Twilio Segment raises $64m


By Peter Reinhardt

We’re excited to share that Segment has raised $64 million in Series C funding, led by Y Combinator Continuity and joined by GV. Our existing investors at Accel, Thrive, NEA, and Ron Conway’s SV Angel also participated.

We’re also thrilled to welcome Ali Rowghani, CEO of YC Continuity, to our board of directors. Ali helped build two iconic Silicon Valley companies — at Pixar as CFO and SVP of Strategic Planning, and at Twitter, as CFO then COO. There’s so much we can learn from him and we’re excited to continue building Segment with guidance from him and our other board members, Vas Natarajan from Accel and Will Gaybrick from Stripe (previously lead investor at Thrive.)

Every round of funding has allowed us to grow the customer base that we serve, and invest in new parts of our core product and platform (more on this soon.) This funding is no different, and we’re incredibly excited about what’s coming down the pike on product.

Looking back, each round has opened up a core new part of the platform for customers.

Y Combinator: The beginning

Y Combinator has been woven into the Segment story from the beginning. YC made a bet on four college dropouts in the summer of 2011. The four of us worked out of our apartment (which doubled as the office), toiling away trying to introduce a new analytics tool into the world, but it wasn’t sticking. Potential customers kept telling us they already spent enough time making their data flow into multiple marketing and analytics tools, and they didn’t want to have to spend more integrating into yet another one (ours). We wanted to make it easier for potential customers to install our analytics tool, so we created a javascript library that was an abstraction for event tracking, enabling our prospects to send their data into our analytics tool as well as the other ones they were currently using. We sent it to a handful of prospects, and they liked our abstraction. 

They liked it so much that they wanted to use it entirely on its own, not to send data to our analytics product at all. Their enthusiasm was contagious, even if it wasn’t for the analytics tool we had been trying to breathe life into. So we put Analytics.js up on Hacker News to gauge the engineering and startup world’s interest… did it solve a problem for folks? The a.js repo climbed to the top of Hacker News, got several thousand stars in Github in a couple days, and (even cooler) the community jumped in to start building new integrations. The hosted version of analytics.js, Segment itself, was launched a couple weeks later.

The $600k we raised from Y Combinator, NEA, General Catalyst and a number of angels got us to initial product market fit. We had discovered a product that helped engineers and marketers work better together. Engineers could implement a single analytics tracking plan, and marketers could turn on whatever analytics, email, advertising, etc. tools they needed by just dropping an API key into a settings page.

Seed Round 2013: More Integrations

Our seed round, led by eventures and KPCB funded us to build the early team and expand the product dramatically. From that very first post on Hacker News, customers said they wanted mobile SDKs, server-side libraries, ecommerce plugins, and a huge array of new integrations—all to make using customer data easy rather than an engineering headache. Among the 1,000+ free customers, XO Group became our first paying customer when they deployed us on a single mobile app. Today they use Segment across 30+ mobile apps and 50+ websites… collecting data via 11 different libraries and SDKs and sending that data to 30 distinct tools. Simplifying a complex web of data collection and routing like this gets us incredibly excited, and XO Group is now one among hundreds of enterprises that are using Segment more and more deeply across their business.

Series A 2014: Connecting to Warehouses

By spring 2014 we had 4,000 companies using Segment and revenue was growing quickly. The product made it easy to send data to tools via integrations, but businesses also wanted to pipe a copy out for themselves. They desperately wanted to get their raw data into a warehouse so they could query it however they wanted. More and more companies were focused on using SQL to answer deeper questions unique to their business, and we saw again and again that companies would get blocked by the intense pain of setting up a seemingly simple pipeline from user actions to warehouse. So we launched Warehouses to make it super easy to load your web, mobile, and server user data into your Redshift, Postgres, or BigQuery database without writing a single line of ETL code. This was a breakthrough product for us. There are nearly 2,000 companies loading their warehouses through Segment today, and its growth is only accelerating as new warehouses like BigQuery and Snowflake enter the market to compete with Redshift.

Series B 2015: Leave no data behind

Warehouses grew incredibly quickly straight out of the gate, and our revenue doubled in just 6 months. The team swelled to 50 people, and we crossed 100 integrations. But we were starting to see a curious new request. Many customers wanted to get their data out of their marketing tools. They wanted to centralize data from all their customer touchpoints, and they wanted all that data loaded into their warehouse. So it became our mission to “Leave No Data Behind!” We launched Cloud Sources in April 2016 to help customers load data from payments systems like Stripe, helpdesks like Zendesk, CRMs like Salesforce and many others into their warehouse. Many of our most advanced customers, like Deliveroo, Instacart and HotelTonight, started using Cloud Sources heavily to understand user behavior deeply across all their touchpoints. Sources also grew quickly in the past year. We already sync 10 billion Cloud Source data points per month for over 1,000 customers.

Series C 2017: The standard for customer data infrastructure in 2017 (and beyond!)

But we’re still just getting started, and there’s so much to build. Today more than 15,000 companies rely on Segment to process 80 billion end-user actions a month. We serve companies of all sizes across the world: half the startups in the Andreesen Horowitz portfolio, and a growing chunk of the Fortune 500 including enterprises like Intuit, Reuters, IBM, and Gap.

With each new (daily) release, we’re building a more complete customer data platform to help our customers unify their customer data in a single place. We’re incredibly excited for the product launches coming later this year, and we’re even more excited to see what our customers and partners build on top. Today’s funding will be a key part of making this happen.


A huge “thank you!” goes out to all of our customers and integration partners. We’re incredibly excited to build more together. And an even bigger thanks goes to you. If you’re reading this, you’re a teammate, a customer, a community member, or friend. And we couldn’t have done any of this without your help, so thank you! The biggest challenges are still ahead, as we double our 160-person team over the next 18 months and double down on unifying customer data in a single place. Excited by the challenge? Then join us! We need you here! We’re hiring in San Francisco, New York and Vancouver. We can’t wait to show you what’s coming next.

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