incident.io, the platform that helps organisations coordinate, communicate and learn from issues that cause business disruption – such as website outages or data leaks – has raised $4.7 million to grow their team, expand their platform and broaden their customer base.
The seed round was led by Index Ventures and Point Nine, with participation from a number of experienced operators – including Monzo founders Tom Blomfield and Jonas Templestein, Eileen Burbidge (Passion Capital) and Renaud Visage (co-founder of Eventbrite and Venture Partner at Point Nine). Many early customers also invested, including Hiroki Takeuchi (CEO of GoCardless) and Vinay Hiremath (CTO of Loom).
Why incidents matter
Things go wrong in every company, all the time. Whether it’s website outages, data breaches, or overwhelmed support teams, incidents are almost inevitable in a world increasingly run by technology. Between 2015-2020, the cost of a third-party failure such as an IT service disruption has doubled, according to half the companies surveyed globally by Deloitte .
A common solution is for engineers to design a process from scratch, and write it down in a document. However, at times of high stress, it’s hard to follow the right steps – often resulting in a chaotic, adrenaline-fuelled scramble of Slack messages, phone calls and emails.
Handling incidents well isn’t just an opportunity to limit the damage, though: it’s also a way to increase customer trust, and can turn the worst day into the best learning opportunity. When failures occur, companies like Monzo , Cloudflare and Slack seize the opportunity, providing write-ups of what went wrong, and explaining what they’ve learned to stop the incident from happening again. Although it can feel uncomfortable to be so public, customers appreciate honesty and transparency.
How incident.io helps
By contrast, when a company adopts incident.io:
- It benefits from sensible ‘default’ solutions to incidents – such as creating a Slack channel, sending an update to customers, or assigning users to play specific roles;
- It draws on a powerful command center for running an incident directly within Slack, where most confusion and chaos is typically found;
- The platform also automates processes and tasks, providing nudges that make it easy to do the right thing;
- When the incident is over, incident.io helps prepare a debrief to extract insights and improvements through data collected during the incident, and provides analytics to spot key trends over time.
Built for the era of cloud-computing and remote-work, when you can’t assume people are in the same room or even the same time zone, incident.io’s platform ensures communication remains clear and consistent, and that stakeholders and customers are kept in the loop.
‘We know from research in cognitive science that high-stress situations aren’t conducive to careful, methodical problem-solving,’ says Stephen Whitworth, incident.io’s CEO. ‘You already have enough on your plate. We’ll take care of running the process for you, so you have the time and space to focus on actually fixing the problem.’
The story behind incident.io
Founded in February 2021, incident.io is the brainchild of three experienced engineers: Whitworth, who previously co-founded fraud detection company Ravelin; Chris Evans, who oversaw a key engineering team during Monzo’s growth from 300,000 to 5 million customers; and Pete Hamilton, who helped scale product and engineering during GoCardless’ growth from 50 to almost 500 people.
The three met while working at Monzo, where Evans had already built some open-source tooling to help incidents run more smoothly. They noticed that other companies were investing precious engineering time repeatedly building the same thing, and spotted an opportunity to provide something customers could buy ‘off the shelf’.
Carlos Gonzalez-Cadenas, partner at Index Ventures, says: ‘Incident management is essential for all companies, but especially for those that rely on complex digital ecosystems and APIs that make them vulnerable to unforeseen events. incident.io introduces a new level of responsiveness in crises, but, just as importantly, it helps to build a culture of transparency required to reduce future incidents.’
Christoph Janz, partner at Point Nine, says: “incident.io was ‘love at first sight’. After one meeting it was clear to me that we just have to back this team. incident.io offers a true painkiller for pain experienced by almost every company that relies on software to be up and running 24/7 – which is, basically, every company.”
Transforming workplace culture
One of the major benefits of incident.io is how it improves the visibility and transparency of incidents. By integrating heavily with Slack, the whole organisation can see what’s going on without needing additional accounts or tools, lowering the bar to raising issues and participating in solving them. This fosters a culture of learning and accountability, rather than fault and recrimination.
‘Just because something isn’t recorded, doesn’t mean it’s not happening,’ Whitworth says. ‘The Deepwater Horizon oil rig had seven years with no reported incidents, before the explosion in its eighth year. Post incident analysis found failures on the rig that, if they were recorded, could have prevented the critical incident. This information wasn't available, which meant there was no opportunity to intervene. When processes and tools add unnecessary friction, or a company promotes safety through the absence of incidents, humans aren’t incentivised to ring the alarm bell and say ‘something’s not working here’. By pointing the way towards the solution, incident.io lowers the bar to recording issues – and so helps to focus the company on problem-solving, rather than finger-pointing.’
The next steps
Though incident.io has only been live since March 2021, it already has over 50 customers from all around the world, from high growth startups like Linear and Render to billion-dollar companies such as GoCardless and Loom.
With new funding, incident.io will be building out its team in London, growing its user base and investing heavily in its product, technology and infrastructure to enrich the features on offer to customers.
Published — Sept. 30, 2021