Building for the Multi-Cloud Era: How Aviatrix is Simplifying, Securing, and Accelerating the Enterprise Cloud Journey

Companies are increasingly moving their IT infrastructure to multiple public clouds, driving some of the most vibrant growth potential in today’s IT sector. That’s just one reason we are excited to announce that Aviatrix, a leader in cloud networking and network security, is joining the TCV family.

The rapid global shift from on-premise IT infrastructure to public cloud is a once-in-a-generation event that impacts hundreds of billions in legacy spend across security, networking, data infrastructure, IT operations management, and developer tooling. Over the past decade, cloud adoption has increased exponentially, with 80% of enterprises today utilizing two or more public cloud providers (‘multi-cloud’), and 60% of enterprises regarding the move to multi-cloud as one of their most critical strategic IT priorities. The adoption of public cloud, and increasingly multiple public clouds, enables organizations to remove the operational burden of building and managing their own on-premise datacenters. We believe this tectonic shift to “infrastructure-as-a-service” offered by public cloud providers like Amazon, Microsoft, and Google is analogous to the shift to software-as-a-service a decade ago. We believe the move to the cloud will be much bigger than SaaS and have a profound effect on how applications are built and delivered.

There are many reasons for companies to move to multiple cloud providers. The optionality helps to avoid vendor lock-in, save costs, and enables utilization of best-of-breed tooling from each cloud provider. The multi-cloud approach also increases application performance and reliability and creates flexibility and scalability that’s simply not achievable by single threading on a single cloud provider.

However, the complexity of managing multiple cloud environments for an enterprise is enormous as each cloud environment’s tooling is idiosyncratic, and cloud providers don’t interoperate well with each other—there is simply no economic incentive to do so. Combine all that with the fact that there is a major shortfall of skilled cloud infrastructure talent, and it becomes clear why companies are increasingly looking to software and automation to deliver the true promise of the cloud.

Enter Aviatrix. Founded in Santa Clara, CA, in 2014, Aviatrix provides a cloud network platform that delivers advanced networking, security and operational visibility required by enterprises with the simplicity and automation of cloud. Its platform effectively provides a single pane of glass to manage and automate the inherent complexities of enterprise workloads that are increasingly spread across multiple public cloud providers. The particular problems that Aviatrix solves include network traffic latency, resiliency, scalability, application performance, and network security.

Aviatrix is a pioneer in this market, launching well before other third-party competitors in this space even existed, and the company enjoys hyper growth at scale. It also has a customer base that is highly diversified across different industries and includes household names such as Nike, AbbVie, Disney, Splunk, NASA, Roche, and PwC. In speaking with their customers, we were blown away with both how difficult it is to build what Aviatrix has architected and how much value Aviatrix is able to provide. Aviatrix acts as the brains of any enterprise cloud architecture configuration. The company interprets each individual cloud provider’s language, serving as a common denominator across cloud environments, and empowering IT / cloud / networking teams to realize value from different cloud vendors without needing to be experts in any one vendor. This value proposition extends from individual enterprises to the whole of the cloud provider ecosystem as Aviatrix allows for higher volume and velocity of cloud adoption.

Aviatrix’s key product offerings include:

* CoPilot: a centralized management console providing a global operational view of the enterprise cloud (or multi-cloud) network—an offering available from no other cloud provider. It means administrators can gain insight into the overall performance of their network environment, easily spot performance issues, and monitor network health via intuitive visualizations. Without CoPilot, cloud teams have to stitch together data and view multiple consoles across vendors, and the level of data available from cloud providers is far less granular than what Aviatrix can generate.

* Transit: a basket of networking and security solutions that result in increased bandwidth, connectivity for both multi-cloud and multi-region, and the ability to determine optimal paths for traffic flows to enhance performance. Security solutions include network segmentation (across business units, geographic regions, etc), encrypting traffic flows, provisioning firewalls, and traffic inspection controls. Transit also brings efficiencies to cloud teams through infrastructure as code (via Terraform, a HashiCorp product), facilitating the automation of the manual work otherwise needed when leveraging cloud infrastructure (e.g., configuring certain geographic regions or user groups, etc.)

In addition to the strong technical underpinning of the product built by visionary co-founder Sherry Wei, Aviatrix also benefits from an ambitious, proven, and operationally-focused CEO with deep networking and security experience — Steve Mullaney. Steve is the former interim CEO of Palo Alto Networks and was also CEO of software-defined networking pioneer Nicira. Unable to resist the opportunity to build a next-generation, multi-cloud-first networking, and security giant, he came out of retirement and off the Aviatrix board to become CEO of Aviatrix in early 2019. Since joining, Steve has recruited a world-class team of executives including a new CRO, COO, CPO, and CFO, all of whom share background experienced at firms such as Rubrik, Infoblox, Google, Oracle, and Uber. In a little more than two years, the team has more than doubled the growth rate of the company.

Here at TCV, we’ve been watching Aviatrix for over five years. We took time to cultivate our multi-cloud thesis with deep customer and technical research, so when we met Steve and the team and heard the Aviatrix vision firsthand, there was an immediate mutual understanding of the opportunity ahead.

“We respected how much research Tim and the TCV team did to understand what enterprise customers are dealing with prior to approaching us as an investor. Because they put in the work, they were able to see just how big of an opportunity this is for both of our companies. We’re excited to be working with them.”

Steve Mullaney, CEO of Aviatrix

Steve’s track record and ambition to build an iconic public company aligns perfectly with TCV’s investment strategy. We have a history of supporting portfolio companies for the long term as a crossover investor, investing when companies are private, helping them scale to IPO readiness, and investing again at the IPO and supporting them for many years into their public life. We’ve also been fortunate to back other high growth seminal infrastructure software businesses at the intersection of cloud, networking, and security such as Cradlepoint, Silver Peak, HashiCorp, Splunk, Vectra, Rapid7, and Venafi, and we will lean on that experience to help drive growth at Aviatrix.

We view our investment in Aviatrix as a vote of confidence in Steve and the seasoned team of software and networking execs he has assembled, against the backdrop of one of the biggest trends in technology—the ascent of the cloud. We’re grateful for this new partnership and look forward to building a great, enduring, franchise technology company with Aviatrix and its talented employees.

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The views and opinions expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of TCMI, Inc. or its affiliates (“TCV”). TCV has not verified the accuracy of any of the data or statements by the author and disclaims any responsibility therefor. This blog post is not an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to purchase an interest in any private fund managed or sponsored by TCV or any of the securities of any company discussed. The TCV portfolio companies identified above are not necessarily representative of all TCV investments, and no assumption should be made that the investments identified were or will be profitable. For a complete list of TCV investments, please visit www.tcv.com/all-companies/. For additional important disclaimers regarding this interview and blog post, please see “Informational Purposes Only” in the Terms of Use for TCV’s website, available at http://www.tcv.com/terms-of-use/.


Ramping Sales Teams, Shortening the Sales Cycle, and Increasing Revenue in Six Months

Growth Hacks – Moving the Metric

Shortening the sales cycle and creating measurably aggressive growth can seem like a pipe dream in a world where nine-to-12-month sales cycles for enterprises are the norm. What if it didn’t have to be?

For TCV portfolio company Vectra AI, a leading creator of machine learning software that detects and protects against cyber attacks, that dream became a reality in less than a year. By implementing a mindset of continuous growth into its hiring process and carrying that same mindset through its approach to sales and KPIs, Vectra saw more than 50% of its revenue come from recent hires in just six months.

In this episode of Growth Hacks, Kunal and Katja talk to Marty Sanders, head of American Sales at Vectra AI, about how he implemented a mindset of continuous growth into the sales team at Vectra, how it helped shorten the sales cycle, and why he treats recruiting as rigorously as he does multi-digit dealmaking.

Key Takeaways

  • Make continuous growth an organizational mindset. For Vectra’s sales team, continuous growth isn’t just a mission statement, it’s a top-to-bottom mindset. Since Marty joined Vectra last year, the team has refined its hiring process to hire sales leaders who prioritize ongoing growth, focused on shortening sales cycles and improving processes, and created internal benchmarks that reflect the importance of ongoing improvement, rather than just sales notched.
  • Make shortening the sales cycle an obsession, not a nice to have. Continuous improvement is something Vectra hires for and instills into new team members once they come on board. It’s also the first step Marty took to shorten Vectra’s traditional nine-to-12-month sales cycle. New candidates shared his belief that sales cycles could take place over 90 days and worked together to articulate Vectra’s value proposition in under a minute and a half. Additionally, Marty created a “culture of compression,” treating every Friday like a month end, every month end like a weekend, and every quarter like a year closing. The success of the approach at Vectra has been immediate. Over the last two quarters, sales have increased with more than 50% of Vectra’s revenue being earned by salespeople hired in the last six months.
  • Create the right scorecard to measure success; then reward it. It’s tempting to bring on board the flashy hire with the large Rolodex; but how do you ensure that their work is actually showing results? That’s why Marty creates scorecards to measure success, so that both he and his sales team are aligned on verifiable outcomes that build Vectra’s pipeline. Because the KPIs are wide ranging, from identifying stakeholders and setting meetings, to modeling TCOs and identifying organizational pain points, Vectra ties draw to those KPIs. Doing so incentives its sales team and sets clear metrics for success.
  • No goose eggs, ever. Hiring for growth is only one piece of the puzzle. Vectra takes that step further, by making sure that its salespeople never put a zero in their commit. That can give someone a subconscious right to fail, says Marty. By not allowing for a zero forecast, growth becomes the automatic mindset. Because this pace can be grueling for even the best salespeople, Vectra is aggressive about recognition, and maintaining open communication with its salespeople to ensure the pace is right.
  • Treat recruiting like you would treat a multimillion-dollar deal. At Vectra, hiring is treated as mission critical as a seven-figure deal. It’s why Marty specifically incorporates a review of recruitment activities into the business reviews he does with his managers. Vectra also leverages technology and science by using a personality DNA test with every candidate, that assesses how well a candidate might fit into Vectra’s continuous improvement mindset. If a candidate doesn’t pass the test, the company doesn’t move forward.

To learn more, tune into Growth Hacks: Turning a Continuous Improvement Mindset Into Successful KPIs.

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The views and opinions expressed are those of the speakers and do not necessarily reflect those of TCMI, Inc. or its affiliates (“TCV”). TCV has not verified the accuracy of any statements by the speakers and disclaims any responsibility therefor. This interview and blog post are not an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to purchase an interest in any private fund managed or sponsored by TCV or any of the securities of any company discussed. The TCV portfolio companies identified, if any, are not necessarily representative of all TCV investments, and no assumption should be made that the investments identified were or will be profitable. For a complete list of TCV investments, please visit www.tcv.com/all-companies/. For additional important disclaimers regarding this interview and blog post, please see “Informational Purposes Only” in the Terms of Use for TCV’s website, available at http://www.tcv.com/terms-of-use/.


From Siloed to Contextualized Operational Data – How Cognite is Driving the Digital Transformation of the World’s Largest and Most Vital Industries

Everyone talks about the transformative power of big data, often in relation to consumer insights. Yet there is a river of information flowing just as powerfully out of industrial facilities around the world – information that could be harnessed to make our planet more sustainable, industries more efficient, and jobs safer.

Industrial companies are waking up to the power of that information, and today we’re excited to announce an investment in Cognite, a global industrial Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) leader, whose mission is to digitalize heavy-asset industries and unlock the power of their operational data.

The Industrial Leaders’ Choice

Founded in Norway in 2017 by Dr. John Markus Lervik, Geir Engdahl, and Stein Danielsen, Cognite has made huge headway in transforming the use of data across oil and gas, power and utilities, renewable energy and manufacturing, using its cloud-based Cognite Data Fusion (CDF) platform. Companies like bp, Saudi Aramco, Alfa Laval, Statnett, and Mitsubishi are already optimizing the way they operate using Cognite’s platform.

In Good Company

Cognite is an exciting addition to TCV’s portfolio and fits squarely with our thesis on the next-gen industrial software space. This dates back to our support for Seismic-Micro Technology (SMT) from 2007, which gave us early insight into how oil and gas companies value operational intelligence – and its importance from a regulatory and operational efficiency perspective.

This investment led to us finding and backing OSIsoft in 2011, which has since become a standard in the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) market due to its ability to pull data from sensors and industrial equipment at scale for the world’s largest industrial companies.

Another investment is IQMS, one of the first manufacturing software vendors to natively connect manufacturing execution systems to the ERP software of their suppliers/smaller manufacturers, so they could harness the power of the factory data to hone business decisions.

Across these investments we have seen big data and data-driven decision-making soar and drive a huge opportunity for innovation and investment.

Bridging the Gap Between Business and Operational Data Insights

Digital-first companies inherently operate in a data driven way. They produce a sea of business performance data via their IT systems and are able to collect, analyze and manage that data to plan more strategically and run more efficiently. The opportunity in the industrial space is to extend these benefits, harnessing the oceans of operational technology (OT) data generated by every asset and piece of equipment making up factories, processing plants, or broader industrial estates. To date, turning this data into business value has proved a challenge – not least because OT covers a diverse range of data sources and formats.

The sensors on a single piece of equipment may hold the key to insights about production quantities, efficiency data, motor speeds and heat readings. The challenge is how to combine all those different data points into the right context to assess and improve equipment performance. This is a problem that, until recently, no one had solved – and, frankly, few companies even understood.

A Meeting of Minds and the Missing Contextualization Layer

In 2018, not long after Cognite’s founding, Øyvind Eriksen, President & CEO of Aker, and Kjell Inge Røkke, the majority owner of Aker, came to visit our California offices along with Cognite’s CEO, John Markus – to discuss what they were building at Cognite.

It was clear to us from that first meeting that Aker’s support and industrial expertise, combined with John Markus’ product brilliance, addressed the need for this missing contextualization layer – and that Cognite’s product strategy would be aimed at solving this critical issue. That initial meeting led to a relationship which has culminated in TCV’s investment today.

Cognite uses the latest technology – in particular machine learning – to enable large amounts of information to be ingested in real time and, crucially, contextualized so it can be leveraged for a wide range of use cases. This approach, which improves data’s accessibility and governance across an entire organization, significantly shortens the time to value and scalability of high-ROI applications including predictive maintenance, production optimization, and remote work.   

Fueling Cognite’s Next Growth Chapter

Cognite is the perfect fit for TCV’s strategy of investing early in potential franchise companies of the future. We are thrilled to be part of their next growth chapter and help them scale and catalyze the full-scale digital transformation of heavy-asset industries.

The company joins Brex, Redis Labs, Revolut, Relex, Klarna, Mambu, Mollie and recent investments in Europe and around the world. Like OSIsoft, IQMS, Genesys, Netflix, Spotify and many other global leaders in our portfolio that were once young growth-stage companies, Cognite is forging ahead in a fragmented field to become the category leader.

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The views and opinions expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of TCMI, Inc. or its affiliates (“TCV”). TCV has not verified the accuracy of any statements by the author and disclaims any responsibility therefor. This blog post is not an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to purchase an interest in any private fund managed or sponsored by TCV or any of the securities of any company discussed. The TCV portfolio companies identified above are not necessarily representative of all TCV investments, and no assumption should be made that the investments identified were or will be profitable. For a complete list of TCV investments, please visit www.tcv.com/all-companies/. For additional important disclaimers regarding this interview and blog post, please see “Informational Purposes Only” in the Terms of Use for TCV’s website, available at http://www.tcv.com/terms-of-use/.


TCV 2020 Year-End Newsletter

Check out Recent Investments, M&A and IPOs, TCV Team News, Technology Perspectives, and Insights from our Portfolio Companies in our podcast: Growth Journeys!


TCV Closes TCV XI at $4 Billion

MENLO PARK, CA, January 27, 2021 – We are excited to announce the closing of TCV XI, our largest fund to date at $4 billion. With the new fund, we strive to accelerate TCV’s strong momentum and capture the vast opportunities presented by digital transformation and rapid technology adoption. This will continue our long history of partnering with exceptional founders and CEOs to build iconic technology franchises redefining their industries. 

TCV turned 25 in 2020. Since 1995, we have invested more than $14 billion in over 350 growth stage technology companies. We lived up to our middle name, “crossover”, by supporting our portfolio companies throughout their entire lifecycle as private and public companies. 

Over a quarter century, Netflix has gone from an outrageous idea to one of the world’s leading entertainment companies — and TCV has supported us every step of the way. I’m so grateful for the enduring partnership, which includes Jay Hoag’s wisdom and guidance as our lead independent director.” 

Reed Hastings, Co-Founder and Co-CEO, Netflix Inc.

The pandemic accelerated innovation in many of TCV’s key areas of sector specialization, including SaaS, edtech, remote collaboration, fitness, media/entertainment, touchless commerce, and digital banking. In 2020 we made big bets in companies aligned with secular technology trends across fintech (Klarna, Mambu, Mollie, Revolut, Wealthsimple), digital health and fitness (Strava), e-commerce enablement (Spryker) and SaaS (OneTrust, Oversight, Redis Labs). 

We specifically sought out TCV in our last private fundraise. They are the best late-stage growth capital partner and have proven this discernibly and tangibly to us while we were private, while they increased their stake via a large IPO purchase, and on an ongoing basis. Their knowledge of and experience with digital media, global technology platforms and subscription businesses, stemming from their long-term involvement with leading franchises such as Netflix, Spotify, Dollar Shave Club, and many more continues to help us in immeasurable ways as we push to become the global digital fitness winner.”  

John Foley, Founder and CEO of Peloton

Our experience enabled us to decisively guide our portfolio companies through a historic year of uncertainty and opportunity and help them grow and thrive. In spite of unprecedented global challenges, TCV’s portfolio enjoyed IPOs and was proactively sought after by strategic acquirers. Airbnb went public, and the sales of AxiomSL, Genesys, Cradlepoint, and Silver Peak represented major liquidity events. 

We embark upon TCV XI with over 100 people across offices in Silicon Valley, New York, and London. Through several strategic hires, we deepened our domain expertise in addition to making investments in the technology hubs of Europe, Asia-Pacific, and Latin America. TCV’s investments beyond North America today exceed $4 billion. 

Looking ahead, we continue to help our companies reach the mountain top, knowing that the path will never be a straight line. We remain dedicated to supporting management teams on their journey to become market leaders that provide their customers with a tremendous value proposition. 

We are humbled by the ongoing support of new and returning investors, which enabled us to raise a record sized fund. Just as importantly, we are honored by all the great entrepreneurs we have worked with over the past 25 years, as their vision and relentless execution has been our foundation. We look forward to backing entrepreneurs with our new fund that we believe will become the next generation of iconic companies, in this incredibly fertile technology industry.

Jay Hoag, a Founding General Partner at TCV

We are excited about the year ahead and the decades to follow.

The General Partners of TCV

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The views and opinions expressed are those of the speakers and do not necessarily reflect those of TCMI, Inc. or its affiliates (“TCV”). TCV has not verified the accuracy of any statements by the authors and disclaims any responsibility therefor. This blog post is not an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to purchase an interest in any private fund managed or sponsored by TCV or any of the securities of any company discussed. The TCV portfolio companies identified above are not necessarily representative of all TCV investments, and no assumption should be made that the investments identified were or will be profitable. For a complete list of TCV investments, please visit www.tcv.com/all-companies/. For additional important disclaimers regarding this blog post, please see “Informational Purposes Only” in the Terms of Use for TCV’s website, available at http://www.tcv.com/terms-of-use/.


Selling Success: Secrets of Sales Leadership from Planning and Recruiting to Enduring Customer Satisfaction

Revenue is the lifeblood of any business, yet sales planning in a fast-moving tech world is easier said than done. It includes art and science: to succeed, sales leaders need to be both, creative executers and analytical thinkers. New competitors can launch into your markets more easily than ever, while SaaS business models are making it harder to land and expand enterprise-wide contracts. In this timely episode of Growth Journeys, long-time B2B sales leader Mark Smith (NetScreen, Infoblox, Arista, Rubrik) shares veteran advice on sales planning with Kunal Mehta, a principal in TCV’s Portfolio Operations team. Key take-aways include basing near-term forecasts on long-term fundamentals and applying the power of propensity models to predict sales success. Mark and Kunal also explore the secrets of hiring and motivating successful salespeople, why technology is changing the sales cycle, and how to think about 2021:

  • Using shared data and definitions to integrate sales planning and execution
  • Leveraging sales recruiting for business development
  • Aligning engineering and marketing in support of sales plans
  • Why the pandemic is a tailwind for tech companies
  • How the SaaS model gave birth to customer success management

For all this and much more, settle back and press play.

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The views and opinions expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of TCMI, Inc. or its affiliates (“TCV”). TCV has not verified the accuracy of any statements by the authors and disclaims any responsibility therefor. This interview and blog post are not an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to purchase an interest in any private fund managed or sponsored by TCV or any of the securities of any company discussed. The TCV portfolio companies identified, if any, are not necessarily representative of all TCV investments, and no assumption should be made that the investments identified were or will be profitable. For a complete list of TCV investments, please visit www.tcv.com/all-companies/. For additional important disclaimers regarding this interview and blog post, please see “Informational Purposes Only” in the Terms of Use for TCV’s website, available at http://www.tcv.com/terms-of-use/.