Some June news
Our investment in June, pioneering a new design-centric approach to the product analytics market
Since day one at Point Nine, we have been trying to help founders understand their key metrics. We’ve built dashboards to help founders monitor their SaaS metrics (since April 2013). We’ve built a bunch of pivot tables to help founders run some cohort analysis (since October 2013). We’ve also published a bunch of slides to help founders monitor each department of their SaaS organization. We’ve been trying to help founders by building Excel spreadsheets but sometimes we also understand that Excel is just not good enough. That led to our investments in companies like Chartmogul in 2015, which has changed the way SaaS practitioners look at revenue data — some of our founders say they open Chartmogul more than their emails. But, to this day, there is one topic we still very much struggle helping early-stage founders with. Product analytics. Everybody (founders, investors, employees) understand that they are important but most get them wrong. Why?
It often boils down to a combination of reasons: struggling to put in the place the right instrumentation/tooling in the product (eg. the right tracking plan), understanding which metrics to track, how to analyze their evolution and/or setting the right targets with the right person in the organization.
June is an (instant) product analytics software, built on top of Segment (for now).
In just a few minutes, users can:
- connect Segment to track the right events,
- spin up a template in order to track certain key metrics (eg. users, active users, retention, activation),
- understand where these stand through a beautiful graph,
- set goals according to that metrics, and,
- communicate the results with the key stakeholders in the organization in Slack or elsewhere.
Enzo, the founder, shares more about their vision on this Tweet:
Innovation on the Interface Layer
The analytics market is large (and growing) but the bottom part of the market is underserved. As briefly mentioned in the intro, most analytics tools are hard to implement, hard to use and costly. June goes after this market with a bottom-up approach, betting on
- the commoditization of the instrumentation part thanks to the advent of CDPs (Customer Data Platforms (CDPs) like Segment), and,
- differentiating through ease of use thanks to templates for the analysis part.
In 2014, Scott Belsky, the founder of Behance and now the CPO of Adobe (who we’re glad to have join the round) wrote this great blog post called “The Interface Layer: Where Design Commoditizes Tech”. He writes, “The success or failure of a product is less about the technology and more the user’s experience of the technology. Be sure to find, keep, compensate, and celebrate those that are pushing the world of UX/UI forward”. June adopts exactly this approach in the (product) analytics market pushing the boundaries of innovation on the UX/UI side of things.
Democratizing product analytics as a first step to build a broader data collaboration platform
In terms of UX/UI innovation, and as we’ve seen with PlayPlay in the video market, relying on templates can sometimes dramatically expand markets by empowering audiences with non-technical skills. Our bet here is that June’s ease of use will broaden the access to product analytics, empowering not only the SQL proficient PMs but anyone in the company interested in understanding how the product is being used (a.k.a. “how well the engine of the company is working”). Intuitively, if the analysis was drastically easier, it should not only be PMs but also founders, marketing, sales, customer success or even engineering teams. If most companies are now becoming software companies and every department is interested in understanding how the software is being used, June could become one simple data collaboration platform for the whole organization. Beautiful, isn't it?
Going after and growing with the disruptors
For many, the product analytics space is a crowded market where most of the money is in the Enterprise. Admittedly, so far, only Amplitude and Mixpanel truly managed to become truly large companies (with outrageous pricing schemes ;)) and most of their revenues come from larger clients. We believe this might change. We believe that a cheaper, more opinionated, more design-friendly version of these products can eventually become successful even by catering to the smaller organizations early on, growing with them and potentially even sitting on the side of a more complex product analytics software later on. The product analytics space is getting bigger and bigger as more and more software companies are being created and more and more companies become software companies. A few years ago, we thought Figma’s market was too small to create a billion-dollar outcome because it was focused on designers. Today, we realize that Figma’s users are not only designers but also product managers, engineers and marketers. We also realize that there are designers in each and every company, not only software first ones. Not so long ago, Linear started going after Jira in the issue tracking space, catering primarily to the disruptors. Linear’s CEO explains it well in this post announcing their Series A. Our bet is that catering first to the disruptors, June could follow a similar trajectory in another market and eventually empower a multitude of organizations. In the end, doesn't product analytics matter to any organization building software?
A new generation of product founders
As SaaS investors, we’ve noticed the emergence of a new generation of product-centric/led SaaS companies started by (not so experienced) founders who build remote teams of very fast learning people (check how the June team works here), iterate with their users, ship products extremely fast (check June’s changelog here) and sometimes are a bit over communicative/transparent online ;) (check Enzo’s tweets there). We’re curious and impressed with these and would highly recommend any ambitious engineer to join them (fast here) (and any other founder that recognizes her/himself in this description to reach out to us 👊).
Bottom line, we’re very glad to join Speedinvest and eFounders as a shareholder in the company. We’re jumping onboard with P9 Family members Nick at Chartmogul, Romain at Hull and a bunch of other great angels like Scott Belsky and Jo at Maze. We have great things to do altogether!