Rootly nabs $3.2M seed to build SRE incident management solution inside Slack

As companies look for ways to respond to incidents in their complex microservices-driven software stacks, SREs — site reliability engineers — are left to deal with the issues involved in making everything work and keeping the application up and running. Rootly, a new early-stage startup wants to help by building an incident-response solution inside of Slack.

Today the company emerged from stealth with a $3.2 million seed investment. XYZ Venture Capital led the round with participation from 8VC, Y Combinator and several individual tech executives.

Rootly co-founder and CEO Quentin Rousseau says that he cut his SRE teeth working at Instacart. When he joined in 2015, the company was processing hundreds of orders a day, and when he left in 2018 it was processing thousands. It was his job to make sure the app was up and running for shoppers, consumers and stores even as it scaled.

He said that while he was at Instacart, he learned to see patterns in the way people responded to an issue and he had begun working on a side project after he left looking to bring the incident response process under control inside of Slack. He connected with co-founder JJ Tang, who had started at Instacart after Rousseau left in 2018, and the two of them decided to start Rootly to help solve these unique problems that SREs face around incident response.

“Basically we want people to manage and resolve incidents directly in Slack. We don’t want to add another layer of complexity on top of that. We feel like there are already so many tools out there and when things are chaotic and things are on fire, you really want to focus quickly on the resolution part of it. So we’re really trying to be focused on the Slack experience,” Rousseau explained.

The Rootly solution helps SREs connect quickly to their various tools inside Slack, whether that’s Jira or Zendesk or DataDog or PagerDuty, and it compiles an incident report in the background based on the conversation that’s happening inside of Slack around resolving the incident. That will help when the team meets for an incident post-mortem after the issue is resolved.

The company is small at the moment with fewer than 10 employees, but it plans to hire some engineers and sales people over the next year as they put this capital to work.

Tang says that they have built diversity as a core component of the company culture, and it helps that they are working with investor Ross Fubini, managing partner at lead investor XYZ Venture Capital. “That’s also one of the reasons why we picked Ross as our lead investor. [His firm] has probably one of the deepest focuses around [diversity], not only as a fund, but also how they influence their portfolio companies,” he said.

Fubini says there are two main focuses in building diverse companies including building a system to look for diverse pools of talent, and then building an environment to help people from underrepresented groups feel welcome once they are hired.
“One of our early conversations we had with Rootly was how do we both bring a diverse group in and benefit from a diverse set of people, and what’s going to both attract them, and when they come in make them feel like this is a place that they belong,” Fubini explained.

The company is fully remote right now with Rousseau in San Francisco and Tang in Toronto, and the plan is to remain remote whenever offices can fully reopen. It’s worth noting that Rousseau and Tang are members of the current Y Combinator batch.



Atlassian acquires asset management company Mindville

Atlassian today announced that it has acquired Mindville, a Jira-centric enterprise asset management firm based in Sweden. Mindville’s more than 1,700 customers include the likes of NASA, Spotify and Samsung.

Image Credits: Atlassian

With this acquisition, Atlassian is getting into a new market, too, by adding asset management tools to its lineup of services. The company’s flagship product is Mindville Insights, which helps IT, HR, sales, legal and facilities to track assets across a company. It’s completely agnostic as to which assets you are tracking, though, given Atlassian’s user base, most companies will likely use it to track IT assets like servers and laptops. But in addition to physical assets, you also can use the service to automatically import cloud-based servers from AWS, Azure and GCP, for example, and the team has built connectors to services like Service Now and Snow Software, too.

Image Credits: Mindville

“Mindville Insight provides enterprises with full visibility into their assets and services, critical to delivering great customer and employee service experiences. These capabilities are a cornerstone of IT Service Management (ITSM), a market where Atlassian continues to see strong momentum and growth,” Atlassian’s head of tech teams Noah Wasmer writes in today’s announcement.

Co-founded by Tommy Nordahl and Mathias Edblom, Mindville never raised any institutional funding, according to Crunchbase. The two companies also didn’t disclose the acquisition price.

Like some of Atlassian’s other recent acquisitions, including Code Barrel, the company was already an Atlassian partner and successfully selling its service in the Atlassian Marketplace.

“This acquisition builds on Atlassian’s investment in [IT Service Management], including recent acquisitions like Opsgenie for incident management, Automation for Jira for code-free automation, and Halp for conversational ticketing,” Atlassian’s Wasmer writes.

The Mindville team says it will continue to support existing customers and that Atlassian will continue to build on Insight’s tools while it works to integrate them with Jira Service Desk. That integration, Atlassian argues, will give its users more visibility into their assets and allow them to deliver better customer and employee service experiences.

Image Credits: Mindville

“We’ve watched the Insight product line be used heavily in many industries and for various disciplines, including some we never expected! One of the most popular areas is IT Service Management where Insight plays an important role connecting all relevant asset data to incidents, changes, problems, and requests,” write Mindville’s founders in today’s announcement. “Combining our solutions with the products from Atlassian enables tighter integration for more sophisticated service management, empowered by the underlying asset data.”

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