When I first met Alex Solomon, Andrew Miklas, and Baskar Puvanathasan back in December 2012, it became clear very quickly that these were founders with deep domain expertise in the problem they had set out to solve. The idea of a modern SaaS-based platform for incident management resonated strongly with us at a16z, from our operating experience at Loudcloud/Opsware — and PagerDuty was already achieving early product-market fit. A quick survey revealed that most of our portfolio companies were already big fans of the product. Over a long dinner at Il Fornaio in San Mateo, the founders grilled me as hard as I grilled them on the business and the team. Happily, we both left the restaurant prepared to move forward as partners in building the company.
Under Alex’s leadership, the company continued to grow strongly over the next three years, successfully crossing the chasm from DevOps to mainstream IT. As with any startup, it wasn’t all plain sailing — for example, we went through multiple sales and marketing VPs as well as CFOs — but Alex’s tenacity, the strength of the product, and the bottoms-up high-velocity sales model overpowered the challenges.
To Alex’s enormous credit, in 2016 he had the unusual insight that PagerDuty was a special company in an expanding market, and that recruiting an experienced CEO could enable the business to maximize its potential at maximum speed. He and I set out to find the special CEO the business deserved. When we got to know Jennifer Tejada, we both knew she was the leader we were looking for. Jenn wasn’t easy to land — she had plenty of options. This time the forum was the Village Pub, but we left with an agreement for her to join as PagerDuty’s new CEO in July 2016.
Jenn has more than lived up to expectations. Building on the founders’ strong start, she’s recruited and retained an excellent team, building a business that successfully serves customers ranging from the largest enterprises to the most disruptive and innovative startups. As software continues to eat the world, PagerDuty has expanded from its original incident management roots to become the real-time operations platform for the modern organization. Jenn and the extended team have achieved all this while maintaining an inclusive culture that recognizes the value of diversity, equity, and inclusion, and understands its responsibilities to the community. During Jenn’s tenure, PagerDuty has won multiple awards as a great place to work.
As PagerDuty’s potential has become better known, we’ve been joined by other respected and supportive investors including Bessemer (Series B), Accel (Series C), and T. Rowe Price and Wellington Management (Series D). Now, only a little over six years since that dinner at Il Fornaio, PagerDuty has conducted its IPO and become a public company.
Congratulations and thanks to the entire PagerDuty team. We are proud to have supported you and watched you grow. It’s been my honor and pleasure to have worked with you for the last six years and counting.