Like we've said before, mentors at Work-Bench are part of the heart and soul of everything we do. Given the unique set of procurement, sales, and pricing challenges enterprise startups face, we've seen time and time again how valuable it can be to hear the buyer's perspective or have a voice on the other side of the table, especially when all it takes is one contract to make or break an early stage enterprise startup.
From leading Fortune 1000 executives to enterprise entrepreneurs with hundred million dollar exits, we're lucky to work with such great advisors to our portfolio companies. See the full list of mentors in our Work-Bench network, and join us in welcoming five new mentors to our Work-Bench family: Cassie Lancellotti-Young, J Ram, David Birnbaum, George Brandman, and Kiran Narsu.
Last week, startups, corporates and academia braved a Nor’easter to attend Spark Summit East in Boston. Spark is an open source, big data processing engine originally developed at Berkeley’s AMPLab by Matei Zaharia. Used behind the scenes at some of the largest data applications at web scale companies, Spark makes data analytics fast. Today, we’ve reached a pivotal moment where forward thinking enterprises like Capital One, Walmart Labs and others are working with Spark to better serve their customers. This post will explore key takeaways from Spark Summit, while providing details on the leading use cases and companies in the emerging ecosystem.
The most successful businesses over the next decade will deliver highly personalized experiences for their customers, powered by advanced streaming analytics. A key theme seen in a number of companies both presenting and exhibiting at Spark hinted at a common goal: building a best in class data pipeline to run models easily and securely. Webscale companies have robust data management practices through in house systems and a combination of open source and commercial tooling. This is, however, a gargantuan undertaking for a large enterprise and something that even the most forward thinking corporates are keen on setting up. Several of the attending startups - like Streamsets, Kofa, and Qubole - attempt to address this.
Last week in Tel Aviv was a big moment for Israeli cybersecurity. CyberTech Israel, boasting over 10,000 attendees from five continents, quickly established itself as one of the de facto conferences outside of the United States. CyberTech was comprised of the usual conference features: talks, panels, swag, and famous speakers. However, what makes the conference really standout is its access to the latest crop of early stage startups. According to Start-Up Nation Central, total investments in 2016 for the Israeli cybersecurity reached $581 million, an increase of 9 percent over the previous year. Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu even made an appearance, marking the importance of cybersecurity to Israel and the nation’s identity.
Israeli cybersecurity prominence isn’t new - Check Point and CyberArk are well known and leaders in their respective fields, and you don’t have to look far to find Israeli talent present in other security firms. The blend of military conscription and Israel’s place as a cyberwarfare superpower has helped to create a steady output of innovation and talent. Israeli entrepreneurs are translating the skills and abilities they honed in their IDF service into technologies for the market, giving organizations a view into the bleeding edge in cybersecurity.
Using data from the Enterprise Startups Funding Database - where every week we track and record all publicly announced enterprise technology funding rounds - we took a look back at 2016 to see how it stacked up against 2015 and 2014.
In line with holistic 2016 trends we’ve seen from Pitchbook and Fortune, 2016 was a year where the market normalized. This makes sense after a record breaking 2015 with close to $15.8B invested across 648 enterprise deals - a nearly 82% and 75% increase over 2014 totals, respectively. Building on our analysis of the first half of 2016, here's what we saw:
Compared to 2015, enterprise funding decreased by 20% in 2016, with $12.6B deployed in the year. However, deal count only dipped 6% to 611 financing events in 2016 vs 648 in the prior year.
Later Stage financing bore the brunt of the decreased capital deployment, with the share of Series D (and later) rounds across the country falling to 9.2% of total deal volume compared to 13.3% in 2015.
New York is still solidly in command of second place for enterprise software. In total since January 2014, New York has seen $3.9B flow into various enterprise startups over a total of 222 financings.
Although 2016 saw a drought of IPOs, it was a stellar year for enterprise M&A with over $65B in acquisitions.
See below a full breakdown of our research highlighting the key activity underpinning this movement, and if you’d like to get in touch, please feel free to shoot us an email or reach out via Twitter to @Work_Bench.
Today we’re excited to announce that Work-Bench is joining Amplify Partners, Rally Ventures, and Tribeca Venture Partners to invest in Backtrace’s $5M Series A.
Global software development costs more than one trillion dollars per year, and errors and bugs are a natural and unavoidable byproduct of writing code. Developers spend 50% of their time debugging software - a hugely inefficient time suck that detracts from an engineer’s time building software. Hundreds of billions of dollars are lost on this effort, and insufficient tools, processes, and data make debugging at scale a hairy challenge. Without a robust debugging platform, it is impossible to identify and map the similarities between errors and their corresponding root cause - a necessity in order to diagnose and fix the core issues.