Rootly, a startup developing a platform to help automate companies’ responses to incidents like website outages, today announced that it raised $12 million in a Series A funding round led by Renegade Partners with participation from Google Gradient Ventures and XYZ Ventures.
Bringing Rootly’s total raised to $15.2 million, the new funds will be put toward accelerating the company’s product roadmap, increasing its engineering presence and investing in its sales and marketing orgs, co-founder and CEO JJ Tang says.
“Incident resolution has never been more challenging. The rise in remote work means it’s rare that incident response teams are physically together in a war room, making communication more difficult,” Tang told TechCrunch in an email interview. “In addition, growing system complexity with the push toward microservices and third-party services makes it impossible for a single engineer to know everything that’s going on.”
Tang founded Rootly in 2021 with Quentin Rousseau, whom he met while working on Instacart’s product side for enterprise. Together, Tang says, the two discovered an “urgent” need for a better way to manage incident response.
“Instacart was losing millions of dollars in orders due to outages, and our customers and retailers were frustrated,” Tang said. “The need to automate became especially acute during the pandemic, when Instacart was providing an essential service and uptime was critical.”
Incidents can be expensive, indeed. According to a report from BigPanda and Enterprise Management Associates, the average cost for unplanned outage downtime is around $12,900 per minute — a reflection of the impact on both employee activity and business disruption.
Rootly, a Y Combinator graduate, attempts to automate much of incident management and resolution, from coordinating responders to work on an incident in Slack to suggesting possible next steps. The platform automatically generates status updates and even post-mortems, helping users to identify related incidents.
“While there are a lot of companies that sound the alarm, only Rootly automates putting out the fire,” Tang said. “Most enterprises today have a fire-alarm equivalent for discovering incidents, but are DIY for incident resolution — using paper checklists or relying on key staff with deep knowledge.”
Rootly isn’t alone in the incident response software market, which was estimated to be worth $29.21 billion in 2022, according to The Business Research Company. The startup competes with FireHydrant and Blameless as well as Incident.io, which last year raised $28.7 million in VC cash.
But Tang points to the size of Rootly’s customer base as evidence of its growing success. The company counts Canva, Nvidia and TripAdvisor among its clientele. Revenue has grown 400% in the past 12 months, and companies are using Rootly to manage over 60,000 incidents collectively each year, Tang claims.
“We launched during the pandemic and in an uncertain economy, and we’re still growing quickly,” he added. “In this environment, companies want to do more with less, and Rootly helps with that. We address critical infrastructure — it’s not a nice-to-have, it’s a must have.”
Rootly, which is based in San Francisco, has a 30-person team. Tang expects the startup to have over 50 employees by the end of the year.