DigitalOcean went public today, and I am so proud of the team’s journey to get to this incredible milestone. The story of my first meeting with DigitalOcean founders Ben and Moisey Uretsky in 2014 is one of the most memorable of my venture career (now going on 10 years!).
At that time, cloud hosting was a crowded market of as-a-service offerings. And like a lot of investors, I entered the meeting thinking that cloud hosting was the domain of the “big guys” and DigitalOcean couldn’t possibly make it. In that first meeting, two things convinced me otherwise: the numbers and DigitalOcean’s relentless focus on, what I described in my original post when we funded their Series B in 2014 as, “building a cloud that developers love.”
I knew DigitalOcean was onto something—they understood the needs of developers and builders in a way other cloud providers didn’t. While the big clouds focus on infrastructure for large enterprises, DigitalOcean provides the infrastructure-as-a-service needed to write code faster and then rapidly deploy and scale applications. They recognize that the silicon, network, and other components are commodities, and it is their ability to provide a simplified developer experience that differentiates them. This focus has given them strong product-market fit with small businesses, entrepreneurs, and individual developers, who crave tools to manage the infrastructure so they can focus on building applications.
The next phase of the company was born when Yancey Spurill joined as CEO to build on the strong vision and culture of Ben and Moisey. At the time I told him that there were 20 levers to pull that would set the company on course to an IPO. The only problem was I had no clue what the levers were! But Yancey and the management team figured it out by staying true to the company’s focus: to serve the developer community with a product that is elegant, yet simple.
Today, DigitalOcean has over 570k customers in 185 countries, and I am honored and excited to continue to work with the team as Chairman of the Board post-IPO as they enter their next chapter.