Avenue was launched Friday to give operations their own team-tracking tools, and is building a “command center” for this often-forgotten area of business, co-founder and CEO Justin Bleuel told TechCrunch.
In addition to the launch, the company is announcing $ 4 million in seed funding, led by Accel, with participation from Flexport and a group of individual investors from companies like Coinbase, Uber, Stripe and Thumbtack.
Bleuel and his co-founder, Jeff Barg, grew up together creating iOS apps, then went their separate ways, from Bleuel to Uber and Barg to Amazon. At Uber, Bleuel was working on observability – passive or proactive surveillance – by creating many tools in-house to monitor the market for data such as passenger experience.
The two saw an opening to build these tools themselves for the operations teams, and Avenue was born. The technology allows sales teams to configure alerts to observe when there is a problem with the data, to act correctly and to improve the functioning of the whole team, think “Datadog or PagerDuty for teams operational, ”said Bleuel.
“The data is now all centralized in data warehouses, so you can use it in ways you couldn’t before, like Fivetran, and activate from there,” he added. “Previously you had to create individual alerts for each tool, but now we can actively direct them from the warehouse. “
The company, founded in 2020, grew out of the Winter 2021 Y Combinator cohort, and one of its first customers is the Snackpass food pickup service, which uses Avenue to monitor uptime and receive notifications when partner restaurants, for example, have an ordering tablet. battery dies or loses Wi-Fi. Snackpass is able to contact the location and help them figure out why they got disconnected. As a result, the company was able to halve the percentage of offline stores, Bleuel said.
Avenue’s privileged customers are market companies or warehouses for monitoring stocks. However, the co-founders also see their technology being used by other companies, such as furniture delivery companies, to monitor reliability or know their stock levels. Clients also prepare reports and share them with other internal teams on how to improve operations.
The company intends to use the funding to strengthen its small three-person team, particularly in engineering, so it can bring new products to market, Barg said.
Avenue works with more than 50 companies and has sent more than 200,000 alerts since April. The business model charges customers per alert per month, and the team is considering a freemium model as well as enterprise tiers.
Meanwhile, Accel partner Amit Kumar said via email that the company is “very thesis-driven,” one of which is the modern data stack. Accel made early investments in companies like Airbyte, Monte Carlo and Privacer, and saw an opportunity for new downstream applications based on innovation, among which Avenue stood out.
The combination of Bleuel and Barg was “particularly compelling because of their mastery of problem space” due to their experiences at Uber and Amazon and their firsthand experience of how “under-served” operational teams are and how that is. can affect the whole business.
He believes the current approach of operational teams in the market today relies heavily on dashboards, periodic scans and color-coded Excel sheets – a process that is “often inaccurate and disorganized.” At the same time, product engineers had well-established tools around observability and incident response.
“Given the rise of ‘atom’ startups fueled by a cohort of ex-Uber and ex-Amazon operators, Justin and Jeff were uniquely positioned to find design partners and clients among their peer networks.” , Kumar added. “As operational teams become both more mainstream and critical to business results, I expect their processes to mature and benefit from similar tools. That’s the thesis behind Avenue, and the first pull indicates that the big, next-gen companies agree. “