Ground cover, a performance monitoring platform for cloud apps, today announced it has raised $20 million in a Series A round led by Zeev Ventures with the participation of Angular Ventures, Heavybit and Jibe Ventures. The new capital brings the startup’s total amount raised to $24.5 million, which CEO Shahar Azulay says will be used to “raise awareness” of the platform.
The app performance monitoring (APM) market is expected to grow to $6.3 billion in the coming years, according to one of them analysis. The reason? The transition to digital was largely prompted by the pandemic, which increased pressure on development teams to ensure newly implemented software doesn’t go sideways. According to according to a 2021 poll by New Relic – an APM vendor itself – 75% of companies expected to increase their observation spend by 2022, while 50% were in the process of implementing an observation practice.
The problem with most APM services is that they are difficult to integrate at scale, according to Azulay. The result can be a longer average recovery time (MTTR), or the average time it takes a team to recover from a system failure. Logz.io, another APM vendor – and thus admittedly not an unbiased source – reports that 64% of development teams take more than an hour to repair broken software.
“APM has become unfeasible for many companies that need application monitoring today,” Azulay told londonbusinessblog.com in an email interview. “Giant companies are leading the way in the APM industry, but growing data volumes and complex technology stacks have increased costs and made these solutions difficult to integrate and demanding to maintain… We are on a mission to bring the cloud-native application to reinvent. domain with Groundcover.”
Azulay founded Groundcover in 2021 with Yechezkel Rabinovich. Azulay was a machine learning manager at Apple, while Rabinovich was the lead architect at cybersecurity startup CyberMDX. The two served together in the Israeli Prime Minister’s office for a number of years, facing difficulties with APM issues.
The Groundcover platform, which has been in development for more than a year, uses a technology called eBPF (Extended Berkeley Packet Filter) to provide observability – allowing it to track events across networks, infrastructure, services and apps. eBPF was developed to run programs in isolated virtual machines, but it can also be used to capture observation data without the need for an intensive installation. Groundcover rivals like Pixie have also applied it to this use case.
When code crashes, Groundcover attempts to uncover the root cause, tap into app logs, statistics, and traces, and highlight potentially problematic legacy code and third-party components. It does this without sacrificing privacy, Azulay claims — Groundcover does not store user data outside of a customer’s computing environments, and leaves data retention policies up to the customer to decide.
“Not only can we offer a super-robust free tier, but our product breaks the usual volume-based pricing model, allowing teams to scale at a fraction of the cost they are used to from their APMs,” added Azulay.
Despite competition from the likes of Datadog, Sentry, IBM-backed Instana, Cisco-owned Epsagon, and the aforementioned New Relic, Groundcover says it has secured several paying customers (mother says exactly how much), including insurance company Lemonade. Azulay declined to disclose sales figures when asked, but said Groundcover is on track to expand its workforce to 40 employees by the end of the year.
“The timing was on our side. Groundcover raised funds right on time and we have the stamina to grow and help customers in these uncertain times,” said Azulay.