Unless you’re a software engineer, of course, in which case you might remember them from a 4 AM wake-up call. Sorry.
We thought we’d take a closer look at their story, how their IPO went and what their prospects look like for the future.
Who are PagerDuty?
As well as having their very own emoji, PagerDuty is a SAAS (software as a service) company which provides an alert and monitoring platform.
We like to think of these as ‘engineer alarms’.
PagerDuty was founded in Toronto in 2009 by engineers Alex Solomon, Andrew Miklas, and Baskar Puvanathasan. After experiencing first hand the headaches that outages can cause, the trio set about creating their own solution.
The team published the very first version, with basic on/off alarms, of PagerDuty on Hacker News:
Basic. [Image source: PagerDuty]
A few months later, PagerDuty went through its paces at Silicon Valley incubator Y Combinator in 2010, just half a year after Airbnb, helping them secure an initial round of funding.
It was at this point that PagerDuty say they realised they had two core value propositions.
Firstly, and most obviously, their service offered peace of mind.
And second, if they were going to wake up an engineer at 4 AM, then they’d do it in the most effective way, by alerting the right engineer, with the right message. This part has evolved into what they describe as their mission to improve ‘quality of life’ for its users.
The company is now headquartered in San Francisco and has over 600 employees, or Dutonians, as they’re known.
Silicon Valley’s most elegantly named team? Not a stock photo, if you believe that. [Image: Backblaze]
One of these Dutonians is Jennifer Tejada, CEO since 2016, and one of the few women to lead a US tech unicorn. Having previously served as CEO of Keynote Systems, Tejada is said to have looked at 51 CEO positions before taking the helm at PagerDuty.
Ok, so what drove their growth?
In recent years, the global tech industry has shifted towards scalable, cloud computing platforms which allow companies to scale users more efficiently and seamlessly.
Of course, outages do still happen. As a tech startup, we occasionally experience them as well.
That’s when PagerDuty comes in.
PagerDuty’s sales pitch is that they are the ‘central nervous system for the digital enterprise’. So, basically they alert you when your app goes down.
They now have over 11,000 clients, including Airbnb, Lululemon, and, most importantly to keep your app running smoothly, Freetrade.
Here’s our trusty Slack integration, in action:
Reporting for Duty
In March 2019, the company filed their S-1 ahead of their public listing in April 2019.
How did the IPO perform?
PagerDuty went public on the NYSE on 11th April, with its stock price rising 60% on launch day.
Chart: Google Finance
The stock was also quite popular with the Freetrade engineering team:
What do PagerDuty’s prospects look like?
Pre-IPO, PagerDuty had received $170m of funding from investors such as Andreessen Horowitz, A16Z for short, and Baseline Ventures. Sidenote, A16Z invested in some great (and not so great) companies - we’ve added their podcast onto our list of good research sources to follow.
Although the company announced that revenue for the full year in 2018 topped $100m, the latest profitability report available does show a loss of $38m for the fiscal year ending 31 Jan 2018. While revenue growth has been historically strong, there is no guarantee the stock price will reflect that, as sometimes the market prices in future growth into the current share price.
In any case, armed with the $200m raised at their public offering, they continue to invest aggressively in the pursuit of growth.
Threats in the space include software giant Atlassian, which owns the Jira Ops tool, offers a similar service and has the benefit of being directly connected to its popular workflow management tool, Jira (also used by Freetrade).
Having previously had its data compromised, there are also concerns around security, however, it wouldn’t be the only tech company with security front of mind.
What are your thoughts on PagerDuty? Let us know below!
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