Today is a special day for us at High Alpha as Zylo, our very first studio company, announces the successful completion of their Series B financing. As a way of commemorating the occasion, I thought it might be interesting to share a bit of the Zylo origin story and unpack what this means for Zylo, High Alpha, and the city of Indianapolis.
By the time we launched Zylo in 2016, the SaaS industry was 15 years old. The shift to cloud computing had brought about major innovations in software design, delivery, and associated business models, but it also gave rise to a number of new challenges. The proliferation of SaaS products that were purchased and deployed inside the enterprise could no longer be effectively managed by the centralized IT department. I saw this problem first-hand while running the design consultancy I founded (Studio Science) prior to co-founding High Alpha.
Around the same time we were exploring this problem and experimenting with potential solutions, Zylo’s co-founder, Eric Christopher, was experiencing the same pain while managing hundreds of SaaS applications at his former employer. Upon discovering our shared passion for solving the SaaS overload problem, we decided to run the concept through High Alpha’s very first Sprint Week in early November 2015. Ultimately, after a successful Sprint Week, we decided to launch Zylo as our first High Alpha Studio company in early 2016.
It’s really hard to believe that almost four years ago Eric and the Zylo team were setting out to build the first (and now category-leading) SaaS management platform. Today, Zylo is announcing a $22.5M Series B funding round to further its mission to revolutionize how software is managed. Zylo now manages over $10 billion in SaaS spend and nearly 1 billion employee SaaS-based interactions for customers that include Nike, Adobe, Slack, Autodesk, Zendesk, Atlassian, and many more. Visibility into how SaaS is purchased, deployed and utilized within a company is one of the biggest challenges CIOs face today.
This is not only a major milestone for the SaaS management industry and the Zylo team, but also for Indianapolis and the midwest startup ecosystem as a whole. This is one of the largest Series B financings in Indianapolis history and the largest funding event for a High Alpha Studio company to date. This is yet another signal of the vitality of the Indianapolis tech ecosystem and strong validation of Indianapolis as one of the best cities in America to launch a SaaS company.
In addition to the impact on the Indy tech ecosystem, this financing is another proof point that the venture studio model is capable of producing world-class, high-growth startups in any geography. We continue to be excited about what we’re building here at High Alpha and the impact we’ve been able to have on companies like Zylo.
On behalf of High Alpha, I would like to officially congratulate Eric and the entire Zylo team on this tremendous accomplishment. But more importantly, I want to congratulate them on the incredible company they are building. We are also thrilled to welcome Menlo Ventures, who led the Series B, as the latest venture fund to join the growing list of tier-one investors backing Indianapolis-based companies. The Series B was rounded out with repeat participation from Bessemer Venture Partners, Salesforce Ventures, Slack Fund, Revolution’s Rise of the Rest Seed Fund, and High Alpha Capital.
This is a major step in the Zylo story, and it’s important to celebrate the major milestones in the startup journey. However, it’s our belief that Zylo is only just getting started.