We try to maintain that discipline by staying focused on a few key success factors. For our team, that boils down to assessing companies on three main criteria: market opportunity, management team and technology. We’re excited about Apparent Networks because they earn top grades in each of those boxes.
First, they have identified a great market opportunity. Cloud computing and virtualization have many advantages, but they can be elusive without effective monitoring and management. As more organizations recognize the gap between what they can see and what they need to see, Apparent’s opportunity grows larger. We have invested in more than three dozen enterprise technology companies and we know first hand what a mess it can be refereeing battles between vendors, customer IT departments, users and networks on performance issues. A product that can help solve those finger-pointing issues and get and keep users up and running provides a real value in the marketplace today.
Our second criterion is the management team, and on that measure, Apparent Networks is very strong. Each member of their executive staff has a proven ability to execute and we are quite confident that they have assembled an “A” team for this company. We have been fortunate to have had fun and profitable past experiences with many of the top managers at Apparent. We know that they have an uncanny ability to listen to their customers and deliver what the market wants. We are betting they will continue this track record this time around.
Third, but still crucial, on our scorecard is a technological advantage. Solving difficult problems often requires a change in perspective. That’s exactly what the Apparent Networks development team has done with their AppCritical solutions. Their patented path-based approach is truly unique. It realigns network management capabilities with the way companies actually use extended networks today, which is tremendously valuable. AppCritical was specifically designed to avoid the issues other solutions have suffered from – latency, network overload, lack of compatibility, and incomplete coverage are all addressed. This product is a true end-to-end solution that can be used proactively to debut, monitor, and prevent network connectivity issues. We think it’s a winning solution.
So from our perspective, Apparent Networks has all the key ingredients that we look for in a great venture investment – big opportunity, proven team and breakthrough technology. We’re looking forward to helping them grow and prosper.