LightStep Raises $41 Million to Accelerate Market Expansion

LightStep, the leading provider of application performance management (APM) for organizations adopting microservices and serverless, today announced $41 million in Series C funding, bringing the total raised to $70 million. The round was led by Altimeter Capital with participation from all existing investors: Redpoint, Sequoia, Cowboy Ventures and Harrison Metal. LightStep will use the funding to accelerate product development and meet record market demand.

“Microservices and serverless architectures are quickly reshaping how enterprises build and operate software at scale,” said Kevin Wang, partner at Altimeter Capital. “LightStep has been at the forefront of this disruption and is fundamentally redefining the APM market with a world-class team, ambitious vision, powerful product and delighted customers. We’re excited to support LightStep as they continue building a transformative company through rapid growth and innovation.”

“LightStep has grown quickly in the past year, and along many axes: our customer base, our pace of innovation, our revenue, our headcount, and, most importantly, the value we’ve delivered to our customers,” said Ben Sigelman, co-founder and CEO at LightStep. “LightStep’s market opportunity is tremendous, and we can accelerate our expansion with this new capital from Altimeter and our existing investors. As we grow the business, we will also continue to invest in our unique architecture and further product innovation – this will extend our lead in the APM space for organizations adopting microservices.”

Sigelman is an expert in performance analysis and debugging in large software systems. He designed and deployed global-scale monitoring technologies at Google, including Dapper, an always-on distributed tracing system that analyzes more than 2 billion transactions per second. He is also the co-creator of the OpenTracing standard, part of the Cloud Native Computing Foundation.

LightStep formally launched last year with customers Twilio, Lyft, Yext, GitHub and DigitalOcean to address challenges faced by enterprises building and operating complex software at scale. The growing adoption of microservices has accelerated software development but it also brings greater operational complexity and a dramatic increase in the volume of diagnostic data, making performance management a challenge. The existing APM solutions designed for monolithic applications fail to handle the scale or complexity of modern architectures. They cannot provide accurate insights in real-time because ordinary transactions involve dozens to thousands of distinct services.

LightStep [x]PM delivers precise and robust measurements of performance issues, in real-time, and provides clear explanations that enable engineers to reduce mean time to resolution (MTTR). Its unique, decentralized architecture continuously analyzes 100% of transactions across all services, at scale, in production. LightStep [x]PM goes beyond isolated single-transaction timing diagrams to offer differentiated and valuable tracing-based capabilities: LightStep [x]PM uses the raw, unsampled tracing data to power features, including real-time monitoring, alerting, time-series dashboards, and fine-grained multi-dimensional latency analysis. Customers see reduced MTTR, improved development efficiency and more effective root cause analysis. LightStep will be showcasing LightStep [x]PM in booth S10 at KubeCon and leading the Observability Practitioners Summit later this month.

Customers on LightStep:

  • “We support millions of athletes in their goals to become healthier, and that generates massive amounts of data supported by lots of services. LightStep gives us critical insight into the performance of complex system interactions and is a key tool in both our operational environment and our Cloud Native transformation. By using OpenTracing as a foundational layer, [x]PM assists us to remain standards-compliant, and use a powerful distributed tracing solution to pinpoint the root cause if performance and/or operational issues occur.” – Eric Wood, Director, Platform Engineering at Under Armour
  • “At Medium, we are building the best place for reading and writing on the internet. Behind the seemingly simple and elegant interface, Medium is powered by a complex system, evolving from a monolithic service to a microservice system. Microservice boundaries are opaque by design. This presents innumerable challenges observing them, especially when we need to track down performance issues or failures cross multiple services. Without good observability, developing and troubleshooting microservices quickly turns into a nightmare with even just a few services. This is why we rely heavily on LightStep [x]PM to help us understand the performance of our systems and pinpoint the root cause of latency issues. It is instrumental throughout the entire cycle of engineering microservices. Even when things work well, we use LightStep [x]PM to understand how the systems work together as a whole and identify opportunities of improvement.” – Xiao Ma, Chief Architect at Medium
  • “Segment provides the customer data infrastructure that helps businesses put their customers first. LightStep [x]PM is a very strategic product that’s been helping us to get more visibility into our data pipeline than we’ve had in the past. We’ve used it to pinpoint the root cause of performance issues to help ensure that we’re able to have the most efficient possible infrastructure for our 15,000 customers.” – Tido Carriero, VP of Engineering, Product and Design at Segment
  • LightStep [x]PM has been an invaluable solution for us. We were tasked with transitioning our application from a monolith to microservices and improving its performance by 4x at the same time. Microservices present new performance challenges, primarily around long-tail latency that we were unfamiliar with. So to achieve our goal, we had to isolate and eliminate long-tail latency – a task that was nearly impossible before we adopted LightStep. Now, since LightStep analyzes 100% of the data, we never drop spans and never miss these crucial outliers. Unlike other solutions, LightStep [x]PM doesn’t just tell us when we have a performance issue, it shows us why.”  – Zack Angelo, VP Platform Engineering at BigCommerce

Since LightStep formally launched last year:

  • LightStep has achieved record revenue growth and added key customers including Airtable, BigCommerce, Indeed, InVision, Ola, Medium, Segment, Sift Science, SkyScanner, Under Armour, Zalando and many others
  • LightStep has delivered extensive product innovations including:
    — Real-time performance histograms that enable organizations to understand what’s normal and what’s not, all with an unprecedented level of analytical detail
    — LightStep “Snapshots”: durable, shareable insights and trace data extracted from LightStep’s Satellites to specifically explain anomalies or performance regressions. Snapshots are an industry first, providing an unprecedented level of detail and analytical depth, even for events in the past.
    — Numerous usability enhancements including Service Directory which provides an intuitive services-oriented view into applications
    — Integration with leading ecosystem partners including GrafanaSumo LogicEnvoy, and Istio
    — Enhanced C# and .NET support
    — Improved ability to organize, discover, and share distributed traces
  • LightStep has analyzed more than 100 trillion microservice calls and almost 10 petabytes of data in the past year alone
  • LightStep has been recognized in the “Cool Vendors in Performance Analysis; Analytics and Containers”[1] report by Gartner, Inc., was named one of the 20 Rising Stars as part of the Forbes 2018 Cloud 100 list, the definitive list of the top 100 private cloud companies in the world, and was selected as a MIT Sloan CIO Symposium Innovation Showcase finalist
  • LightStep doubled its employee base and recently added Rob Benson as VP of Engineering. Prior to joining LightStep, Benson held technical leadership positions at Twitter and Confluent.

About LightStep
LightStep’s mission is to deliver confidence at scale for those who develop, operate and rely upon today’s powerful software applications. Its first product, LightStep [x]PM, is reinventing application performance management. It provides accurate, detailed snapshots of the entire software system at any point in time, enabling organizations to identify bottlenecks and resolve incidents rapidly. LightStep is backed by Redpoint, Sequoia and Altimeter Capital and is headquartered in San Francisco, CA. For more information, visit or follow at @LightStepHQ.

About Altimeter Capital
Altimeter Capital is a technology focused investment firm that manages both public and private equity funds. Altimeter has a track record of investments in successful software-as-a-service companies including AppDynamics, MongoDB, Okta, Snowflake and Twilio. For more information, visit

[1]Gartner “Cool Vendors in Performance Analysis; Analytics and Containers” report by Padraig Byrne, Vivek Bhalla, Pankaj Prasad, Federico De Silva and Charley Rich, 12 September 2018

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