What it’s like to be a Speedinvest intern

Christopher, Isabel and Thomas are the first batch in Speedinvest’s new internship program. They support our team in evaluating startups, preparing deals and helping our portfolio companies succeed. But now, we would like to put the spotlight on them and let them share their experiences.

What you get:

From our first day onwards, we knew that our internship at Speedinvest would be very different from those we had in the past. There is simply no need for unnecessary formalities; hierarchies are flat, decision paths are short. The communication within the team is completely open and to the point and everyone is totally excited about what they do. This contributes to a unique team spirit, manifested in team outings from volleyball tournaments to several days in Mallorca together (and by team we also mean our portfolio companies). Probably most astonishing for us was that we were fully integrated into the team from day one, from informal Q&A sessions with the founder Oliver Holle (yes, there was beer) to participation in start-up conferences (and yes, Pioneers festival is as awesome as everyone says).

interns_groß

What you have to bring to the table:

When we say that everyone is excited about what they do, it’s not only because working at Speedinvest is actually fun, it’s also because you know that your contribution is valuable. Even at the bottom of the foodchain (aka as interns), we always felt that our opinion counted: imagine the surprise when during your first week one of the partners asks you straight-out whether you would invest in a start-up (and be aware: the partners might attack you with Nerf guns if they don’t like your answer). This requires a certain amount of independence, the ability to familiarize yourself quickly with new topics and industries, and above all the confidence to speak up in the presence of partners that have years of experience (even if they don’t share your opinion). Also, you should have at least some idea what you’re talking about as you will be in contact with rockstar-founders regularly and you should be able to give them the feeling to be adding value to their operations.

Your takeaways:

So, when people ask us what we learned during our internships, what will we say? For the majority of the time, it didn’t even feel like work – but looking back, we learned a lot. We’ve seen so many awesome (and less awesome) pitches; our own pitch decks will be nothing short of perfect. We feel like we’ve learned almost everything there is to know about VCs: how to approach them and how to negotiate with them (no, they don’t want to screw you over… well, of course we can only guarantee this for Speedinvest) and we received a crash course in all of the technicalities of venture capital: from cap tables to liq prefs, drag-alongs and tag-alongs, anti-dilution clauses and preemptive rights – you name it. But honestly, the VC business is all about people, so our final and biggest takeaway comes from having been able to work with a team of such great individuals with diverse backgrounds and working styles. The network that we were able to build up and the range of experiences that we take away is a great foundation for whatever we end up doing after our studies.

Find out for yourself what it’s like to be an intern at Speedinvest: we’re on the look out for interns! Apply here

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Is FinTech different?

I’ve recently been asked to be at a Panel that covers the questions:

– Is there a difference when investing in FinTech startups and startups in other industries?
– Do investors consider different aspects?
– Is the risk bigger?

So my answers are yes, yes and not really. Blog post done. But in all seriousness, if it is appropriate, of course there is a difference when investing in FinTech startups compared to startups from other sectors. But there is also a difference between investing in E-Commerce and investing in AdTech. Or B2B vs B2C plays. Every business, every vertical has its characteristics and nobody knows them all. I briefly want to explain based on three sections why (and how) I think FinTech is different.

Legal, legal, legal and compliance

Licensing requirements, compliance, regulation — catchwords that every banker gets nightmares  from— are topics every FinTech company has to deal with. Securities law, laws protecting borrowers, privacy laws and many more are part of the day to day business. And those laws are different from country to country. You have to know your country specific regulatory laws and licensing requirements. Know your issuer, your customer, your banking provider, etc. If you compare for example FCA and BAFIN — KYC processes and requirements are completely different. Things that are not necessary in the United Kingdom are obligatory in Germany. Also when it comes to licensing. There are businesses that need licensing and BAFIN approval in Germany and that are unregulated in the UK; the latter is anyways completely different from the rest of Europe (and also one of the reasons why London as a FinTech hub is so successful). And there is more or less a basic rule: if it is allowed in Germany, it is probably allowed everywhere else ;). So scalability is not that easy (it is never easy actually) due to the reasons mentioned. In reality it is pretty hard. As a result there are e.g. a lot of regional champions in payments and mobile banking but not that many Pan-European FinTech players. Because of these challenges experience in the Financial Services industry is crucial. Knowing local rules, habits, players and having contacts within the industry is definitely for the good if you want to be successful.

But also regulation for FinTech companies changes in the US and in Europe. This has to be considered. These two papers are just an outline of two recent changes that are affecting a lot of FinTech companies. But regulation definitely is worth an own blog post (for the nerds then).

Branding and user acquisition

Also, user acquisition is different. “Hey, that’s easy. I’m just paying for some Facebook and Instagram Ads for customer acquisition.” Said no one ever in Financial Services (and probably nobody else except bloggers). Customer acquisition costs are typically pretty high compared to other industries and it takes a lot of effort to acquire a customer (especially SMEs). Why? Because people are much more cautious when dealing with banking, payment or other financial services and it takes time to convince them to use your product. Everybody cares about his money and in the end it comes down a lot to trust, brand and reliability. Or as amazon puts it: “payment is a trust business”. And you have to earn that trust. This definitely is a long process. Therefore competing on cost or betting on an aggressive growth strategy does not really work (and somebody can backfire). As it is simply not possible to have a fail whale in financial services. The product has to work 24/7.

To dig deeper into the topics it is definitely worth reading these excellent Holvi blogposts:

· How to build a FinTech brand from scratch
· Marketing assumptions that don’t apply to FinTech
· From branding to customer acquisition in FinTech

Strategic Partnerships and cooperation

A third point I want to highlight are strategic relationships and industry focused investors. At most FinTech cases strategic relationships are key. So often it is more about cooperation than competition because 1.) banks do not sleep and 2.) you probably need a bank and other infrastructure providers for your service to work even better.

Banks used to be in deep sleep mode (not even mentioning insurance here) but now it seems they woke up and are well rested and ready to go. There a couple of banks which made an impressive shift towards a real digital focused bank. Especially when I think about the presentation of Carlos Torres Vila, CEO of BBVA, at Money 20/20 in Copenhagen this year. When he was talking about its bank digital strategy, I think a lot of FinTech companies in the room got scared for a second. Or as Matt Harris from Bain Capital Ventures put it: „The empire strikes back!“ But to be honest some banks are still sleeping (no names). Pretty well. They can only hope that there won’t be a rude awakening soon.

The second support beside strategic investors you will need are VCs with deep experience in the financial sector. If you want to build up a scaling VC case this can be crucial. Experience, having contacts to banks, card issuers, payment companies and others are very important. This goes hand in hand with what I mentioned in the first section: know your business inside out. And sharing is carrying. It is always a good idea to bring FinTech founders together. Our founders love that. Because there are people that have the same issues with regulation, processing, whatsoever and that understand each others’ problems. But you only benefit from this experiences and knowledge sharing with an investor that already did FinTech deals. So in the end it’s like a marriage: finding the right partner(s) is key.

To read more on that, the Deutsche Bank wrote a paper about different ways of cooperation between banks and FinTechs.

Is the risk bigger?

IMHO I don’t think that they downside risk of FinTech investments is bigger than in other businesses. I think the risk is far less. Most E-Commerce and Consumer plays are really binary cases. It is either one or zero. You either go big or you go home. In Financial Services there are many potential exit cases. If you take banks and insurance companies as an example. There are hundreds of regional banks and insurances in Europe. Most of them don’t have a clear digital strategy or even an own digital team. For them it is a clear make or buy decision, most of the times it is cheaper to acquire than to build up on their own. This point also goes hand in hand with the strategic partnerships mentioned above. And there are also a lot of other financial service or non-financial service companies that could be potential exit cases. But that is a whole different story I want to talk about soon.

So that’s it. Just a brief summary of my opinion. Always open for comments and an interesting discussion.

We’re hiring! Legal Counsel Transactions – Vienna Office

Legal Counsel Transactions (m/f)

Speedinvest is a leading European venture capital fund for digital startups. With $100M under management, Speedinvest works side-by-side with early-stage entrepreneurs to build great companies. Thanks to our hands-on model, our global partner network and our operations in Silicon Valley, we have managed to become one of the main focal points for the European startup community. We do investments from pre-seed through Series-A and a big portion of our value-add comes through operational work. We concentrate on projects where we have direct experience, networks, and where we can take a well-defined, intensive operational role, and significantly create value for founders and shareholders.
As a legal counsel you will provide high quality and accurate legal advice with focus on contract law, corporate law and legal matters for our international projects. As a consequence you have to collaborate with external counsels in different jurisdictions, as well as with external legal inquiries and internal legal inquiries from our team and our portfolio companies.

Requirements

  • Completed Legal Studies (Business Law, Law)
  • Focus on Coporate Law, M&A, Tax Law
  • Perfect German and English language skills– ability to draft contracts in English from scratch
  • Relative fluency in corporate finance and venture capital concepts
  • 2-3 years of relevant work experience in an auditing or international law firm is a must

Your personal profile:

  • Self-driven and independent.
  • Curious, adaptive & flexible. You prefer new challenges over routines.
  • An entrepreneurial ‘can-do’ attitude facilitated by continuous learning.
  • Ability to juggle multiple projects and work on tight deadlines
  • Ability to digest complex information, form a distinct point of view, and communicate it in a clear and relevant way
  • Compensation:

    Salary: Minimum EUR 3500 gross/month (full-time) dependant on experience.
    Please send your CV and any other relevant materials to jobs@speedinvest.com and we’ll be in touch with you! Links to other websites and resources where we might learn more about you (personal blog, Twitter, etc.) are greatly appreciated.

     

Walk like a VC, talk like a VC – be a VC. Interns wanted!

Internship (m/f) at Speedinvest (Vienna)

Speedinvest is a leading European venture capital fund for digital startups. With $100M under management, Speedinvest works side-by-side with early-stage entrepreneurs to build great companies. Thanks to our hands-on model, our global partner network and our operations in Silicon Valley, we have managed to become one of the main focal points for the European startup community.

Tasks

  • Dealflow evaluation
  • Industry analysis
  • Assessing business plans and pitch decks
  • PR / Marketing / Website and Social Media Support
  • Assist portfolio companies with different tasks

Requirements

  • You are a startup afficionado. Reading Techcrunch is part of your daily routine and the festival of choice is Pioneers. You understand acronyms like CAC, LTV & LiqPref.
  • You take the initiative. What matters to us is your drive, your ability to learn fast and your high level of self-organization.
  • You are enrolled in a university program. Technical background is a plus.
  • You love numbers, structure and results.
  • Excel, Power Point, social media are your daily tools. You’ve already experimented with WordPress.
  • Excellent German and English. Additional languages are an advantage.

Your Personal Profile

  • Self-driven and independent.
  • Curious, adaptive & flexible. You prefer new challenges over routines.
  • An entrepreneurial ‘can-do’ attitude facilitated by continuous learning.
  • Ability to juggle multiple projects and work on tight deadlines
  • Ability to digest complex information, form a distinct point of view, and communicate it in a clear and relevant way

Compensation

Full-time position (40h/week) based in 1010 Vienna.

Rolling Admission: apply today. Duration: 3-6 months.

Salary: EUR 1150 EUR gross/month (full-time), based on 40h/week. Please send your resume and application to jobs@speedinvest.com and we’ll be in touch with you! Links to other websites and resources where we might learn more about you (personal blog, Twitter, etc.) are greatly appreciated.

We’re hiring! Technical Analyst – Vienna Office

Technical Analyst (m/f) at Speedinvest (Vienna)

Speedinvest is a leading European venture capital fund for digital startups. With $100M under management, Speedinvest works side-by-side with early-stage entrepreneurs to build great companies. Thanks to our hands-on model, our global partner network and our operations in Silicon Valley, we have managed to become one of the main focal points for the European startup community. We do investments from pre-seed through Series-A and a big portion of our value-add comes through operational work. We concentrate on projects where we have direct experience, networks, and where we can take a well-defined, intensive operational role, and significantly create value for founders and shareholders.

Your Responsibilities

As an analyst at Speedinvest you will be responsible for supporting our partners in dealflow evaluation. This includes extensive industry analysis (competitive landscape, customer trends, business model evaluation, etc) as well as assessing business plans and pitch decks from a technical point of view. Moreover you will assist our portfolio companies on a variety of tasks, such as writing grant applications and market research.

Requirements

  • You are a startup afficionado. Reading Techcrunch is part of your daily routine and the festival of choice is Pioneers.
  • You take the initiative. What matters to us is your drive, your ability to learn fast and your high level of self-organization.
  • You have a finished university degree. Technical background is required (mathematics, informatics, physics, statistics and the likes).
  • You love numbers, structure and results.
  • Excel, Power Point, WordPress are your daily tools.
  • Excellent German and English. Additional languages are an advantage.

Your Personal Profile

  • Self-driven and independent.
  • Curious, adaptive & flexible. You prefer new challenges over routines.
  • An entrepreneurial ‘can-do’ attitude facilitated by continuous learning.
  • Ability to juggle multiple projects and work on tight deadlines.
  • Ability to digest complex information, form a distinct point of view, and communicate it in a clear and relevant way.

Compensation

Full-time position (40h/week) based in 1010 Vienna.

Salary: min 2.400 EUR gross/month depending on experience

Please send your resume and application to jobs@speedinvest.com and we’ll be in touch with you! Links to other websites and resources where we might learn more about you (personal blog, Twitter, Github, etc.) are greatly appreciated.

Speedstartstudio: Building big ideas in small environments.

Startups are built in a garage or late at night on a flickering screen in bed. At least that’s the common myth around entrepreneurship and founders. Sometimes though, ideas are strategically built and not born in the shower. And just because you work in a big corporation doesn’t mean you can never reach this level of spirit and foster innovation within the company.

In recent years, several so-called startup studios have popped up, facilitating and incubating products and ideas. Last.fm founder and Speedinvest partner Michael Breidenbrücker spent years advising companies on how to innovate in a fast-pacing world where the little startup in the garage could become your next big competitor. At the same time, Speedinvest founder Oliver Holle found more and more corporate managers asking for help. So when they two got together, they decided to join forces and create Speedstartstudio.

Described as “company builder of entrepreneurs for entrepreneurs”, Michael and his co-manager Christoph Böckle are offering a platform for developing a product or even a startup as company spin-off. Their motto: “Let’s build a thing!” A lot of corporates want to get involved in the startup community and find solutions for their own challenges, but find it tough to get it started within an existing organisation. “So we help them develop new products and find talents to execute and build a new company”, Michael explains.

Usually, these projects turn into startups that both Speedstartstudio and their corporate partner are invested in. “We basically create the startup they would want to invest in”, says Marie-Helene Ametsreiter who supports several Speedstartstudio projects. “It’s essential that the project is outside the corporate structure. I guess you could call it excubator rather than incubator”, Michael says. The studio itself is an independent company that Speedinvest and other corporations are shareholders of.

A year after its launch, Speedstartstudio runs six projects at the moment. Their biggest one to date is a joint venture with the Austrian Federal Railways ÖBB. Their management approached Speedstartstudio to build an extensive platform for national transport services and route planners that also involve ridesharing services. “They wanted to do it themselves before someone else does”, says Michael about the platform called “iMobility”. Together with the ÖBB, the studio came up with the strategy and business plan and hired a management team. The platform is expected to launch next year.

Speedstartstudio projects don’t always take that long. Following an individual approach, defined milestones determine how long the collaboration between the corporate partner and Speedstartstudio will last. It could be anywhere from six to 24 months, depending on the success factors the company builders are going for.

“We’re bringing two worlds together: Traditional industries share valuable expertise and knowledge while the new economy is known for its agile product development”, Marie-Helene lists the two factors of success for Speedstartstudio. Michael adds: “The important thing is that we create an environment where interests of all partners are aligned and the individuals own their products. It’s not like getting a job done. It’s doing your thing and taking chances to build something big.”

BBVA Acquisition of Holvi – what it means

By Stefan Klestil.

BBVA’s acquisition of Holvi announced today, is remarkable in several ways.

speedinvest-27291. To my knowledge, this is the first customer-facing FinTech acquisition by one of the big banks in Europe. There have been many investments into FinTechs by banks often via their in-house accelerators or VCs, there have been partnerships, there have been several tech acquisitions especially in the infrastructure domain but never before has a bank decided to directly take over a customer-facing FinTech brand in Europe.

2. BBVA is far ahead of most banks in executing their digital agenda as witnessed by its M&A and investment activities but also by its CEO and chairman embarking on a radical overhaul of the bank few years back. BBVA has a vision and a team that is attractive and inspiring even for top-notch FinTech founders – a key asset when it comes to actually closing a deal.

3. The deal confirms the attractiveness and growing importance of the prosumer/solopreneur/microenterprise segment. The digital entrepreneurs, or “makers and doers” as Holvi calls its customers are strongly growing across Europe and are in need of digital workbenches and payment and banking infrastructure to easily handle its business and money matters. Traditionally banks have not been able to service this segment profitably. In addition, Basel 3 and further regulation are pushing banks out of lending to this segment altogether. Propositions like Holvi allow access to this segment at low CACs and service costs and with high cross-selling potential especially in lending and FX.

4. The deal in my view marks the starting point of banks using M&A to buy themselves into segment-specific FinTech brands in Europe. FinTechs such as Transferwise, Funding Circle, Number26, Holvi, Nutmeg, Raise, Wikifolio, Revolut, Curve, FinanceFox and Loot are building pan-European or even global brands in specific customer segments and verticals. They are able to acquire and serve customers at a fraction of the cost of financial institutions, enable frictionless onboarding and cross-selling and offer a beautiful smartphone-only experience that millennials have come to expect. And most importantly, they are offering services that cater to the needs of specific segments such as young professionals, expats, millennial entrepreneurs, students and small merchants. As FinTechs grow to dominate these segments banks will have no choice but to acquire these FinTech brands if they don’t want to completely lose access and relevance.

5. FinTechs can survive compliance due diligence of a big bank! The bank exit channel is fundamentally more complex due to heavy regulation in Anti-Money Laundering (AML), Know-Your Customer Procedures (KYC), operating licenses and approval procedures by the regulator. This puts additional heavy burden on the FinTechs to set procedures up in the right way and thoroughly prepare DD towards exit. Unsurprisingly, exit processes take generally a lot longer than in other industries.

Disclosure: Speedinvest has been lead investor into Holvi, and is invested in Wikifolio, Curve and FinanceFox. Stefan Klestil is advisory board member of Number26.

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Exit! BBVA übernimmt Holvi

Nächster Exit für Speedinvest: BBVA, global führende Bank im Digitalbereich, übernimmt das finnische FinTech-Startup Holvi

Wien, 07.03.2016; Speedinvest vermeldet seinen sechsten Exit. Die globale Bankengruppe BBVA übernimmt das FinTech Startup Holvi. Speedinvest unterstützte die Onlinebank für Freelancer, Kreative und KMUs in seiner Funktion als Lead-Investor bei der Expansion in die DACH Region.

Speedinvest und Holvi geben heute bekannt, dass das Startup von der globalen Bankengruppe BBVA übernommen und als Teil der BBVA Gruppe integriert wird. Holvi wird als eigenständige Marke und mit eigener, unabhängiger Lizenz weitergeführt. Hauptsitz des Unternehmens bleibt weiterhin Helsinki, Finnland; im Management-Team rund um CEO Johan Lorenzen wird es keine Veränderungen geben. Mit Hilfe von BBVA plant Holvi für 2016 den Roll-Out von weiteren Produkten sowie die Erschließung neuer Märkte. Das Volumen der Transaktion wird nicht veröffentlicht.

Holvi wurde 2011 gegründet, um der von traditionellen Banken vernachlässigten, aber massiv wachsenden Zielgruppe an Selbständigen und FreelancerInnen zu helfen ihre Finanzen besser zu managen. Als eine der ersten pan-europäischen Onlinebanken mit “Value-Add” Features wie einem Spesenabrechnungstool und einem Onlineshop setzte sich das dahinterstehende Team zum Ziel, Finanzen besser verständlich zu machen und Unternehmen in allen dazugehörigen Aspekten zu unterstützen.

Für Holvi ist mit BBVA der perfekte Partner gefunden worden. BBVA ist einer der proaktivsten Player im FinTech Bereich, so wurde bereits 2014 das bekannte US Bankenstartup Simple übernommen, eine Reihe weiterer Investments folgten. 2015 wurde ein eigener Venture Arm aus der Taufe gehoben.

Speedinvest zählt den Bereich FinTech bereits seit drei Jahren zu seinen Kernthemen und verfügt über ein spannendes, stetig wachsendes Portfolio von nun bereits zehn Startups – B2B und B2C – aus ganz Europa. Anfang 2014 investierte der Wiener Fonds in das finnische Unternehmen. Als Teil der Investments stellte Speedinvest ein eigenes lokales Team in Wien zur Verfügung, um den österreichischen und deutschen Markt zu erschließen. Nach Finnland war dies der erste internationale Expansionsschritt, der mit Hilfe des erfahrenen Teams rund um Speedinvest erfolgreich gesetzt werden konnte.

Stefan Klestil, Speedinvest Partner und Investment Manager von Holvi dazu: “Diese Transaktion markiert einen Wendepunkt im Verhältnis von Banken und FinTechs in Europa. Wir glauben, dass Banken sich zukünftig vermehrt über M&A Transaktionen in attraktive Marken in Europa einkaufen werden. Der Deal bestätigt ebenfalls die Attraktivität der Zielgruppe von Holvi – Prosumer, Solopreneurs und Microentrepreneurs. BBVA setzt mit dieser Transaktion einen weiteren Meilenstein in der Umsetzung ihrer digitalen Agenda.”

Michael Breidenbrücker: Mr. Startup

Michael founded his first startup before even knowing what a startup was. 16 years later, he shares his wisdom with young entrepreneurs and big corporations.

His colleagues charmingly refer to him as Mr. Startup, but Michael Breidenbrücker didn’t even know he founded a startup when he launched Last.fm in 2000: “They didn’t call it startup back then.” Michael grew up in Vorarlberg and moved to London for his studies in 1998. He recognized the need for a platform that helps to find the right music at the right time. Long before MySpace, iTunes and Spotify, Last.fm was born – a music streaming service which kick-started the music recommendation space and was a main player in the web2.0 movement. Last.fm was sold to CBS in 2007 but Michael insists that he didn’t set out to be a CEO, but eventually ended up in that position from 2002 until 2005.

“As startup CEO, you’re basically the janitor. You’re doing everything”, the early founder says now. He refuses to romanticize the business of startups, and that is what Michael brings to the table at Speedinvest. Oliver Holle approached Michael, who also founded another music startup called RJDJ and more recently turned to angel-investing. In 2011, the serial entrepreneur decided to join the VC firm’s Investment commitee and in 2014 he joined as a partner: “We realized that we were working on the same things, so we decided to join forces”, Michael recalls.

Having been through the highs and lows of building a company more than once, “Mr. Startup” is sharing his experiences as entrepreneur with young founder teams. Growth Hacking, Product development, Team building and management are Michaels areas of expertise Ultimatively e’s helping to build products and turn them into successful businesses.

Besides his investments and work with portfolio companies, Michael’s other responsibility at Speedinvest is to run Speedstartstudio, a so-called excubator. At Speedstartstudio, the VC works together with corporates to build startups and new products from scratch. “In the past, corporates were perceived as exit partners. But more recently, a lot of them are turning into sparring partners“, the head of Speedstartstudio explains. “We are seeing a lot of non digital markets opening up to the digitalisation and if we want to have a presence in these new digital markets we need industry specific know-how which we can only get in collaboration with corporates” Michael insists that startup is the perfect management method to conquer new markets fast.

For Michael, having a startup is not a job, “it’s a lifestyle“. Thus, he doesn’t see himself as a classic investor or Venture Capitalist. Almost 16 years after founding his first company, Michael still can very much relate to the struggles of young founders while also understanding the demands of corporations.

Speedinvest invests in Datapath.io

Datapath.io provides Network Performance Management for (Net)DevOps

Cloud Application Performance Weakest Link

The cloud ecosystem has developed at a breathtaking pace since its emergence about 2 decades ago. Today adoption is pretty much universal with 1/3 of IT spend happening in the cloud, and cloud computing infrastructure and platforms growing around 25% YoY to an estimated $100B+ in 2016, driven mainly by the increase in SaaS application workloads.

Being able to offer reliable and high performance Web/Mobile applications is critical for cloud customers. We all know the headlines around Google seeing that an extra 0.5 seconds in search page load time dropped traffic and revenue by 20%, and Amazon finding out that every 100ms of latency cost them 1% in sales, for example.

Application performance optimization is where DevOps spend much of their time – hence the rapid growth of solutions like AppDynamics and New Relic. However, Internet performance remains an Achilles’ heel of application performance and is often the weakest link. To optimize networking performance DevOps lack

1) Granular visibility

2) Easily accessible solutions (deep network engineering skills required)

3) That are economically viable (no huge hardware investment)

Cloud customers with the required resources and skills can turn to the networking equipment vendors and build their own solutions. CDNs are good solutions for static content, less so for dynamic content, ads, transactional data or e-commerce. There is a clear opportunity in the market for a service that delivers rich Internet performance management capabilities to DevOps and IT application managers through an easy to use dashboard.

This is why we could not be more excited about our investment in datapath.io together with Target Partners and a select set of business angels.

datapath.io was founded in 2012 by a Sebastian Spies, an expert in carrier-grade networking technologies and Sascha Coldewey, a serial entrepreneur in the e-commerce space.

Using its own reimplementation of the Border Gateway Protocol (BGP) running on commodity hardware, datapath.io monitors the real-time network performance and characteristics of 600K+ networks (prefixes) globally from 70 vantage points. It uses this information to

1) Provide detailed and granular access to individual application performance as a function of end user network/location.

2) Easily set network performance requirements and rules (e.g. switch routing when latency to US West increases > 50 ms)

3) Automatically update routing tables and re-route traffic overriding standard BGP routing based on customer requirements/preferences

Congratulations to datapath.io for coming out of the Beta and the general availability of their NP² (Network Performance Platform)!