Happy fourth birthday, Chronosphere!

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As Chronosphere celebrates another year, read about the company’s business growth, global expansion, and employee celebrations.

Martin Mao
Martin Mao | Co-Founder and CEO | Chronosphere

Martin is a technologist with a history of solving problems at the largest scale in the world and is passionate about helping enterprises use cloud native observability and open source technologies to succeed on their cloud native journey. He’s now the Co-Founder & CEO of Chronosphere, a Series C startup with $348M in funding, backed by Greylock, Lux Capital, General Atlantic, Addition, and Founders Fund. He was previously at Uber, where he led the development and SRE teams that created and operated M3. Previously, he worked at AWS, Microsoft, and Google. He and his family are based in the Seattle area, and he enjoys playing soccer and eating meat pies in his spare time.

8 MINS READ

Another year for Chronosphere

When it comes to birthday celebrations, we like to make a big deal when Chronosphere turns another year older. Each year we chronicle that trip around the sun with an annual blog — and when stitched together, these blogs reflect our journey from a fledgling startup with co-founders who cut their teeth in observability to a hyper-growth company with hundreds of employees located around the world.

Here’s a quick snapshot of how far we’ve come and then we’ll get into where we’re going:

  • By year 2 we had exploded from a handful of employees working out of three cities to more than 60 team members spread across more than 30 cities. The global pandemic had set in, we had become a fully remote company, and I was beaming into our Zoom-based anniversary celebration from my laundry room. Give Happy second birthday Chronosphere! a read to see how we made the absolute most out of a challenging time.

Year four — helping customers navigate headwinds

This brings us to Chronosphere’s fourth anniversary, which we just celebrated! As we steam toward our half-decade mark, and through a period of global economic uncertainty, we are fired up and more focused than ever on providing value for our customers. We recognize that what our customers need now more than ever is efficiency gains from all aspects of their business — and that they can achieve this by controlling costs and improving developer productivity.

We know this to be true because we’ve seen it first hand: We’ve helped a financial services customer improve availability of its platform by 64x; save 14,000 hours of engineering time annually; and cut costs by $5 million annually. We helped Abnormal Security aggregate 98% of their metrics, which resulted in being 10x more cost-effective than the alternative.

And our customer Robinhood is saving millions each year on infrastructure and has also improved availability of its observability platform to at least 99.9%. Analysts like Forrester Research are saying the same — The Total Economic Impact™️ of Chronosphere shows we deliver 165% ROI for our customers and reduce critical incidents 75%!

How are we in such a strong position to help our customers get through tough economic headwinds? We continue to hit milestones that bolster our team, company, and cloud native observability offering year after year.

Year four: The rocket ship continues

Investor bullishness signals a bright future

This January, we raised another $115 million as part of an additional Series-C funding round, bringing our total funding to $343 million and increasing valuation to $1.6 billion. Funding is always welcome news because it allows the business to continue to grow and innovate. When the funding market is tight, and the economy is uncertain, it’s all the more meaningful — it signals investors are bullish on us and our future is bright! All of our existing investors doubled down in this round, and we welcomed in new investors such as Sangeen Zeb, who is a Partner at GV (formerly Google Ventures.)

Company growth

Revenue. With 2.5x annual recurring revenues (ARR) growth and a net revenue retention (NRR) of over 140% in FY23, Chronosphere continues to be on pace to become one of the fastest-growing B2B SaaS companies. It’s amazing to be sharing such positive financial updates, especially when we’re in a tougher economy.

Built-out workforce. Our sprawling group selfie from last year’s birthday celebration was pretty stunning at the time. Our 200ish employees filled the camera frame and we were buzzing about how much we had grown. Last year (year four) we grew by another 50% and have surpassed 300 employees!

 At more than 300 employees today, we are executing with built-out teams that continue to fire on all cylinders.

International growth. Some very exciting — and also bittersweet  — news. We’ve expanded our presence from two countries to seven in two short years. The downside is this includes having my co-founder and best mate, Rob Skillington, move halfway across the world to open the Australia office.

You’ll find Chronosphere represented today in seven countries across the world.

Personal impacts aside, this expansion is positive news for Pacific Rim customers, and, thanks to Zoom and our remote-first structure, Rob and I can still collaborate seamlessly and daily and also celebrate Australia Day together! Here’s a shot of us doing the Tim Tam slam over Zoom for the entire company’s enjoyment. Yes, the Tim Tam slam is a competition, and you can see from the timestamp who won (ahem)!

Chronosphere and Google Cloud drive cloud native adoption: We are thrilled about our close partnership with Google Cloud; a lot can happen when two cloud native pioneers join forces! We recently shared the news about our strategic partnership, which encompasses both GTM and engineering initiatives.

Because Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE) is one of the platforms Chronosphere is built on, we are a natural choice for GKE environments. Our customers have already benefited from this partnership. Take Snap Inc. as a great example. Since adopting Chronosphere and Google, Snap has achieved 99.9 percent availability, reduced alerts by over 90 percent, and cut data volume more than 50 percent.

Industry partnerships continue to grow: AWS has also joined the Chronosphere team as a strategic partner. Together with AWS, we are helping our customers gain full visibility into their cloud native environments from infrastructure (ECS/EKS) to applications (microservices).

Living our values

When Rob and I set out to launch Chronosphere four years ago, it was a top priority to build a great company … and a great company needs a great culture. We wanted Chronosphere to be a place where people show up eager to dig in and excited to learn. We wanted it to be a place where interactions are kind and egos don’t get in the way of building great things.

We also wanted to be a company that offers benefits that help keep life in balance. My family just welcomed our second child into the world and I know first-hand how challenging it can be to balance the rigors of home life with work life — and startups are notoriously hectic. We strive to be a company that makes that balancing act easier.

I am blown away by the recognition for the positive company culture we’ve received this year. Among the awards we’ve received are for Best Company for Women, Company for Diversity, Perks and Benefits, CEO (👋), and Company Outlook. We’ve also been featured on Otta’s Rocket List.

Being the kind of company that gets recognition for having a positive culture is something we make part of everyday life here at Chronosphere. As our Global Head of People & Talent, Gabriela Serret-Campos, puts it, business-first means people-first.

How we celebrated birthday number four!

To know me is to know that getting together as a company and in-person is a top priority — something the pandemic made challenging if not impossible during our early years. This year we celebrated our anniversary in a way that was nearest and dearest to my heart: A series of in-person meetups across the country and around the world.

It means a lot to me to see our team members off Zoom, in-person, and enjoying time together in real life groups of five, ten, and more.

I’m incredibly grateful for every single person — from our customers to investors to partners to team members — that’s been a part of the Chronosphere journey. I know that we’re set to achieve greatness as we push ourselves to prove that “impossible is nothing” (one of my favorite company values)

Time for my traditional then-and-now shot:

Then: A mere two years ago, Chronoversary celebrations happened over Zoom.

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Now: We’re gathering in-person to attend ballgames, play darts, and flex our Jenga skills!

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