Stepping on the Gas

By Jeremy Burton,March 27, 2024

Today represents a big milestone for Observe, raising $115M in Series B funding led by Sutter Hill Ventures with participation from Capital One Ventures, Madrona Ventures, and Snowflake Ventures.

Six years ago we had an idea to consolidate all of the digital exhaust fumes that applications and infrastructure emit into a single, central, database.  Once consolidated, we believed that we could transform – and relate – that data to make it easier for SRE, DevOps, and Engineering teams to troubleshoot problems they were experiencing with their distributed applications.  And because we were building on a modern, cloud-native architecture we believed that we could dramatically reduce costs relative to incumbent tooling.

Turn the clock forward to today and that idea has become a reality.  Observe has proven that it is possible to treat all telemetry data – logs, metrics, traces, and anything else – simply as events and store them in one consolidated database.  It is possible to have one language to shape and manipulate that data… and one intuitive interface to simplify the user experience.  This means an end to endless context switching during the troubleshooting flow – users can move seamlessly from a metric to log … or from a trace to a log… without leaving Observe.  No-one else does this.

But that’s not the best bit.  

Too many vendors force their customers to look at data their way.  That might be perfectly fine when you’re looking at commodity infrastructure, but falls apart when you start to look at the thing you care about the most – your application.  Observe not only provides technical context, i.e. logs for a particular pod that crashed – it also provides business context i.e. which customers were affected by the pod that crashed?  And that business context varies by customer – Top Golf cares about locations, golf bays and Angry Birds crashing… but Capital One doesn’t.  No-one else does this either.

That’s because when we started Observe we never set out to create another tool – there were way too many of them already.  We set out to solve the problem of siloed data that wasn’t understandable or navigable by humans – especially the humans running the business!  We believed that if we solved that problem, the consolidation of tooling would be inevitable… which is exactly what is happening today.  Our FY24 results were spectacular by any metric with ARR and ACV almost tripling and NRR at 174%.

It has been a long journey, but we’re only just getting started.  We have never been content to shoot for one piece of the pie – perhaps just logs or tracing – from day one we have been shooting for the big prize.  That’s only possible with long term investors that understand enterprise software and we feel very fortunate to have a number of those investors on our Cap Table.

Finally, to our founders and team members, thank you!  Extraordinary acts by so many of you have gotten us to this point. The TAM for Observability tooling is massive and we remain focussed on building a company that will emerge as one of the long term category winners.