BigPanda gets its horn after securing $190M in fresh capital

AIOps leader BigPanda is now valued at $1.2 billion following a new Series D round of $190 million led by Advent International.

Joining Advent in the round are Insight Partners and other existing investors. The latest round gives the company $317 million in total funding, according to Crunchbase data.

Assaf Resnick, BigPanda co-founder and CEO, told TechCrunch the company is cementing its leadership in AIOps event correlation and automation. The company’s technology transforms huge volumes of IT data into actionable insight and automates incident management so IT operations teams can be proactive about their response processes.

It’s been a while since we checked in on BigPanda — nearly eight years to be exact, and much has changed since the company came out of stealth in 2014.

Thanks in part to the global pandemic, the digital transformation has penetrated every part of our life, Resnick said. More people trust automated workflow now, including for IT operations. However, people are now in charge of 80% of keeping a business running, but with all of the data flowing, it is nearly impossible to keep up, he added.

Recognizing that pace of innovation and how companies were spending more of their mission critical resources on putting out fires, Big Panda decided to go after additional funding to meet that demand. The company was finishing up its third quarter, which Resnick said was strong, and looking at the fourth quarter when it was decided to go for additional funding.

“The pipeline and market were accelerating beyond what we initially thought,” he added. “When looking at the total available market, we realized our customers were 1% of the market, and with current digital transformation being faster than two years ago, we didn’t have enough people to keep up with the data.”

At the same time, BigPanda was at the beginning of a relationship with Advent, and it made sense to take on the $190 million, which Resnick said “lets us hit the gas on our go-to-market acceleration.”

Even before the new round, the company was seeing good traction in the market. Its 2021 sales grew by 155%, while the fourth quarter set a record for number of new customers added in a single quarter with nearly two times the growth since 2019. BigPanda not only grew its footprint with existing customers last year, but also saw a five-time year-over-year increase in deals valued at over $1 million. Its team also doubled over the past two years.

Much of the company’s current go-to-market strategy is concentrated in North America, but the new funding will provide an outlet for a more international focus, he said. The company already has an office in London and will be investing more there as it also targets mid-market companies.

The funding will also go toward increasing the size of its machine learning, product and R&D teams, while also giving it some capital for strategic acquisition opportunities.

As part of the investment, Advent partner Eric Noeth will join BigPanda’s board of directors while former VMware chief operating officer Sanjay Poonen joins as a strategic advisor.

Noeth said that in talks with other investors and companies in the space, BigPanda’s name kept rising to the surface, especially as more companies leveraged technology, but did not have the manpower to manage all of the data events coming through.

“It is remarkable to find a company with such adoration from a group of competitors and customers,” he added. “AIOps is having a watershed moment. COVID changed technology so much, but now you have a massive tailwind around digital, and that is still in early innings. Most impressive is the cross sectors of customers that all have the same problem of automating and mediating issues quickly. That tangible use case has been a powerful driver for BigPanda.”

Meanwhile, Resnick and Noeth both say that the scarcity of talent problem is also hitting company chief information officers, whose job, they say, is shifting to be more like a chief technology officer while also retaining the task of keeping the lights on without getting in the way of innovation and velocity.

“Data is growing exponentially, even if there was not a scarcity of talent, it wouldn’t make sense to invest more money and talent there,” Resnick added. “You have to turn to automation.”