of Directors.

  4. 🦄 startups built off of Google Chrome 🧵

  5. Cloud vs. BYO data center debate continues

  6. Snowflake to go after Datadog???

  7. From the archives - ASP Model to SaaS

  8. Elastic Search expanding cloud and developer first security with acquisition of Cmd and Build.security (dev first authorization built on top of OPA)

    from the build blog:

    While authentication has been largely solved by the likes of Okta, Duo or Auth0, development teams around the world still struggle to build and manage authorization for their applications and services. The rapid progression to microservices architecture exacerbates this problem for developers looking to secure “who has access to what” in their systems, and in what context.

    At the same time, we came across the Open Policy Agent project (AKA “OPA”), a recently graduated project in the CNCF, that delivered the promise of a unified policy language and decision engine, wh


Markets

  1. Forgerock, in identity software space (competes with Okta) files to go public

    Mission from S-1

    Our vision is a world where you never log in again.

    We help make the digital economy possible. ForgeRock supports billions of identities to help people simply and safely access the connected world—from shopping and banking to accessing company networks to get their work done. We make this possible through a unified and extensive identity platform to enable enterprises to provide exceptional digital user experiences without compromising security and privacy. This allows enterprises to deepen their relationships with customers and increase the productivity of their workforce and partners, while at the same time providing better security and regulatory compliance.

    and from Bloomberg

    ForgeRock could seek to be valued in an IPO at $3 billion to $4 billion, or possibly higher, Bloomberg News reported in May.

    The company had a net loss of $20 million of the first six months of the year, down from $36 million in same period in 2020. Meanwhile, its revenue for that period climbed to $85 million from $55 million, according to the filing.

  2. Freshworks filed to go public in customer support/engagement space (Reuters)

    The Salesforce.com Inc (CRM.N) rival revealed it had earned $168.9 million in revenue for the six months ended June 30 this year in a regulatory filing, up from $110.5 million in the same period last year.

    Net loss came in at $9.8 million for the same period, down nearly 83% from a year earlier.

  3. Remember Elastic? One of the first public OSS cos?

  4. SPACs were all the rage in 2021 but not anymore…Axios

    SPAC enthusiasm is slowing, as evidenced by rising redemption rates.

    Between the lines: “Redemption rates are very much a barometer of market sentiment,” explains SPAC Research founder Ben Kwasnick.

What's 🔥 in Enterprise IT/VC #251

APIs + developer tools for the win 💪🏼: Postman and Apollo at combined $7.1B of value 🤯 - Postman's dev first flywheel

We’ve been hearing about the API economy for many years with companies like Stripe valued at almost $100B and Plaid at over $13.4B but what about the tools that developers use to create these APIs and manage and deliver them? This was another big week for developer tools and APIs in particular as Postman just raised a $225M round at a $5.6B valuation and Apollo raised a $130M round at a $1.5B valuation.

Speaking of Stripe and APIs, let’s start with Postman.

Twitter avatar for @a85Abhinav Asthana @a85
Excited to announce that the Postman Public API Network (
postman.com/explore) is the largest API hub in the world now! Huge thanks to incredible partners like @stripe @SalesforceDevs @CiscoDevNet @TwitterDev @microsoftgraph and many more! finance.yahoo.com/news/postman-p… Image

Postman is an API platform for building and using APIs. Postman simplifies each step of the API lifecycle and streamlines collaboration so you can create better APIs—faster.

While companies like Okta, Twitter, and Shopify use Postman the 🔑 to success is Postman’s focus on starting with a developer first motion. See below for how the Postman flywheel works and how its serving over 17M developers now.

This flywheel is a work of art and one that any developer first company should use. Win the ❤️ and 🧠 of each individual developer who then shares with their team, then moves beyond the developers only to other cross functional teams, and 💥 enterprise deals!

  •  There are now 17 million developers on the Postman API Platform, and the Postman app has been downloaded more than 60 million times so far.

  • Collaboration for teams: After recently announcing unlimited collaboration for small teams in Postman, we’re seeing record amounts of collaboration activity on the platform today.

  • Enterprise customers: We continue to add phenomenal customers like Salesforce, Stripe, Kroger, Cisco, PayPal, and more. You can read more on our case studies page.

  • The Public API Network: The Postman Public API Network recently became the world’s largest public API hub, and it has quickly grown to more than 20,000 public workspaces (from top organizations like Mercedes-BenzNotionMicrosoft Graph, and more) that enable developers, teams, and companies around the world to work together on APIs at a scale that was never before possible.

Of note is the company was started in 2014 and notice the time between its Series A round in 2016 and Series B in 2019 - remember, it takes time to build a developer first community and evangelize and 🔑 is to build it the right way and not force top down sales too early.

Next up is Apollo which is the leader in GraphQL.

For those who don’t know what GraphQL is:

GraphQL is a query language and server-side runtime for application programming interfaces (APIs) that prioritizes giving clients exactly the data they request and no more. 

GraphQL is designed to make APIs fast, flexible, and developer-friendly. It can even be deployed within an integrated development environment (IDE) known as GraphiQL. As an alternative to REST, GraphQL lets developers construct requests that pull data from multiple data sources in a single API call. 

Additionally, GraphQL gives API maintainers the flexibility to add or deprecate fields without impacting existing queries. Developers can build APIs with whatever methods they prefer, and the GraphQL specification will ensure they function in predictable ways to clients.

Apollo is “The leading open-source GraphQL implementation with 17M downloads per month and the only end-to-end cloud management solution for GraphQL.”

Also notice the time between funding rounds for its Series A and B (over 3 years!) and Series B and Series C (4 years!). It takes time to build a developer first company and sometimes a huge part of battle is not running out of 💰!!!

Of note is that Insight Partners is betting big on API developer tools as they led both rounds in Postman and Apollo!

As always, 🙏🏼 for reading and please share with your friends and colleagues!

Share What's Hot in Enterprise IT/VC


Scaling Startups

  1. 👇🏼🔥

    Twitter avatar for @rahulvohrarahulvohra @rahulvohra
    We get asked constantly: "how do you make the GIFs for your product emails?" 🤔 So we wrote down everything we do… 👉
    blog.superhuman.com/how-to-create-… …everything from scripting to compression! Thank you to our wonderful designer @ifbirdsfly for sharing! 🙏

    Superhuman @Superhuman

    GIFs do a lot in small packages 🎁 They bring life to our blog, product changelog, and this very channel! ✨ By popular demand, Superhuman design lead @ifbirdsfly is here with a guide to creating remarkable GIFs ⤵️ https://t.co/trLaPlemvb
  2. So true…but truly these can be sequenced, its the increasing cost of talent that really can kill a company quickly and knowing when to bring on who and when is the art

  3. ❤️ this from Mathilde at Front (a portfolio co)


Enterprise Tech

  1. More on Apollo and why developers love it - the company cares about the developer experience and frequently runs developer audits to make sure the speed, ease of use, and ❤️ is there.

    The goal of DX Audits is to document, report, and address product friction by having developer advocates experience common developer workflows, document and report their findings, and surface actionable steps to take to reduce friction. Remove the friction, and more developers will be successful!

    Each audit is scoped to a particular developer persona (or, as we call them, journey stages) and consists of use cases to audit. A use case is essentially a workflow that a developer would have to go through to complete a given task (i.e., add monitoring to a GraphQL server).

  2. Hashicorp State of the ☁️

  3. How do you measure dev rel? 🧵💯

  4. Been enjoying Chris Dixon’s post on the decentralized web - here’s his latest

  5. More wood to chop! 🧵

  6. For those building data teams

  7. What a launch! Great example of open source to hosted commercial version from Tina to TinaCloud (a portfolio co)

  8. Want good content for developers? Have engineers write it 👇🏼


Markets

  1. Who says that growth investing doesn’t pay off?

    And Coatue’s latest returns (The Information) - Newer Growth Funds Return More Than 45% Annually, Internal Data Show

  2. Databricks 🤯 valued now at $38B!!!

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