Sentry snaps up mobile app performance platform Specto


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Freshly-minted unicorn Sentry has bolstered its app-monitoring smarts by acquiring Specto, a mobile app profiling tool that makes it easier to collect performance metrics for iOS and Android apps.

Specto represents Sentry’s first known acquisition in its ten year history.

Founded in 2012, Sentry is an application performance monitoring (APM) platform used by companies such as Microsoft, Atlassian, and Disney to track their software behavior metrics over time and troubleshoot errors, resolve performance bottlenecks, and more. The San Francisco-based company raised $60 million back in February, valuing it at $1 billion.

Going deep

Specto is a two-year-old startup founded by Indragie Karunaratne and Jernej Strasner, who previously worked on mobile app performance at Facebook. And this, effectively, is what Sentry is buying — an APM that specializes specifically in mobile app profiling, built by people with deep domain expertise.

“While we began with browser and server software monitoring, we now serve a majority of mobile and desktop developers, too, which require much more specialized capabilities to be effective at the application level,” Sentry CEO Milin Desai told VentureBeat.

It’s also worth noting that while Specto offers deep profiling functionality for mobile apps, it doesn’t offer some of the other common APM capabilities offered by Sentry and its ilk, such as analytics, crash reporting, alerting, and more. So joining forces makes a great deal of sense for both companies in terms of how their respective technologies complement each other.

Although Sentry already offers its own mobile APM tooling, Specto will help Sentry double-down on mobile-profiling at a time when smartphones have emerged as the command center for just about every facet of our everyday lives, from controlling smart home devices to watching movies. Crucially, everyone now expects their software to be highly performant wherever they are, with even the slightest lag potentially increasing customer churn for businesses.

“Sentry’s existing APM product focuses on surfacing high-level performance insights like what API request or database query is causing a slow user experience,” Desai explained. “Specto’s profiling solution goes deeper — it captures every single function call taking place in one of those operations. Historically, profiling data can be dense and hard to navigate by itself. We believe [that] by combining forces, developers can have the best of both worlds; high-level insights to guide you to problem spots, and profiling data to pinpoint any slow function calls that may be the root cause.”

Specto has amassed a fairly impressive roster of customers since its inception back in 2019, including Notion and Quora, which could also help Sentry unlock more commercial opportunities further down the line.

In the future, Specto will cease to exists as a standalone product, and will instead ship as part of Sentry’s product suite. “Part of what makes us [Sentry] successful is an integrated experience and workflows, and we will continue to focus on that as a priority,” Desai noted.


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