When Bain Ventures invested $5.2 million into Boston-based Tracelytics, one of the firm’s portfolio companies took an interest. After a few months of getting-to-know-yous, the company, AppNeta, became interested enough to acquire Tracelytics. Which it did. Today.
“It’s a bittersweet day,” CEO John Vigeant says, “but our name will be easier to pronounce.
AppNeta and Tracelytics play in the same sandbox — Tracelytics provides performance management tools for Web applications and AppNeta does so for business applications. Tracelytics’ new Boston office, funded in part by Bain’s investment, is just a few blocks from AppNeta’s headquarters in Boston, according to Vigeant.
A very conflicted Bain Ventures tried to stay out of deal negotiations as best it could. Prior to its late March round of funding led by Bain, Tracelytics had raised capital from Google Ventures, Battery Ventures, and Flybridge Capital Partners. The deal value was not disclosed.
It makes sense that Tracelytics would be attractive to an older performance management company like AppNeta, originally founded in Vancouver in 2000. Tracelytics’ offerings bring performance management into the modern era by focusing on full-stack, cloud solutions that charge by the trace. “We started talking about combining our application capabilities with their network capabilities, and it started to become a really compelling story,” Vigeant says.
Tracelytics 13-person company will try to maintain its culture while being absorbed into AppNeta’s 70-person-plus operation. “Our core team has been together for six years, Vigeant says,
Only a few weeks ago I threw Tracelytics’ name into the ring as a potential acquirer. Boston-based Crashlytics acquired Boston-based Firetower, and the company noted that it had recently received inbound acquisition interest for its own mobile app analytics platform. Tracelytics wouldn’t comment on whether it was behind that offer, but the point here is that Boston is teeming with well-capitalized, attractive analytics companies all jockeying for position. It is apparently an acquire-or-be-acquired world. (Full disclosure, Tracelytics was founded in Providence but this year opened an office in Boston.)
So what is it about Boston that makes people want to start performance management companies? The Tracelytics team attributed it to the preponderance of colleges focused on heavy engineering, science, and data analysis in the area. “The way I see it,” Vigeant says, “is that Boston is full of a bunch of geeks building cool technology; New York is full of social media, advertising and media types; and Silicon Valley is a free-for-all.” Tracelytics is “definitely a technology driven B2B company,” he says.
Interest from firms like like Bain Ventures helps, too.