Cloud-Based Monitoring Solution Memfault Raises $2.5 Million In Funding

By Noah Long ● Nov 20, 2019
  • Cloud-based monitoring solution Memfault announced it has raised $2.5 million in funding led by Uncork Capital

Memfault, a company that provides the first cloud-based monitoring solution for hardware devices — announced the official launch of its platform and a $2.5 million round of funding led by Uncork Capital. S28 Capital and Y Combinator also joined the round.

The Memfault founders are engineers have worked at Fitbit, Oculus, and Pebble. And its lead investor Uncork Capital is run by Jeff Clavier — whose investments include Fitbit, Sendgrid, Eventbrite, and Mint.

Between the decades of hardware experience between its founders and investors, Memfault is uniquely positioned to build the first cloud-based monitoring tool to help hardware teams catch, triage, and fix bugs before they are discovered by end-users. The early customers using the platform include hardware companies Logitech and Proxy.

“At Memfault, we treat hardware companies like they are software companies and have built diagnostic tools specifically for developers,” said François Baldassari, CEO of Memfault. “Our years of experience at major hardware companies gave us insight into the widespread problem of firmware bugs for these businesses.  With the proliferation of connected devices and more complex applications squeezed onto chips, it has become nearly impossible for hardware firms to keep up with bugs and get them fixed before the software is rolled out. Memfault can come in and automatically detect and fix those bugs before they ever reach end-users, which can save thousands if not millions of dollars for hardware companies. We are excited for the support of industry veteran Jeff Clavier and his team, as well as S28 Capital and Y Combinator as we quickly scale this business to meet the needs of these growing device companies.”

Today, most hardware companies do not find out something is wrong until a customer calls or tweets. And this is very labor-intensive and often raises the alarm too late to contain the damage.

“Memfault is providing us with detailed performance analytics on our devices and is able to give us valuable insight such as identifying the number of devices affected by the same issue so we can understand the scale of a problem, something that was impossible to determine beforehand,” added Karthik Rajagopal, Director of Software Engineering at Logitech. “Memfault can also pinpoint down to the line of code where the problem lies so we don’t waste time trying to determine how to fix the issue once it’s already in the hands of customers.  Before Memfault, we could only learn the symptoms of the issue without details on the origin of it, making it harder and slower to fix bugs. We’ve just begun working with Memfault, but we can tell its tool will save our developers many hours each week and put better performing products in the hands of our end users.”

As the Internet of Things continues to grow with 20 billion connected devices projected for 2020, manually monitoring every device in the field and triaging every issue reported by customers becomes intractable.

“As the number of devices and the complexity of software grows, hardware teams need more advanced diagnostics tools,” explained Clavier. “We have spent a long time in this industry working with hardware companies managing millions of devices in the field, and no one but Memfault is targeting the critical diagnostic issue they are facing.  We are excited to work with Memfault’s executive team who hail from leading hardware companies to tackle the issue of automatically catching and fixing bugs on hardware devices before they impact end-users.”

Memfault essentially acts as an early alert system. And companies use Memfault’s software to incrementally roll out their firmware updates and immediately get notified of issues before they impact the entire fleet.

“Memfault gives us detailed event recording and visual metrics analytics for our device performance so we can proactively address any issues,” commented Lance Cohen, Director of Engineering at Proxy. “Prior to Memfault we relied on Slack to communicate about product issues, but the Memfault dashboard makes it very easy to identify issues at a quick glance and collaborate with teammates on resolutions.   What mobile app developers have had for performance and stability analytics is finally now coming to hardware devices, and we’re excited to see new features like alerts rolled out on the Memfault platform in the coming weeks so we can continue to be proactive in putting the best performing devices for mobile access in the hands of our customers.”

Memfault’s SDK connects into low-level diagnostics features available in all connected devices and streams that data back to their cloud where it is analyzed. And Memfault’s backend identifies, classifies, and deduplicates error reports so engineers know what issues are most prevalent and where the fault lies exactly without needing to collect affected devices back from customers.

“Great engineers gain leverage through great tooling,” noted Andrew Miklas, partner at S28 Capital and co-founder of PagerDuty. “Despite the explosion of the IoT market, the tools available to firmware engineers severely lag those used by their software engineering counterparts. Memfault is changing this by making rapid iteration possible in the firmware development process.  We’re very excited to join François and his team on this journey.”