We’ve raised $16M for Luma Health’s B Round

I’m not sure I even wrote on my personal blog when we raised our A round — but here we are, about four and a half years after we founded the company, having just announced we closed our $16M B round!

The official Luma Health funding announcement blog has a lot more interesting information about the round itself. You can check out a few of the articles that have already crossed the wire, such as this one by VentureBeat or this one by HIT Consultant. I wanted my personal blog to be more of a look behind the scenes of the three parts that came together to make today happen.

On a day like today, a company is looking to do a lot of things at once to try to make noise and drive the hype — and we were no exception. Earlier in the year, our Marketing team had kicked off an effort to do a total brand overhaul, and so when we were in the process of closing Series B funding, we decided to line up the efforts of the B announcement with the brand refresh (full details on the Luma brand design blog post), and launch them at the same time so we have that the ideal 1+1=3 punch.

Doing a brand refresh is no small feat as it has a habit to spider across all parts of the organization. You have to update sales collateral, landing pages, slide decks, event booths, social pages, etc, etc — the list goes on and on. But perhaps most importantly, a brand refresh also means you’re going to be updating your entire product to match the new brand.

At Luma, we have a centralized Design team run by our Design Director. They’re responsible for all aspects of design, be it product UX/UI, brand marketing, event collateral, etc. Right or wrong, many companies will have design functions within each functional team (e.g. product designers in the VP Product org, marketing designers in the VP Marketing org, etc), but we made a choice early on to centralized design in one team that’s shared across the company.

So, we had three trains moving at the same time — press releases and media for the B announcement, new marketing website for the brand overhaul, and a new product website refresh to match. Coordinating the Lichtenstein-esque look and feel vibe throughout all the touchpoints was the responsibility of the Design team and coordinating and driving the overall projects was the responsible of the Marketing team.

The main “hard part” doing something like this is making sure all the trains arrive when you want them to, and part of that is deciding that they don’t all need to get to the station at the same time. To coordinate all the pieces, we use (of course) used Slack. We’re a zero-email company so the entire project ran through a Slack channel called #website-refresh-2019.

We launched the product updates at Monday 8/26 4:30PM PT, launched the marketing website at Monday 8/26 5:00PM PT, and then launched the press releases and cleared the news embargo at Tuesday 8/27 5:00AM PT. And like that, new website, new brand look, new product look and feel, all in support of the future growth of Luma Health, fueled by our $16M raise.

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Unbounded Range Queries in Mongo

In Luma Health, often times we have to do queries against collections that have 50, 60, 100M+ records — as you’d expect, well thought through queries and good indexes are the building blocks to querying these types of collections.

In today’s example, we had a collections in production that contains a DATE field where we have to do range queries (e.g. DATE > something, DATE < something). We started to notice a large number of the underlying API calls that hit that table were getting logged to our slow execution monitoring. Specifically in one service, we started seeing about 500 slow logs per 5 minute interval.

We spent some time looking through the Mongo query planner, digging in to the DB queries the API calls were making and and few found a few examples like this:

    date: { $lte: endDate },
    endDate: { $gte: startDate }

Now both the date and endDate fields were in a proper compound index that the Mongo query planner was using, but when looking through the execution stats, the query planner was canonicalizing each end of the ranges as date: {$lte: endDate, $gte: Infinity }. Yikes! All the hard word in indexing, query design, etc, went out the window — when the query executed, Mongo had to pull two entire ranges and then intersect them in memory rather than through the index.

We quickly fixed the queries and as you’d expect, much happier production monitoring. In the graph below you see around 6am the daily load starts to pick up and the the slow logs pick up in frequency. We deployed the change about 915am and like magic, the slow logs go back down to zero.

Moral of the story: unbounded range queries can lead to very unintended performance consequences.

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Our First Five Hires at Luma Health

I was having a conversation with my father about how people at startups often say “I was employe X at such and such company”. It got me thinking who were our first few hires and what were their roles. So I pulled the data for our conversation and I thought I’d share it.

We use Zenefits as our HR system and it presents two views: active employees and all employees. The difference in the two views shows how startup hiring and employment is a very fluid based on the needs of the company as it scales.

All Employees

  1. Marketing, part time
  2. Account Exec
  3. Sales Director
  4. Account Exec
  5. Account Exec

You may find it unusual that we didn’t have any engineers in the first five hires. For us at Luma, our engineering at the beginning was done by me and by a friend who was working as a contractor at the beginning of the company.

Most of the original hires were various sales folks. We had just raised our seed round and the product was ready enough to start selling, so we started hiring sales people. It took us a while to figure out who we wanted and our Sales Director came on board and helped figure that out for us. Most of the hires through that period were in the sales world.

Active Employees

  1. Head of Engineering
  2. Customer Success Manager
  3. Account Exec
  4. Business Analyst
  5. Customer Success Manager

Our current active employees look pretty much what’s you’d expect at a VC backed company, but perhaps a little light on engineering. We optimized as we went for revenue generation so there are a lot more heads in the revenue roles (sales and customer success). After we raised our A round, we started hiring more heavily in engineering and also extended the engineering team pretty significantly with contractors.

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