Announcing our investment in Dataloop
The starting point with this one was the team. We got to know David Gildeh, the CEO and one of three co-founders, around this time last year. At that time he was talking about infrastructure monitoring, doing customer development work but had yet to start the company. The first thing we liked was that the team was scratching their own itch. They were coming out of Alfresco where they’d built a custom solution to monitor their infrastructure as they’d moved from an on-premise software company to a cloud play. On top of that, we liked the fact that David was being very thorough with his customer development work and the fact that Dataloop was to be his second startup (his first was acquired by Alfresco). From a market perspective, we liked the fact that companies everywhere are building their own custom cloud monitoring solutions using open-source software – just like David and his team did at Alfresco, and that as cloud penetration increases demand for cloud monitoring solutions is only going to grow.
We kept in touch for the next several months, during which time David incorporated Dataloop with his two co-founders Stephen Acreman and Colin Hemmings, closed their first two customers, created the successful DevOps Exchange meetup, and took Dataloop through the Microsoft Accelerator programme in London. As they came out of that programme they started talking with investors about raising their first round. We were encouraged by their progress so we dived in deep to develop our understanding of the market. It’s a complicated and deeply technical story, but once we’d wrapped our heads around it we began to get quite excited. Simply put, Dataloop is part of the growing ‘DevOps’ meme that’s arising because infrastructure management is growing in importance and complexity. The underlying drivers are the continuing shift into the cloud, the growing complexity of online services, and the trend towards continuous deployment – all trends with legs. The brittle custom-built solutions currently in place are increasingly inadequate for the task and the competing products out there either demand that developers learn new languages or are not the main focus of their companies. We were significantly aided in our understanding by the developers in our team who have been living some of the problems that Dataloop is solving. A strong team, an attractive market and a good dose of momentum are the key ingredients for a seed-stage software investment and Dataloop has those in spades. I’m looking forward to being part of their journey.
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