Bringing Observability And Incident Response to Ops Teams: Our Seed Investment in Avenue
Modern data infrastructures in mid-sized and enterprise companies are being reshaped with the emergence of Snowflake/Redshift/BigQuery as the centering anchor. Combined with ELT products such as Airbyte, Fivetran, dbt, etc we are trending towards a world where all application and operational data is consolidated, transformed, and available for downstream use. This shift is creating the opportunity for new applications and workflows to be built on top of this data that weren’t possible before.
Product engineers have long enjoyed a well-established set of tooling around observability and incident response, usually Sentry and PagerDuty (both Accel investments) which allow for the real-time surfacing of exceptions, routing to an on-call rotation, and collaboration around remediation. By contrast, the current approach of ops teams, increasingly the backbone of high-velocity growth companies, often relies heavily on dashboarding, periodic sweeps, and color-coded excel sheets, which can be disorganized and inefficient. As we see more “atoms not bits” startups emerging, there is an opportunity to build a parallel stack, similar to the one that engineering teams have become accustomed to, for modern ops teams.
Avenue is building exactly that, combining the monitoring and alerting functionality of Sentry with the intelligent routing and accountability workflow of PagerDuty. Of course, all of this is now possible because they are tapping into the events now consolidated in the centralized data warehouse, as alluded to earlier. The early response has been profound. Despite soft launching just a few months ago, over 50 ops-heavy companies are already using Avenue as their incident response platform. Companies like Snackpass, Rappi, Oliver Space, Jupiter, and others have sent over 200,000 alerts already in that short period.
Justin Bleuel and Jeff Barg are the founders of Avenue, and they are particularly compelling because of their fluency with the problem space. Prior to this, Justin was a PM at Uber Eats and Jeff was an engineering lead at Amazon, where they experienced first hand just how poorly served ops teams often are, and can authentically understand the nuances experienced day-to-day by potential customers. Further, given the rise of “atoms” startups powered by the ex-Uber and ex-Amazon diaspora, Justin and Jeff were uniquely positioned to find design partners and early customers among their peer networks.
Today, I’m thrilled to announce that Accel is leading Avenue’s seed round along with Y Combinator, as well as our friends Elad Gil, Lachy Groom, AirAngels, and a group of world-class operators from Uber, Coinbase, Flexport, Airbnb, Thumbtack and more. This represents the latest in a series of investments in the modern data stack, and a continuation of our work with leading companies such as Airbyte, Monte Carlo, Privacera, and others. And in Avenue, we see the same potential to become a critical component of a significant software transformation that’s happening industry-wide.