French startup Keymetrics just raised $2 million from Alven Capital and Runa Capital to build the best monitoring tool for your Node.js infrastructure. The startups founder and CEO Alexandre Strzelewicz also created the popular open source Node.js process manager PM2.
How do you turn a popular open source project into a successful startup? This question has so many different answers that sometimes its hard to find the right one from the first try, and Keymetrics is no exception.
A few years ago, when Strzelewicz developed PM2 while living in Shanghai, he was just trying to create a better process manager for Node.js because existing solutions were lacking. He didnt expect that his open source release would take off on Hacker News, attracting contributors working from Google and living in Brazil and Japan.
With PM2, you can make sure that your Node.js service is always going to remain available because PM2 can reboot your app if theres a crash. PM2 can also replicate an application and balance queries across all these applications if theres a big traffic peak.
While everything I just said may sound complicated if youre not a developer, thousands of Node.js developers are now following the Github repository and there have been more than 20 million downloads of PM2 in total. Node.js itself has also become a lot more popular lately. Keymetrics just launched a neat map to visualize PM2 downloads in real time its a live version fo the embedded GIF at the top of this article.
So Strzelewicz legitimately thought that he was onto something and developed Keymetrics. If youre using PM2 for your infrastructure, Keymetrics is the perfect companion service. It makes it easy to monitor and manage apps across servers with a real-time dashboard that you can set up in very little time.
Keymetrics is a software-as-a-service dashboard that connects directly to one or multiple PM2 instances, Strzelewicz told me. It lets you get performance metrics for your PM2-managed applications. And it lets you get notifications when your application crash or when youre running out of computing resources.
In early 2015, Keymetrics attended Techstars NYC and things started to look good. But there was one missing feature. The startup hadnt launched its paid offering yet. So Keymetrics couldnt raise after Techstars and everybody but Strzelewicz left to do other things.
Slowly but surely, Strzelewicz rebuilt the company from scratch. He first implemented the paid offering and then got his first client the official website of the city of Paris.
There are many application performance management solution out there, such as NewRelic, Appdynamics and Dynatrace. But Keymetrics is arguably the best option if youre already running PM2.
Keymetrics tracks metrics every second, so it feels like a real-time dashboard. This way, you get alerts instantly. You can also extract reports and get insights on your current codebase and infrastructure.
So far, Keymetrics has around a hundred clients, but the company plans to go to the next level with todays funding round. Clients pay around $90 per month on average.
Its easy to get blinded by fundraising announcements. And sure enough, tech journalists are also part of the fundraising cheerleading problem. But dont get fooled.
Starting a startup is incredibly hard. Sometimes, youll spend months working alone, hoping that itll end up working. The struggle isnt as sexy as an overnight success. But overnight successes are a myth.
When tech entrepreneurs struggle early, they tend to be more resilient with whats coming next. Lets see if Keymetrics also follows this pattern.