Testing automation platform Stack Moxie raises cash, leverages startup support networks
Newish name, new funding: Stack Moxie, formerly known as Automaton, this spring raised $875,000 in pre-seed funding. The Seattle-based startup is a monitoring and testing automation platform for tech stacks.
Leveraging support: Stack Moxie has benefited from tapping into many facets of the startup support network. It was most recently in the inaugural cohort for last year’s SaaS Launch Lab, a joint project of Microsoft’s venture fund, M12, and Project W, a Davis Wright Tremaine initiative to support female founders.
“Launch Lab was incredibly valuable. It was a group of the absolute superstars of early-stage enterprise female-led startups,” said Stack Moxie founder and Chief Executive M.H. Lines. “The universe of women who have the audacity to build software for enterprises is small, but the relative quality and accomplishment of the women and their companies is damn impressive.”
Launch Labs is accepting applications for this year’s cohort until July 23.
Growth despite challenges: Eric Peterson, the startup’s initial head of engineering and product, was with the company for a little more than a year. Then last summer he moved to Europe for personal reasons. While serving as an “incredible leader,” Lines said, it was tough to see him go.
“Our product was six months old, we had our first enterprise customers on-boarding, COVID-19 [was underway], and I thought about giving up,” Lines said via email.
But a few things kept her going. “Our team was so excited about our early customer wins and were just jazzed,” she said. Plus there were features she still wanted to build and she was invited to join the Product Management Center advisory board for the University of Washington’s Foster School of Business, which helped reignite her passion.
Stack Moxie has seen significant revenue growth and doubled the number of customers in the first half of 2021, while existing companies have expanded their use of the startup’s services.
The team: Lines is CEO and head of product, and has worked in marketing roles at companies including Microsoft. Stack Moxie leadership includes Neil Harrington, vice president of sales and partnerships; Ranjeet Minampally, director of product engineering; Ariel Sasso, head of customer success; and part-time Chief Marketer Adam New-Waterson. The company has 13 employees.
Funders: The round included new investors Ascend (Kirby Winfield), Alexander Daniels, Mukund Ghangurde, Vinay Gupta, Ellen Levy, Madrona Venture Group’s Pioneer Fund, Francisco Sapori, SIAM Ventures (Sarah Imbach), Swan Venture Fund, Right Side Capital, 9Mile Labs, Michael Moyer and Richard Spencer. The round also included previous investors Techstars and angel investor Bill Hanley.