Datadog IPO: Purity of Vision and Purpose

Matthew Jacobson | September 23, 2019
Focused on the pain points engineers were experiencing with the growing complexity of cloud and hybrid environments

Purity begins with a highly authentic founding story. At their prior company, Olivier and Alexis literally stood on opposite sides of the Dev and Ops divide and experienced the difficulty in communication across these silos firsthand. They built Datadog in this image — to cut across systems, teams and functions and solve these problems. With this inherent empathy and a careful ear to customers, Datadog focused on the pain points engineers were experiencing with the growing complexity of cloud and hybrid environments and built products to surface strong and actionable insights in a digestible way with rapid time to value.

Purity also encompasses setting. When Datadog was founded in 2010, the New York City technology scene was mostly known for high growth companies in sectors like ecommerce, marketing technology and financial technology, embedded in legacy industries which once served as pillars in the city. At that time, there were very few infrastructure technology companies. Early investor conversations often encouraged the founders to move to California, but Olivier and Alexis believed in the opportunity to build a significant company in New York City due to the immense surrounding talent pool. While this decision made fundraising more difficult early on, scarcity of capital actually enabled customer centricity with a strong focus on efficient growth, which has become a powerful fabric embedded in the company to this day.

"Even as Datadog has meaningfully expanded its product portfolio, dedication to a single platform has remained core."

Purity extends to platform vision. Datadog began its journey with the important architectural decision of building a real-time, common data unification platform. When we spoke with Datadog customers ahead of our initial investment, we heard about the breadth of utilization across all public, private and hybrid cloud environments and ubiquity of engagement across users, “Deployed Everywhere. Used By Everyone”. Even as Datadog has meaningfully expanded its product portfolio, this dedication to a single platform has remained core. Many large traditional software companies have grown through acquisitions, often accruing multiple platforms which can bring encumbering complexity. With the acquisitions of companies such as Mortar Data, and Madumbo, Datadog has brought on new founders, products, teams and geographies into their exciting journey, but have remained committed to building a single, unified data platform.

Purity is at the core of Datadog’s product-led growth. Datadog’s ease of adoption and self-service, frictionless deployment reinforces its growth as customers increase their cloud workloads and extend the product more deeply into their workflow. Prior to our partnership with Datadog, we heard at length about customers bringing in many data sources and using Datadog for a “holistic view of my infrastructure in a single-pane”. Datadog has listened to the problems of its customers and built modern products to deliver transparency and insights to its customers. From launching Application Performance Monitoring (APM) in 2017, to Log Management in 2018 to Network Performance Management (NPM), Real-User Monitoring (RUM), Synthetics in 2019, Datadog’s core growth strategy has been product innovation.

Datadog’s journey has been marked by Purity from its authentic founding story, to its opening setting in New York, to its single, unified data platform vision and product-led growth strategy. We are grateful to have been their partner on this journey for what is approaching the last four years. When we first met Olivier and Alexis over Korean cuisine, it was an “Aha!” moment — we immediately connected with the unique opportunity and potential of their vision for the alignment of Dev, Ops and Business. Since then, the partnership has been a hallmark of the ICONIQ family’s collective experience. This is a major milestone in Datadog’s history, and we are very excited for the meaningful journey ahead with much great work still to be done!

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