At the AWS Nexus DevOps Innovation Day, 19 DevOps startups proved that the DevOps space is an exciting and innovative place to be. Hosted by AWS and Nexus Venture Partners on May 28, 2022, the event was split into three sections – an online fireside chat, a series of five-minute virtual presentations by 19 DevOps startups to 50+ unicorns/ soonicorns, and an offline networking session in Bengaluru.
Playbooks, product market fit, and the potential of DevOps
In a fireside chat between Amitabh Nagpal, Head of Startup Ecosystem for AWS and Sameer Brij Verma, Managing Director Nexus Venture Partners, Amitabh spoke of how interesting it was that investors such as Nexus were able to recognise the potential and opportunities that came with a space like DevOps. Sameer had spent 15 years partnering with entrepreneurs to understand and draw insights from the companies they invested in. Investing in different companies and platforms gave them unique access to various challenges across different stacks and companies. With these learnings, Nexus began to build a thesis – piece by piece, learning by learning, challenge by challenge.
“We built on the institutional knowledge over and over again, in different pieces of the enterprise stack, right from application to infrastructure, and dev tools. And DevOps has been a very core part of our thesis,” said Sameer on recognising the opportunities and potential of DevOps in India.
He also spoke about a pivotal turning point for tech talent in India. In 2010-11, after the talent density in India grew, when companies had built offshore development centres in India and when engineers were veterans in dealing with spillover maintenance tasks, is when Indians started wondering about building end to end products in India. Adobe started building a product in India, from concept to the creation of a real product, which gave engineers the confidence to build new products from scratch.
On creating a playbook for DevOps companies to recognise product market fit, Sameer opposed the idea of a cookie cutter, one-size-fits-all solution for a broad term such as DevOps. What was more important, he said, was for companies to ponder upon whether their products created a pull in the market, as opposed to a push. DevOps, he maintained, should be considered from two angles – infrastructure and workflow. He also mentioned that when companies think about DevOps infrastructure they must consider open source. This would help them understand the community mindshare for the product they were trying to build – allowing for more people to use it, test it, deploy it, and finally, offer feedback and contributions towards the product. When it came to workflows and frameworks, Sameer spoke about the importance of solving for productivity across the entire development cycle.
He also credited AWS for their massive contributions to cloud computing, affordable solutions and tools that aid entrepreneurs in going live, and spoke about how in-tune and assertive AWS market teams were. Events like these, he said, would help DevOps companies get a lot of traction with customers, and engagement like this on the ecosystem side would be very powerful.
The main part of the event involved 19 presentations (of 5 minutes each) by the shortlisted DevOps startups. These presentations were heard by unicorns and soonicors that were invited for the event.
Kicking off the presentations was Hasura, a DevOps startup that offers a range of data access solutions to help organisations accelerate product delivery by instantly connecting data and services to applications with GraphQL APIs. Easy to install and use, Hasura’s powerful solutions save engineering teams months of recurring effort in building, shipping, and maintaining their APIs.
Second in line was Zenduty, an end-to-end major incident management and alerting platform, which assists engineering teams that are looking for an end-to-end solution for minimising their downtime and addressing critical production incidents before it impacts customers.
Presenting their solution next was Facets. Cloud, which enables teams to create self-service cloud deployments from architecture definitions. This solution fast-tracks cloud modernisation, eliminates devOps team burnout, increases developer productivity with a single pane of glass across all environments, and reduces friction of on-demand environment creation on any cloud.
Fourth in line was Last9.io – an observability platform for distributed systems. This solution offers practitioners and engineering leaders with correlation graphs for services and infra components, it reduces MTTD to a minimum during downtime and lowers alert fatigue through algorithmic alerting.
Fifth was Dyte – a real-time audio video SDK provider, which allows companies to easily integrate live calls, audio or video within their products. The solution offers features such as virtual backgrounds, chat files, sharing folders, and in depth customisation features.
ToolJet, the sixth startup to present, is an open-source framework to build internal applications. ToolJet assists any organisation looking to improve the productivity of the engineering team. It can be used to easily build and deploy end-to-end internal applications with minimal engineering effort.
Next to present was Lamdatest, an incredibly fast disk orchestration platform. Currently, the company provides testing infrastructure for the entire stack of more than 10,000 customers and 500 enterprises. They provide more than 3,000 OS and browser combinations for testing websites, either manually or via automated testing via selenium, Cypress and playwright.
DeepSource was the eighth startup. DeepSource is a modern static analysis platform that helps engineering teams ship maintainable and secure code by continuously analysing source code changes and identifying bugs categorised as security, performance, anti-patterns, and potential bug-risks.
Squadcast – a cloud-based software designed around Site Reliability Engineering (SRE) practices – was next to present. This solution helps developers, SREs and on-call teams proactively respond to outages and create a culture of learning and continuous improvement.
Tenth in line was Pingsafe, a cloud-agnostic, agentless cloud security solution that continuously detects and prevents vulnerabilities by scanning a company’s entire cloud infrastructure through an attacker’s lens and helps remediate top vulnerabilities that are most susceptible to getting exploited.
The DevOps startup Nimesa followed next. Nimesa is currently building a cloud-native application recovery platform that covers 100 percent of the threat vector and 100 percent of a company’s cloud assets, which are running on AWS. The dashboard will inform companies of their current status of production, whether they are underprotected, inventory, backups and more.
Requestly, a developer tool to debug web and mobile apps, presented next. This solution integrates into web apps as a browser extension and native SDK into mobile apps and then collects various information which is helpful in debugging issues like network logs, console logs, exception stack traces, and more.
Roost – the 13th DevOps startup to present – is an environment-as-a-service platform that creates instant and ephemeral pre-production environments on every pull request, or with an on-demand request. Roost updates service dependencies in a real-time way so that developers always get the latest working environment.
Cloudanix was the next DevOps startup to present. This Cloud Security Platform helps companies using public clouds (AWS, Azure, GCP, DigitalOcean), who want to improve their cloud and container security. Cloudanix provides deep insights into misconfigurations, shows compliance gaps, fixes IAM issues and secures container workloads for customers.
Opslyft – a one-stop cloud spends management platform – was the 15th startup to present. This solution helps clients maximise their ROI on cloud investments with minimal time and effort through features such as incident management and reporting, identifying cost leakages, business cost unit analysis, and more.
OptiQ – DevSecOps platform for developers – deploys service and infrastructure on any cloud in minutes, provisions environments, offers managed CI andCD, cloud infra management with ISO, SOC-2 standards, as well as monitoring and logging third party tools in one place.
ImageKit – the next DevOps startup to pitch their – idea is used by companies to simplify how they deliver images and videos on their websites and apps. ImageKit improves web and app Performance and SEO by optimising images and videos to the right format, delivers perfectly sized and smart-cropped images and videos in real-time, personalises image and banners at scale, and much more.
Castled was the 18th DevOps startup to present their solution. A marketing automation software, it doesn’t have its own data storage. Castled uses the company’s data warehouse as the storage layer. Castled’s solution offers No data inconsistency in the marketing tool, allows marketers to access any data in the warehouse without knowing SQL and run campaigns on them, and more.
Finally, the 19th startup to present was Logiq.ai. This startup’s observability data fabric makes observability data accessible and analysable. With the LOGIQ.AI platform, organisations can collect, store, analyse, transform, and connect observability data on-demand.
The event closed with an offline networking event in Bengaluru, where the startups could meet the unicorns and soonicorns who were present for the virtual pitches over dinner and drinks.