From the Founders

Tonic Raises $8M Series A to Get Developers the Data they Need

Ian Coe
December 14, 2020
Tonic Raises $8M Series A to Get Developers the Data they Need
In this article

    At the close of this unprecedented year, we’re excited and grateful to share some good news with you: Tonic has raised $8 million in series A funding led by Glenn Solomon and Oren Yunger of GGV Capital, to further our work in getting developers the data they need to boost productivity and strengthen security. Bloomberg Beta, Xfund, Heavybit, Silicon Valley CISO Investments, and a number of industry-expert angel investors also participated. The story was originally covered in Techcrunch.

    From our development team to yours

    We founded Tonic to ease the pain that developers experience in getting the safe, high-fidelity data they need to do their best work. We knew the pain existed because we’d felt it ourselves, time and again. And we knew it’d be a complex challenge to solve. Just shy of three years later, the fruits of our labor are truly starting to show.

    In 2020, we’ve tripled our team and increased revenue by over 600%, counting 30 customers in industries as wide-ranging as healthcare, financial services, edtech, logistics, e-commerce, and more. We’re working with development teams at eBay, Flexport, PwC, classpass, Alegeus, and Everlywell, and helping them to shorten their sprints across the board. The success of our product is incredibly validating—but the feedback we consistently receive about our team is an added reward we couldn’t have expected.

    With Tonic, there’s never been a moment where they said, ‘No, we can’t do this.’ It’s always, ‘Let’s figure out how we can do it.’
    - Srikanth Rentachintala, Director of Buyer Experience Engineering at eBay
    They have a superstar engineering team. I can’t say enough good things about them.
    - Nemo Nemeth, Head of Data Products at Alegeus
    They’ve been fully involved and super helpful to our team. We’re very happy to have found them.
    - Kevin Paige, CISO at Flexport
    Tonic is a very engineering-focused organization, and I really admire that about them.
    - Senthil Padmanabhan, Technical Fellow, VP of UX Engineering and Developer Productivity at eBay

    Proud is not the word we’re looking for. More like honored. Honored to be working with such distinguished customers and companies, and honored to do so with such an outstanding team. It’s our employees and our customers that have made this milestone possible. Our thanks goes to all of you for helping us shape a tool developers across industries so clearly need.

    We’re excited to fuel this momentum by scaling up our superstar team, and we’re actively hiring in engineering, customer success, sales, and more. If you love a challenge and have a can-do attitude, with a penchant for helping developers do their best work, we’d love to hear from you.

    From privacy laws to work-from-home: why Tonic matters now more than ever

    It’s been a doozy of a year. Like so many of you, we’ve all been working remote since March. It’s trying, it’s an endless juggling act, and when it comes to data, it’s risky. Studies have shown that remote work increases the risk and cost of data breaches. Add to that the fact that the year kicked off with the California Consumer Privacy Act going into effect on January 1st, compelling companies to take a harder look at their approaches to data governance. It’s the strongest privacy regulation currently in force in the U.S., comparable to the E.U.’s GDPR, and this past November, it became even stronger when voters passed Prop 24 full of provisions intended to tighten protections on consumer data. (N.B. “intended.” We recently wrote an article about a weakness in those provisions that highlights the importance of implementing rock-solid data de-identification processes.)

    The trend globally is toward stricter regulations demanding better data practices. Tech companies and regulators alike are pushing for U.S. privacy legislation at the federal level (which would be far easier to manage in terms of compliance, rather than having to satisfy a smorgasbord of differing state laws). This past year has put that trend in an environment of heightened risk, with development teams working distributed across industries. We’re glad to deploy Tonic to the frontlines of these challenges.

    With each of our customers, our goal is to get 100% of the development team working with protected, production-like data tailored to their specific use cases to bring testing and staging environments as close to production as possible, without breaching privacy. We’re helping teams work safely and efficiently no matter where they are.

    But we’re not stopping there. We’re currently pursuing opportunities to put Tonic to use in the fight against Covid, by equipping researchers with de-identified patient data that can be safely shared anywhere in the world. Building Tonic for developers was just the beginning; we’re excited to share where we’ll be taking it next as our story unfolds.

    Making the next steps possible

    We’re incredibly grateful to add the support of Glenn Solomon and Oren Yunger at GGV Capital to our existing list of investors, and to welcome Oren Yunger to our board. We’ve gotten to know Oren over the course of many months and few investors rival his energy and passion for helping startups. Also, as a former CISO, he viscerally understands the importance of Tonic to security professionals and the value to developers.

    GGV joins Bloomberg Beta, Heavybit, Xfund, and Silicon Valley CISO Investments, who provided our seed funding and also participated in our Series A. Our angel investors now include Assaf Wand (co-founder and CEO of Hippo), Anthony Goldbloom (co-founder and CEO of Kaggle), Augusto Marietti (co-founder and CEO of Kong), and Quinn Slack (co-founder and CEO of Sourcegraph), among others.

    Many of our investors have seen the problems we’re solving first hand, often on the data security side of the equation. They recognize the critical value we provide to developers and security executives alike, and their enthusiasm for our technology parallels the market opportunity that is set to skyrocket in the years to come.

    Building the future of data

    So here’s to the future—to the team members we’ve yet to meet and the customers we’ve yet to engage. We’ve built a strong foundation, and we’d love to have you join us or reach out to learn more as we build up our data de-identification, subsetting, and synthesis tools to the next level of success.

    Ian Coe
    Co-Founder & CEO
    Ian Coe is the Co-founder and CEO of For over a decade, Ian has worked to advance data-driven solutions by removing barriers impeding teams from answering their most important questions. As an early member of the commercial division at Palantir Technologies, he led teams solving data integration chal- lenges in industries ranging from financial services to the media. At Tableau, he continued to focus on analytics, driving the vision around statistics and the calculation language. As a founder of Tonic, Ian is directing his energies toward synthetic data generation to maximize data utility, protect customer privacy, and drive developer efficiency.