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.