Estonian startup Plumbr: fixing buggy pipes (1)

(AFP/Scanpix)
3/16/2015 4:35 PM
Category: Sci-Tech

The startup, inspired by research carried out at the University of Tartu, has drawn in almost two million dollars worth of investments.

Plumbr bills itself as the only solution in the world that "automatically detects the root causes of Java performance issues by interpreting application performance data."

What makes Plumbr stand out from countless other startups is the fact that it was not dreamed up at one of the so-called hackathons, but at a computer lab at the University of Tartu, reported Estonian World.

The company was launched in 2011, as a joint enterprise of Priit Potter, Ivo Mägi, Nikita Salnikov-Tarnovski and Vladimir Šor. All four were at the time employed by Estonia's leading software development company Nortal. The application they offer was based on Šor's PhD research into using a statistical approach to detect root causes of Java performance issues.

Plumbr now provides a solution for avoiding software bugs and automatically detecting the reasons behind IT system malfunctions. This helps companies save thousands of hours of labor.

Plumbr has so far secured around 1.7 euros of investments. The software is used by NATO, Dell, TeliaSonera, HBO, and many others.

Taavi Kotka, under secretary for ICT at the Ministry of Economic Affairs, said Plumbr is an ideal example of a startup that combines practical experience and research to offer a product that can benefit software developers around the world. The question now is if and how Plumbr and the developers manage to find each other.

Kotka added that it's normal in today's business climate for startups to move closer to clients, to Boston, Silicon Valley or other such hubs, but commendable if they decide to keep their development office in Estonia.

The key aspects for this to happen are access to capital and human resources. Whereas the first no longer poses a problem, the second is still an issue. "That some places in computer science degree courses were not taken up last year is a sinister signal for me. It means that if we lack competition for this specialty, we lack opportunities to increase the labor force in this area. The state should focus on that problem," he said.

M. Oll

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