Chronosphere, the scalable cloud native monitoring tool launched in 2019 by two former Uber engineers, announced a $43.4 million Series B today. The company also announced that their service was generally available starting today.
Greylock, Lux Capital and venture capitalist Lee Fixel, all of whom participated in the startup's $11 million Series A in 2019, led the round with participation from new investor General Atlantic. The company has raised $54.4 million.
The two founders, CEO Martin Mao and CTO Rob Skillington, created the open-source M3 monitoring project while they were working at Uber, and left in 2019 to launch Chronosphere, a startup based on that project. As Mao told me at the time of the A round, the company wanted to simplify the management of running the open source project:
M3 itself is a fairly complex piece of technology to run. It is solving a fairly complex problem at large scale, and running it actually requires a decent amount of investment to run at large scale, so the first thing we’re doing is taking care of that management,
He said that the company spent most of last year iterating the product and working with beta customers, adding that they certainly benefited from building the commercial service on top of the open-source project.
"I think we're lucky that we have the foundation already from the open-source project, but we really wanted to focus a lot on building a product on top of that technology and really have this product be differentiated, so that was most of the focus of 2020 for us," he said.
Mao points out that he and Skillington weren't looking for this new round of funding as they still had money left from the A round, but the company's previous investors approached them and they decided to strike to add additional money to the balance sheet, which would help grow the company, attract employees and help reassure customers they had plenty of capital to continue building the product and the company.
As the company has developed over the last year, it has been adding employees at a rapid clip, growing from 13 at the time of the A round in 2019 to 50 today with plans to double that by the end of next year. Mao says the founders have been thinking about how to build a diverse company from its early days.
"So [ … ] beginning last year we were making sure we were hiring the right leaders, and the right recruiting team who also care about diversity, then following that we made company-wide goals and targets for both gender and ethnic diversity, and then [we have been] holding ourselves accountable on these particular goals and tracking against them," Mao said.
The company has been spread out from the beginning, even before COVID, with offices in Seattle, New York and Lithuania, and that has helped in terms of having a broader base to recruit from. Mao wants to remain mostly remote whenever it's possible to return to the office, but maintain hubs on each coast where employees can meet and see each other in person.
With the product generally available today, the company will look to expand its customer base, and with the open-source project to drive interest, they have a proven way to attract new customers to the commercial product.