Startup Spotlight: HeadSpin’s optimised 5G, IoT experiences
Founded in 2015 in P...
Despite operating in a somewhat unseen field, technology unicorn HeadSpin’s efforts are noticeable to anybody streaming content.
Founded in 2015 in Palo Alto, California, the company provides a platform of solutions to optimise connectivity in mobile, web, internet of things (IoT) and 5G.
That’s an increasingly important area considering mobile data traffic grew by 49% from the last quarter of 2018 to 2019, boosted by both increasing customer numbers and the rise of content streaming.
HeadSpin calls itself a ‘Connected Intelligence Platform’, with solutions in the testing phase, optimising performance once live and throughout the product life cycle.
The company recently closed a Series C round of funding led by Dell Technologies Capital and ICONIQ capital worth $60mn, which the company said brought lifetime funding to $117mn.
HeadSpin’s new Chairman of the Board Nikesh Arora, formerly Chief Business Officer at Google, and COO of SoftBank, said in the accompanying press release: “HeadSpin’s extraordinary technology has broken barriers and redefined the frontier of testing, monitoring, and analytics across devices, locations and networks to understand a customer’s connected experience. This means business, development, devops, and product teams can finally be on the same page and focus on what matters most: delivering high quality, innovative digital experiences enabled by web, mobile, IoT, and 5G.”
"HeadSpin has achieved remarkable results in only four years,” said Deepak Jeevankumar, Managing Director of lead investor Dell Technologies Capital. “Not only has the team managed exceptional sales execution, but it created a new solution category that is now the standard for how the best consumer and enterprise G2000 companies ensure top-notch connected experiences for their users and customers. HeadSpin today is one of the fastest-scaling software companies I’ve seen in my 10 years of investing and has truly exceptional growth potential.”
Customers include established giants such as Walmart, MicrosoftVerizon Media, alongside startups such as Tinder, TikTok and Airbnb.
Microsoft: Building a secure foundation to drive NASCAR
Microsoft is a key partner of The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) and together they are driving ahead to create an inclusive and immersive new fan experience (FX).
These long-term partners have not only navigated the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic with the use of Microsoft Teams and Microsoft 365, but are now looking to a future packed with virtual events to enhance the FX, well beyond NASCAR’S famous Daytona racetrack.
“Together, we've created a secure environment that's allowed for collaboration, but the future is all about the fans”, said Melinda Cook, General Manager for Microsoft South USA Commercial Business, who cited a culture of transparency, passion, adaptiveness, and a growth mindset as to why this alignment is so successful.”
“We've partnered to create a fluid, immersive experience for the users that is supported by a secure foundation with Microsoft in the background. We are focused on empowering and enabling customers and businesses, like NASCAR, to reach their full potential. We do this with our cloud platform which provides data insights and security.”
“Our cloud environment allows NASCAR to move forward with their digital transformation journey while we are in the background,” said Cook who highlights that Microsoft is helping NASCAR
- Empower employees productivity and collaboration
- Improve fan engagement and experience
- Improve environment security and IT productivity
- Improve racing operations
Microsoft Teams, which is part of the Microsoft 365 suite, enabled employees to work remotely, while staying productive, during the pandemic. “This allowed people to provide the same level of productivity with the use of video conference and instant messaging to collaborate on documents. Increased automation also allows the pit crews, IT, and the business to focus on safety, racing operations, and on the fan experience,” said Cook.
“We have started to innovate to create a more inclusive fanbase, this includes using Xbox to give people the experience of being a virtual racer or even leveraging some of the tools in Microsoft Teams to have a virtual ride along experience.”
“These environments are how we create a more inclusive and immersive experience for the fans. We're working on a virtual fan wall which allows people from new locations to participate in these events,” said Cook, who pointed out Microsoft was also helping bring legacy experiences alive from NASCAR’s archives.
“At Microsoft we can take it one level further by letting fans know what it's like to see the pit crew experience, the data and all the behind-the-scenes action. We will continue to improve automation with machine learning and artificial intelligence, from marketing to IT operations to finance to racing operations,” said Cook.
Christine Stoffel-Moffett, Vice President of Enterprise Technology at NASCAR, said: “Microsoft is one of our key partners. They have been instrumental in helping the NASCAR enterprise technology team re-architect our Microsoft systems to ensure an advanced level of security across our environment, contribute to our business outcomes, and focus on fan experience.”