Today, remote and hybrid work are becoming the norm in business. A startup that builds tools to help desktop computers perform in such scenarios has announced a round growth funding to expand its operations. ControlUp, which provides technology to IT teams for monitoring and improving performance across their networks has received $100 million in funding. This will allow ControlUp to invest in its tools and expand its business.
ControlUp is already a significant business. It claims that it has four of America's top five health insurance companies and five of the top eight U.S. hospitals. Additionally, ControlUp says its customers include four out of six of the world's top telecoms companies. ControlUp's revenue grew by 50% over the past year and its enterprise accounts grew 67%. ControlUp's technology now monitors desktops across more than 1 million locations worldwide. These 1,000,000 seats can be connected to approximately 1,500 customers, giving you an idea about how large its customers are.
This round was co-led by JVP and K1 Investment Management, both of which were previous backers. ControlUp was established in Israel. It continues to have strong R&D operations, as well as a larger operation out of San Jose. Asaf Ganot, the CEO of the company, said that the startup would not disclose its valuation. However, it appears to be significantly higher than the $330m valuation it had last year (per PitchBook), at the time it announced its Series B, even though it is still below $1 billion.
Ganot tells us that ControlUp was initially created to solve performance issues when virtual machines are running on a network. Issues like broadband speed, too many apps running on too little computing power, high latency with apps performance, and too many running on too much compute power can all lead to poor computing experiences and frustration for workers. This problem has become more complicated with the increase in people working remotely, who use WiFi and broadband networks of different quality and often work on their own computers which might not be optimal for business purposes.
He said that the company's early days were marked by "user experience". High productivity means that people are happier, and they will work harder. The problem has become more prevalent in the past year. "It's not a niche," he stated. Remote and hybrid work is what he was referring to. He said that it's the same thing we have done for years, but with more work.
The company has developed a solution that involves deploying agents that run in the background of a person's computer and monitor how the device and applications are working. These agents run on AI and can identify problems such as slow broadband networks. They can also offer technical assistance in the form of non-automatic or automated suggestions to help the person or remote IT person.
Although the company is available to both remote and physical endpoints such as Citrix Virtual Apps and VMWare Horizon, as well as Citrix Virtual Apps and Microsoft RDS, WVD, it does not extend to mobile devices. Mobile devices have their own unique set of management issues, Ganot stated.
People are becoming more wary of the idea that "agents", quietly monitoring your computer movements, might not be as discreet as they used to be. Ganot answered questions about ControlUp and the potential privacy issues it presents. ControlUp can only monitor and look at cases where a "work resource" is being used. This could be a computer that is issued by the company or an employee accessing work email through a browser. The system "reads" only data relevant to such usage.
The IT team is able to monitor home networking and WiFi signatures. He said that we only do this when you're connected to a work asset. This works even if the device is not corporate. We don't do anything unless you have a work asset, such as an application to work.
Ganot stated that the system has been light enough to not have an impact on user experience. He said that monitoring apps can be slowing down things, but our agents are very non-intrusive. This is one our core values. We don't want the user experience to be a problem.
Investors will continue to seek out opportunities to invest in startups that make hybrid and remote working possible.
Erel Margalit (founder and chairman of JVP), stated that IT managers in large organizations now have to monitor the performance of the network for their employees at work, home, or from a remote location. "ControlUp provides a deep analysis of mission critical applications--for every employee--highlighting problems and finding remedies to solve them. The dashboard allows IT managers to assess, monitor and improve productivity for all employees within the company.
Roy Liao (SVP at K1) stated that there is a shift towards work-from-anywhere in all industries. ControlUp continues to change the landscape in the digital employee experience space. K1 is proud to be a partner with ControlUp. ControlUp offers a unique value proposition, as it focuses on making the employee experience easier, more efficient, and less costly than any other vendor.