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Rethinking Application Performance Monitoring (APM): Sentry Raises $40 Million Series C

When I started Sentry in 2008 as an open-source side-project, I was solving a problem for myself. I wanted visibility and alerting around what errors occurred and when. I wanted to take errors out of log files and into an easily digestible dashboard. However, it didn’t take too many pull requests to realize all developers were struggling with a lack of error insight and time wasted on logs, and, as I envisioned what it meant to have flawless error monitoring with my co-founder Chris Jennings, I realized the need for this type of platform would only continue to grow.

Over the last decade, Sentry has helped millions of developers, with more than 50,000 active organizations using our cloud-hosted service alone. We’ve hired nearly 100 people and opened offices in San Francisco, Vienna, and Toronto. We’ve earned over 22,000 GitHub stars, and Sentry has become the market-leading error monitoring platform to help developers build better software, faster.

The Future Is the Frontend

With the battle for the backend between data centers and cloud largely over, application development is the next frontier ripe for innovation. With studies predicting mobile app revenue at $935.2 billion by 2023 and Internet of Things (IoT) installations at 75.44 billion by 2025, it’s no surprise that software innovation is ramping up around application development in a big way. Apps—both on devices and in-browser—are effectively what businesses run on.

The key themes I see changing the world are:

So what does this all mean? The majority of software developers now write JavaScript, and customer interactions happen on software running on devices that developers have no control over, which inevitably brings its own set of new problems to monitor.

The biggest change we’ve observed is the proliferation of new JavaScript-based Single Page Applications (SPAs). SPAs are replacing legacy cloud stacks, where the software is running primarily in a customer’s browser. However, they also create yet another observability gap for teams who are under pressure to deliver better software more quickly.

Rethinking Application Performance Monitoring

Competitors in the APM space are still solving last decade’s server problems with last decade’s technology. When we look around, we see a lot of legacy tools that don’t solve for the frontend, for an end device. Current solutions do not work at all for JavaScript, mobile, desktop apps, or embedded IoT devices—despite these platforms being a significant part of the application ecosystem.

While Sentry currently offers rich error monitoring to replace logs and bring intelligence to modern applications, we look forward to pushing innovation in the application space. With the explosion of devices—from smartphones to smart devices—software is largely run on customer devices. Developers are moving their code closer to customers to increase code speed and improve scale. Still, these improvements don’t change the fact that developers cannot control customer devices.

As a holistic application monitoring platform, Sentry will help developers understand how to address issues when they arise, instead of merely displaying the symptoms of a problem. By moving monitoring from production environments to test environments, Sentry will accelerate the software development lifecycle and reduce the impact on customers.

Series C Funding

Fortunately, I’m not the only person who believes in Sentry’s vision. When I pitched investors to fund the next era of growth, our vision was met with wholehearted support, and I’m thrilled to share that we have raised $40 million in Series C funding from Accel and New Enterprise Associates (NEA). This round of funding will accelerate product development and marketing efforts, and help us grow our amazing team to execute on this vision.

What Comes Next

Today we unveiled our plans for Sentry to empower developers to debug native applications faster with the power of alerts, context and root-cause analysis. Later this year, we’ll introduce improved, context-enriched, crash reporting for mobile application development.

As we push to rethink APM, we’ll emphasize our focus on actionable insights by collecting and analyzing transactional traces, scaling our search and storage to handle full traces, and building intelligent algorithms to detect and analyze issues.

We promise that Sentry will never stop championing developers or lose our focus on making their lives easier. Software may be eating the world. We’re making sure it doesn’t eat us in the process.

If Sentry’s vision resonates with you, let’s talk. Take a look at careers at Sentry, and learn more about the team.

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