The past 12 months have been explosive for adoption of cloud-native technologies as year-two of the pandemic continued to fuel demand for new types of services, and companies hustled to quickly respond with new apps and features. In fact, according to Gartner, growth of end-user spending on public cloud services grew from about $315 billion in 2020 to an estimated $396 billion in 2021 and is forecasted to keep growing to $482 billion this year.
None of this comes as a surprise to Chronosphere as our observability platform is needed now more than ever to help cloud-native companies solve their observability challenges. From our Series C Funding round, to becoming a unicorn, to more than doubling our workforce size (and more!), the past 12 months have been very exciting for Chronosphere.
As we head into 2022, we’d like to reflect on 10 of our major accomplishments of the past 12 months. Take a peek at our top highlights.
1- Series C funding
Last October, Chronosphere shared the huge news that we raised $200 million in a Series C funding round, bringing our funding total to $255 million.
In a sit down with theCube at last year’s KubeCon + CloudNativeCon North America 2021, Chronosphere co-founder and CEO, Martin Mao, talked about how excited we were to share our Series C funding news and how it will enable Chronosphere to continue our rapid pace of growth: “With this $200 million Series C funding, we want to continue growing the company. We’re hiring across the board – on the engineering side, go-to-market side, and elsewhere. We’re just continuing to meet that demand.”
Check out theCube: Martin Mao talks $200M funding, distributed tracing for a recap of their entire conversation or to watch the whole video.
2- Unicorn status
In October, we reached another major milestone – we became a unicorn! Sure – there are lots of unicorns these days. But Chronosphere is a special kind of unicorn – we reached unicorn level very quickly and with a very small team. This milestone put Chronosphere in the top 10 fastest B2B SaaS companies to disclose unicorn status in September 2021, according to Pitchbook.
In his blog, Why Chronosphere is the rarest kind of unicorn, Martin writes about why Chronosphere’s unicorn status is unique, and why there’s more to our story than a $1 billion-plus valuation. “We reached unicorn level with a team of only 80 people, most of whom joined during the past year … and in the midst of a pandemic. The textbook term for a unicorn team this size is “tiny.” Small as it is, the team of 80 is world class, which has made it possible to reach this milestone, and as fast as we did.”
3- Rapid growth
The past 12 months were a period of rapid growth for Chronosphere, with consecutive quarter-over-quarter record growth valued at more than $1 billion. We are on pace to be one of the fastest B2B SaaS companies to go from $1 million to $50 million in ARR, faster than well-known SaaS companies like Datadog, CrowdStrike, and Confluent.
- Record Revenue growth: Our multi-million dollar annual recurring revenue (ARR) saw 16x growth in the past 12 months. (In September, we had announced our then ARR growth had seen more than 9 times growth due to 6- and 7-figure deals.)
- Customer growth: Chronosphere’s customer base continues to expand with the addition of two of the top five publicly traded fintech companies. Chronosphere also saw existing customers like Aurora Innovation and Doordash significantly expand their usage.
- Employee growth: Our high-caliber team more than doubled from fifty to more than 130 awesome new hires in just 12 months. And looking forward, we hope to continue growing our team just as quickly.
- Industry Recognition: In two and a half years, Chronosphere has already been recognized several times and been named:
- A Gartner Cool Vendor in Performance Analysis
- A Vendor to Watch by EMA
- One of the 50 most promising startups by The Information
- One of 31 commercial open source software startups that will thrive during Covid in Business Insider
- A Startup to Watch by Built In NYC
- Recognized by The Startup Weekly’s Diverse & Inclusive Employer award
To go deeper on details about Chronosphere’s growth and milestones over the past 12 months read today’s news update, Chronosphere Saw Consecutive Quarter-Over-Quarter Record Growth Over the Past 12 Months, Valued at More Than $1 Billion.
We can’t fail to mention how we got here and how far we’ve come in such a short amount of time.
In May 2021, Chronosphere celebrated its second birthday pandemic-style via Zoom. Martin captured the moment in his blog, Happy Second Birthday, Chronosphere! when he wrote: “Two years might seem like a short amount of time, but in cloud-native and startup years it’s an eternity. Our workforce is increasing by double digits, we are growing our family of (happy) customers, and we are becoming a household name in monitoring and observability.”
Our third anniversary is just around this corner … stay tuned for more fun birthday updates.
4- Distributed tracing launch
We continued to surprise and delight our customers in different ways – like adding distributed tracing to our observability platform.
In his blog summarizing our observability platform’s new distributed tracing capability – Chronosphere adds tracing data to its observability platform – Product Manager, Joel Groen, dives into how we use distributed trace data in conjunction with metrics data to provide deeper insight into alerting, triage, and root cause analysis.
Joel writes, “The ability to capture, store and view every distributed trace that matters provides a level of fidelity previously missing in the industry. The power of metric and distributed trace data together elevates both for engineers who use them everyday — especially when it comes to root cause analysis. We deliver it all with a single platform designed for engineers who want to ask simple questions about their data without compromising the extensibility to generate complex queries for power users.”
With our distributed tracing capabilities, Chronosphere customers can:
- Make better decisions with complete data
- Deepen contextual linking of metrics and traces
- Scale to any environment with control
5- New features for our customers
We also announced a few key features that further help our customers with their observability challenges.
- Teams and SysAdmin mode: The Teams capability enables organizational structure within Chronosphere – and the SysAdmin capability restricts sensitive operations to trusted super-users. This feature is just one of the many ways Chronosphere has enabled companies to reorganize and securely scale – all while increasing team productivity. Read Announcing Teams and SysAdmin mode in Chronosphere to learn more.
- Query Builder: Chronosphere’s Query Builder capability helps engineers efficiently chart valuable data so that teams can spend less time troubleshooting and more time driving high-value work for their team. To learn more about this feature, read Announcing Query Builder to supercharge your PromQL.
- Chronosphere Alert Monitors: Alert Monitors queries time series and thoughtfully groups the results into signals. Setting up alerts is time consuming. Read Introducing Monitors: A better way to manage and interact with alerts to learn more about how Chronosphere’s alert monitoring system configures and manages alerts (resulting in less human-introduced errors, too.)
- Comparison mode: We worked with Doordash to successfully allow the company to customize dashboards and compare monitored metrics either day-by-day, week-by-week or month-by-month. Read How to monitor week-over-week trends in Chronosphere to learn more about comparison mode.
Chronosphere also managed a handful of successful partnerships, from PagerDuty to strengthen the alert system to GKE Autopilot for triage.
- PagerDuty: Joining forces with PagerDuty allows us to give teams the power of rapid notifications and faster triage abilities. Read our blog, How PagerDuty and Chronosphere work together to help you get alerted faster, to learn more about how PagerDuty’s alert triggers help us better serve our customers.
- GKE Autopilot: Our partnership with GKE Autopilot lets customers reduce the operational cost of managing clusters while allowing higher workload availability. Take a look at our blog, How to use Chronosphere to monitor your GKE Autopilot deployment, to learn more.
Each of these partnerships backs us on our mission statement: to accelerate global innovation by providing organizations with the building blocks to achieve higher operational excellence.
7- Remote-first workforce
Chronosphere established itself as a remote-first company, which means our workforce is distributed across the US and the EU and we are able to search the globe for the best people to join our team.
Our three main hubs are located in New York City, Vilnius, Lithuania and Seattle, Washington (our newest office). However, as a remote-first company, our team has the flexibility to work fully remote or at one of our hub offices. You can read more on Chronosphere’s unique approach to remote-first hiring in a blog by our Head of HR, Agne Klasaviciene, What it takes to grow a remote-first startup during a pandemic.
Martin talked more about what remote-first means for our culture and ability to grow our workforce efficiently when he wrote: “First we became a remote-first company, which means we believe in giving employees the freedom and flexibility to work from the place where they will be happiest and most productive. Our employees can choose the work location that fits them best, whether that’s at home, a co-working space, or a hub office.”
Read all about office reopenings and our unique approach keeping our distributed workforce connected in Martin’s blog, Chronosphere milestones: Office openings and in-person gatherings.
8- In-person conferences
In October 2021, the Chronosphere team was able to join nearly fifteen thousand folks in LA for the in-person Kubecon + CloudNativeCon North America 2021 conference – finally! Our booth was a hit, and we got to demo a preview of our new distributed tracing capabilities
Events and sessions from the conference included:
- KubeCon + CloudNativeCon North America 2021 sessions:
- Stream vs Batch: Leveraging M3 and Thanos for Real-Time Aggregation.
- Declarative and Imperative Kubernetes Operations with Temporal and M3
- EmpowerUs, sponsored by Chronosphere (attendees who identify as women, non-binary individuals, and allies held an open discussion about challenge, leadership innovation, and empowerment.)
- Promcon North America 2021
- CTO Rob Skillington presented his keynote, Aggregating, Alerting, and Graphing on Millions of Prometheus Time Series.
- Rob and Chronosphere product marketing manager, Gibbs Cullen, presented a session on Streaming Recording Rules for Prometheus, Thanos, and Cortex Using the M3 Coordinator.
- FluentCon North America 2021
- Gibbs Cullen led her workshop: Getting Started With Fluent Bit and Metrics with M3DB
To read more about what happened at KubeCon LA, read:
- KubeCon + CloudNativeCon North America 2021: Sneak peek
- Liveblog: KubeCon + CloudNativeCon North America 2021
- I attended KubeCon 2021 in-person, here are my top 6 takeaways
9- Customers, customers, customers
We’ve enjoyed watching our customers grow as well:
- PlanetScale released their GA product along with huge growth.
- Tecton announced GA and $35 million in Series B funding heading into last year.
- Doordash introduced their Ultra-Fast Grocery Delivery feature for quick restocking abilities.
- Aurora Innovation made headlines with its year-end IPO.
Our Head of Customer Success, Joby Babu, captured the magic of Chronosphere and how we are helping customers succeed in his blog, Why I Joined Chronosphere As Head of Customer Success, when he wrote: “Chronosphere puts control in the hands of the customers, giving them complete control over metric retention, resolution, and aggregation based on the environment or team. The Chronosphere control plane allows customers to roll-up, aggregate, drop, or relabel incoming metrics with certain labels before they are retained. This helps companies meet their key observability objectives by spending less, and realizing values faster.”
Stay tuned to this space as we continue to share more about our customers.
10- Chronut traditions
…What are they? We’re dying to know!
As a team, we make sure to have some fun while maintaining an engaging atmosphere – where everyone can connect and create meaningful memories. As part of our strategy to mimic the in-person experience for our distributed workforce, we created Chronut traditions in the form of a variety of team events, such as:
✔️ Celebrating our company milestones together on Zoom with something a little special, like food and swag (like our virtual May birthday party – number three is coming up, stay tuned!)
✔️ Chronuts: Employees are introduced to new teammates in virtual “get to know you” sessions on Zoom.
✔️Slack channels dedicated to open discussions around everything from food and pets to topical issues.
✔️ A “Kudos” Slack channel, where we give a shoutout to team members that have accomplished something great (and then get rewarded with a gift card of their choice!)
✔️Chronojams – where anyone can share their playlist as they work remotely!
✔️ Celebrating Australia Day (shoutout to our founders!) and March Madness.
✔️Sending our team the best swag and gifts (this holiday season we beat the cold with Smores and customized All Birds slippers!) Check out how cool (or warm) we look!
It’s been a busy time at Chronosphere, and as we look back and reflect, we can’t help but be grateful for our fantastic team and all of our successes.
So- what’s in store for the next 12 months? With Chronosphere’s rapid growth and product innovation, we know it will be something special.
Sophie Kohler was a key contributor to this article.