AKF Partners

Abbott, Keeven & Fisher PartnersPartners In Hyper Growth

Consumer & Enterprise Clients

Sequoia Capital Logo

AKF Partners is my go-to firm for helping our portfolio companies grow their platforms and technology.

Doug Leone, General Partner, Sequoia Capital

Guidewire

Very quickly, AKF came up to speed with what we were trying to do, and provided very practical and substantive advice. In addition to technology design, they also gave us invaluable input on how to build and manage the team to ensure the highest efficiency and accountability.

Priscilla Hung, Senior Vice President, Operations and Corporate Development, Guidewire

Blackhawk Network

I’ve collaborated with a number of outstanding technologists, but Mike and Marty from AKF partners are in a league of their own.  They have the ability to quickly understand the details and nuances around technology and processes and provide actionable guidance and recommendations. We are actively implementing a number of their recommendations and in one instance we anticipate a significant reduction in our maintenance window for one of our key platforms.  In just two days, AKF partners provided tremendous value to my team and look forward to partnering with them in the future.

Mike Gionfriddo, CTO, Blackhawk Network

Ellucian logo

We engaged AKF Partners to review our architecture and operations and dove deep with them into the guts of our technology.  AKF’s background in scaling systems is impressive and we learned a ton around massively scalable tweaks and adjustments as well as whole new ways of thinking about SaaS design and hosting operations.  Additionally, AKF brought some methods to the table that have helped us enhance our processes.

Darren Wesemann, Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer, Ellucian

ReturnPath

At Return Path, we value and seek counsel from people that have deep and broad experience. When it comes to building, operating, and scaling a technical infrastructure and Engineering organization, we found that Marty Abbot and Mike Fisher’s experience is exceptional. They assessed a number of dimensions of our Engineering organization: the product technology stack, the processes for building and operating products, and the roles in our Engineering organization as well as how we’re organized. They challenged us in some areas, and they gave us good counsel. As a result, they have helped us to continue to make progress in becoming a top-tier Engineering organization.

David Sieh, VP Engineering, ReturnPath

500px logo

It’s been a real pleasure working with Marty and Michael from AKF Partners. They identified and helped us correct the technical and organizational bottlenecks and inefficiencies during a period of rapid growth of our company. They also validated some of our approaches to scalability and helped us improve them. I highly recommend AKF, their real world expertise and experience is unmatched. Also, their books is a ‘must read’ for every technology leader.

Oleg Gutsol, CEO, 500px

Etsy Logo

In my earliest days at Etsy, Mike Fisher and Marty Abbott from AKF worked with me to identify problems and opportunities in my new role, and the engagement really helped me hit the ground running.  Mike and Marty’s world-class experience, deep strategic grounding backed by hands-on knowledge, and no-nonsense practical approach was just what I needed to make the right technical decisions to position Etsy for rapid growth.  I couldn’t recommend Mike and Marty highly enough.

- Chad Dickerson, CTO, Etsy

Service-now.com Logo

We brought these guys in to validate our approach, but they ended up showing us how to think about scalability from a whole new dimension.  The pros from AKF are knowledgeable, insightful, and fun to work with (they made the term goldfish a standard part of our infrastructure discussions).  When it comes to scalability, they wrote the book.

- Fred Luddy, Founder and CEO, Service-now.com

Ziff Davis Logo

If you want a clear, complete and actionable assessment of your company’s Internet technology, then call AKF. They are outstanding advisors and partners, and helped me and my organization in meaningful ways.

- Vivek Shah, CEO Ziff Davis

Intuit Logo

Intuit’s SaaS offerings have been growing significantly over the last several years and as a result, we have been on a journey to transform our applications, technology and infrastructure to support our vision of being a world-class provider of connected services that deliver better money outcomes for our customers.  We leverage AKF to provide an outside executive level perspective for our SaaS initiatives.   They provide a level of expertise and perspective that few have with ensuring Saas products have high availability, scalability, and resiliency.

- Ginny Lee, CIO of Intuit

Cornerstone OnDemand Logo

AKF Partners has been instrumental to Cornerstone OnDemand’s development and QA processes and the design of our global, best-in-class network architecture.  They have the right expertise to take a high-growth SaaS company to the technological  level necessary to operate as a global, redundant, high availability and scalable enterprise.  They are a pleasure to work with, flexible and yield high ROI.

- Perry Wallack, CFO, Cornerstone OnDemand

Vibrant Media Logo

In a fast moving and explosive growth environment like Vibrant’s we do not get many opportunities to step back, examine and re-evaluate our technology and operational direction and strategy. But when we do having Mike and Marty be part of that process is invaluable. Not only do they bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to the table but they ask those hard questions which my team and me may not want to ask ourselves. I very much recommend working with AKF to make sure you get those hard issues uncovered!

- Bob Hammond, Sr. Vice President, Technology, Vibrant Media

Liveops Logo

I have the pleasure of working with the principals of AKF for many years. As I became the CEO of LiveOps, I welcomed them in as advisors and guides to our technology team. We have made significant progress and they were instrumental in that success. If you have issues with scale, organizational maturity, architecture or cost I would highly recommend them.

- Maynard Webb, CEO, Liveops

Stripes Group Logo

Marty Abbott and Tom Keeven are our preferred partners for technical due diligence on potential portfolio companies. They always go above and beyond their tasks and have been invaluable in recruiting key technical talent post transaction. They are my first call when it comes to technology in growth companies.

- Rich Pan, Partner, Stripes Group

General Catalyst Partners Logo

The professionals at AKF combine business expertise and acumen with world class understanding of and experience in designing, implementing, scaling, and operating online services infrastructure and applications. The AKF team was instrumental in building the technology stack and surrounding operating practices of one of the largest, most successful Internet companies in the world, something very few other firms can claim.

- Isaac Kato, General Catalyst Partners

Lulu.comLogo

Mike was able to draw comparisons with approaches he’d seen in the past and give us a sense of where and when tradeoffs were acceptable for a business in transition from a startup to a medium-size enterprise were appropriate. His insight, delicacy, and technical insight were appreciated at all turns. The entire management team has profited from the review of best practices, tools, and tips appropriate to the areas of our process, software architecture, quality assurance initiatives, strategic product planning, and network infrastructure

- Rich Davis, VP Technology, Lulu.com

Rearden Commerce Logo

I was so impressed with our engagement with Marty Abbott and Tom Keeven that I knew I had to make them advisors to Rearden Commerce. They helped us find the right people, beef up our processes and define our future architecture

- Patrick Grady, CEO Rearden Commerce

Foundation Capital Logo

There is no other firm on the planet that knows more about building and running highly scalable and reliable SaaS platforms and services. AKF is my secret weapon.

- Warren Weiss, General Manager, Foundation Capital

Folica Logo

We rely on Marty Abbott and AKF to help make our critical technical hiring decisions and help validate our technical strategy and approach in scaling our mission critical systems. I absolutely would not use anyone else when it comes to making critical IT decisions

- Dennis Huang, CEO, Folica Inc.

Ask.com Logo

Tom Keeven and Marty Abbott have been fantastic to work with. During a critical decision point for a long term strategy, Tom and Marty came in and worked with us to ensure we were thinking about all of the right things and help us determine the correct path for our business. It was their clear understanding of current and future technologies, ability to break the overall strategy down into its simplest form, and construct an achievable roadmap that made us successful. It is Tom and Marty’s many years as technologist and operations experts that make them the partner of choice.

- Mark Stockford, VP of Operations, IAC

Abebooks.com  Logo

We’re big believers that a fresh pair of eyes can put things in perspective. AKF did just that - they came in and took a long hard look at several key areas of our business. Their findings, based on impressive industry knowledge and experience with scalability issues, were perceptive and their suggestions were constructive. Marty Abbott provided very good value through validating and fine-tuning existing concepts but also through creative thinking and offering new perspectives on how to solve problems in a different and easier way.

- Hannes Blum, CEO, Abebooks.com

Locaweb

Marty’s ideas come from the real world, not from academia, and not from the old world of custom or shrink-wrapped software products. It’s invaluable for a web-based software company like us to learn insights from the leading online companies that only a person with Marty’s first-hand experience can provide.

- Gilberto Mautner, VP Technology, Locaweb, Sao Paulo, Brazil

Shutterfly

Shutterfly is growing rapidly, and so we engaged AKF to help us with a plan to scale our technology operations with our business growth. AKF quickly understood our business objectives, technology and architecture, and provided useful insights in many areas, including: technology, process, and organization. In addition, AKF’s breadth and depth of client projects provided a window into some of the best practices in the industry—ones from which we can benefit, here at Shutterfly.

- Stanford Au, SVP, Technology, Shutterfly

Achieve CCA

AKF has made a tremendous difference in Achieve’s business. I would unreservedly recommend their services to any entrepreneur or start-up management team. What is unique about AKF is their ability to deliver value and expertise in all critical areas of our business: IT, financing, and business development. They share the entrepreneur’s focus on the nitty-gritty details, dealing in concrete rather than vapor. It’s a good feeling know that they are in our corner.

- Andrew Smith, CEO, Achieve CCA

Outbrain

Working with Kevin Fortuna has helped us tremendously on our business development efforts. The combination of his network, pristine reputation and ability to create true win-win deals is a rare find. Kevin’s contribution to the company goes far beyond deal making - he’s helped us crystallize our pitch and refine our strategy in ways that are impossible to do for the entrepreneurs that are in the trenches. I would highly recommend AKF as a partner to any entrepreneur looking to seriously scale their business.

- Yaron Galai, CEO & Founder, Outbrain

GameDuell

To support our rapid international growth and need for scalable and reliable systems, we wanted guidance from a leading technology expert with real world experience. Marty very quickly understood and assessed the specific requirements of our business and systems..then provided extremely valuable advice tailored to our situation. I can highly recommend Marty.

- Mathias Daus, Technical Director, GameDuell

Partial
Client List

  • Sequoia Capital
  • Guidewire
  • Blackhawk Network
  • Ellucian
  • ReturnPath
  • 500px
  • Etsy
  • Service-now.com
  • Ziff Davis
  • Intuit
  • Cornerstone OnDemand
  • Vibrant Media
  • Liveops
  • Stripes Group
  • General Catalyst Partners
  • Lulu.com
  • Rearden Commerce
  • Foundation Capital
  • Folica
  • Ask.com
  • Abebooks
  • Locaweb
  • Shutterfly
  • Achieve CCA
  • Outbrain
  • GameDuell
Our Books

The Art of Scalability Book

The Art of Scalability teaches technology executives engineers and architects how to solve technology scalability problems through changes in their architecture, processes and organization structure.

The Art of Scalability Book

Scalability Rules brings together 50 rules that are grounded in experience garnered from over a hundred companies. Put together and organized to be easily read and referenced for rapid application to nearly any technical environment.

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