Vantage raises $21M Series A to help bring down cloud costs

Vantage, a startup that helps businesses better understand their cloud infrastructure spend (and automate their savings), today announced that it has raised a $21 million Series A funding round led by Scale Venture Partners, with participation from by Andreessen Horowitz, which led its seed round, as well as Harpoon Ventures, CloudFlare CEO and co-founder Matthew Prince and Glenn Solomon (who is a managing partner at GGV but who is investing personally here). The company previously raised a $4 million seed round in 2021.

As Vantage co-founder and CEO (and former TechCrunch web developer) Ben Schaechter told me, the company now helps its more than 300 customers manage more than $1 billion in annual cloud costs. These customers now include the likes of Square, NASA, BuzzFeed, PBS, Ripple, PlanetScale and Barstool Sports and they connect a total of over 10,000 infrastructure accounts to Vantage at this point.

Image Credits: Vantage

When Schaechter and his co-founder Brooke McKim started out, the idea was to build a better AWS dashboard. As a part of this, the team built out a dashboard that helped its users visualize their AWS spend, which led the team to almost exclusively focus on this idea. Since then, Vantage has added support for Azure and GCP, but maybe even more importantly, it also added support for services like Datadog, Fastly, Databricks, Snowflake, New Relic, MongoDB and Kubernetes clusters, with support for services like Twilio, PlanetScale and IBM's and Oracle's clouds on the roadmap.

As Schaechter told me, Vantage is also profiting from the current downturn in the financial markets. Not only has FinOps become a thing, but companies are now actively looking for ways to bring down their infrastructure cost. "What's changed in the environment is that we had a decade-long bull market where everyone was focused on growth. That's obviously stopped or slowed -- and as a result, everyone's flipping to the bottom lines," he said. "Now it's: What can you optimize? You can optimize people cost through [reductions in force]. Or, typically, line-item number one is cloud infrastructure costs like AWS Azure or GCP and Snowflake. So there's just been this significant influx in cost efficiency and Vantage has been really well positioned to help customers from that perspective."

Image Credits: Vantage

Because the platform is now significantly more mature -- and covers a wider range of services -- Vantage is seeing an influx of large enterprise users, Schaechter noted. He also argued that because of this broader scope, Vantage is better-positioned to service these customers when compared to some of its competitors.

With a solid foundation in place, the team is now looking at how it can help its customers better optimize their cost across these different services. "Vantage will be the only provider that has technical keys into all of these providers and that's where we can start providing and facilitating cross-provider cost recommendations and transitions," he explained. "For example. PlanetScale is one of the providers that we would like to have on board on Vantage. AWS is always going to tell you the best way to optimize on AWS, but Vantage can say: 'Hey, here's the specific database on RDS. You're overpaying for that. And here's how much it would cost a MongoDB and how much it would cost on PlanetScale."

And because the team already has access to these resources, it could then also help users transition their workloads between these services. It already offers its AutoPilot feature to help its users manage their financial commitments (and charges its customers 5% of the cost savings it generates for them in return). The plan is to extend with these additional capabilities.

Schaechter noted that while the company is actually cash flow positive right now, the team decided that with this influx of new customers, it needed to step things up -- both to better service its existing customers and to capitalize on the opportunities in front of it. The company currently has about 15 employees, and Schaechter expects that number to grow to about 40 to 50 employees by the end of the year.