In the fast-evolving world of observability software, where teams rely on sophisticated tools to monitor, measure, and comprehend the inner workings of complex systems and applications, a remarkable player has emerged. Observe, a San Mateo-based software-as-a-service provider specializing in observability solutions, has successfully raised $50 million in convertible debt financing. Spearheaded by Sutter Hill Ventures, this funding injection is poised to fuel the company’s ambitious expansion plans, including the augmentation of its sales and research and development teams, with the goal of increasing headcount from 150 to 250 employees by the close of 2024.
In a recent interview with TechCrunch, CEO Jeremy Burton explained the rationale behind their choice of debt financing, stating, “We expect to raise the Series B early next year, at which time the debt will convert to equity. We’ve run the company off of debt financing for the past three years.” This strategic decision enables Observe to maintain control and defer dilution while positioning itself for future growth in the booming observability market.
Founded in 2017 by visionaries Jacob Leverich, Jon Watte, Jonathan Trevor, and Philipp Unterbrunner, Observe stands at the forefront of observability innovation. Their approach involves storing all raw observability data in a centralized data lake, which is then enriched with layered analytics through a revolutionary “data graph” concept. This approach simplifies data navigation and comprehension, setting them apart from competitors in the app monitoring, log analytics, and observability sectors, including established players like New Relic, Splunk, Datadog, and Sumo Logic, as well as emerging challengers like Grafana, Chronosphere, and Honeycomb.
Observe’s recent advancements have solidified their position as industry leaders. The platform now boasts the capability to ingest over a petabyte of data per day for a single customer instance while offering a “live” mode for interactive debugging. Most notably, Observe has unveiled a suite of cutting-edge generative AI features designed to expedite various observability tasks.
Among these AI innovations is the GPT Help module, a chatbot-like assistant that responds to natural language commands, providing information on Observe’s features, “how-to” tasks, and error messages. GPT Extract adds structure to logs in real-time, enhancing data quality. The GPT Slack Assistant integrates seamlessly with Slack, assisting users in troubleshooting and summarizing threads for incident response. Meanwhile, OPAL Co-Pilot generates Opal code, Observe’s query language, based on natural language inputs.
The company believes these generative AI features are essential for modern organizations as they grapple with the deluge of telemetry data generated by distributed applications. And, as organizations become increasingly more digital, the volume of all the telemetry data that is generated by modern distributed applications is exploding higher. Legacy tools weren’t designed for the volume of data or the complexities of investigating unknown problems in production environments.
Observe’s platform has also received a significant facelift with the introduction of Observe Apps, prebuilt packages that contain Observe configurations and best practices tailored for specific development environments. Furthermore, Observe is launching a public API and command-line interface, along with options to export data to a CSV file or a Snowflake dashboard for more in-depth analysis.
Despite facing economic challenges and the global pandemic, Observe’s adaptability and focus on mid-sized companies with 200 to 2,000 employees have borne fruit. Their client base has expanded to encompass over 60 brands and approximately 1,600 monthly average users. Over the past year, they have moved the sales team up to larger accounts which has resulted in much higher average sales prices and less churn. While they’re not disclosing their annual recurring revenue, they did share that Observe has already surpassed its new annual contract value plan for 2023.
As Observe pioneers generative AI and enhances its platform, the question remains: Will these innovations propel the company to new heights? While the answer remains uncertain, one thing is clear—Observe’s commitment to disciplined, measured growth ensures they remain a formidable force in the observability arena.