How Honeycomb Is Using $50M in New Funding to Bring Observability to All

By Christine Yen  |   Last modified on October 19, 2021

Today, we announced that Honeycomb has raised $50M in Series C funding, in a round led by Insight Partners and joined by all existing investors from our Series B. We’re using this investment to support the growth of our customers and community, ensure the benefits of observability can be realized by all engineering teams, and expand the ways we can better serve you.

Observability is for everyone

It’s been nearly six years since Honeycomb coined the term “observability.” And we’ve been exploring and pushing the boundaries of what software observability means ever since. In that time, we’ve learned that observability is for:

  • ... not just ops, but also devs
  • ... not just experts, but also anyone still finding their way in production
  • ... not just backend teams, but also client-side and frontend teams
  • ... not just tech-forward unicorns, but also tiny startups, large established enterprises, and everyone in between

Observability is for everyone. It’s for everyone because doing things the old way (traditional APM, monitoring, and practices) means doing it the hard way. Doing things the new way, with observability, is genuinely easier—it takes fewer engineers less time to understand and thoroughly debug issues, no matter how obscenely complex their systems.

Change is hard. But access to the best tools and techniques can’t only be reserved for those on the cutting edge of tech. It’s up to us to help pave the path that brings observability to all teams.

That’s why you’ve seen us invest in building out our generous free tier, allowing anyone to send and analyze up to 20M events per month with Honeycomb—because we believe free offerings should actually be useful in production. We also believe in transparent and easy-to-understand pricing, with no hidden fees or bad surprises. So we blazed the trail of offering 60-day retention on all datasets, burst protection for unexpected traffic spikes, unlimited service coverage, unlimited data, and unlimited seats—many aspects that have been copied by competitors in this space ever since.

At Honeycomb, we believe that observability is for everyone. When vendors do things like limit seats on their free plan, or make you pay for every query you run, or set up other complicated pricing schemes that ultimately stifle adoption, they are literally excluding everyone. That’s not a future we want to build toward. With this new investment, we will continue to set the pace, in an industry that is following our lead, by ensuring we are paving a path for everyone.

Keeping the momentum going

If you’ve been paying close attention, you might notice this announcement comes less than a year since our Series B announcement. The observability market is white-hot and it’s been an incredible ride in 2021.

For years, we’ve said that observability is the future. But now, what was once revolutionary has become mainstream—engineering teams have become savvy, their expectations have been raised, other vendors are changing their roadmaps in an attempt to get into this category, and investors have taken note of who’s leading the charge.

Since our last funding announcement earlier this year, we:

  • Released Honeycomb Metrics, our Query Data API, and an overhauled Query Builder—features that modernize legacy approaches, put more powerful analysis at your fingertips, and connect Honeycomb to your daily workflows
  • Went all-in on OpenTelemetry, not just by adding support for OTel but going OTel-first as the de facto way to instrument your applications. We also announced support for OTel Metrics, OTLP over either gRPC or HTTP, and official Honeycomb distributions for both Java and .NET (with more on the way!)
  • Brought the whole observability community together for o11ycon+hnycon, our conference in a virtual format, that still somehow captured that hallway conversation feel. With incredible speakers sharing their practices and attendees sharing theirs in return, the event definitively demonstrated the maturing of leading-edge observability practices from the theoretical to the firmly practical
  • Addressed the needs of business stakeholders by working with Forrester to publish a Total Economic Impact (TEI) report on Honeycomb, showing that our customers see a 296% ROI on average

More than ever, now is the time to continue leading the dialogue around bringing observability to all teams—especially as its explosive popularity growth means that some incumbent vendors will muddy the waters by attempting to simply rebrand observability into a synonym for the same decades-old monitoring and APM tools they’re peddling.

The change toward new, better, and easier ways of understanding how your code operates in the hands of real users is a change that is happening for everyone—all across the software industry, within engineering teams of all sizes, up and down the entire stack. Observability is coming your way.

That future is here now. This new investment will help drive that momentum and we look forward to continuing to push the bounds of what’s possible by partnering with you.

Thank you

Thank you tremendously to the entire Honeycomb community and our customers. With this funding, we’ll continue to push to give you new, increasingly powerful, and even easier-to-use features. Thank you for shaping Honeycomb through your feedback and collaboration.

Thank you wholeheartedly to the Honeycomb team. You bring your passion and expertise to craft this future together, every single day. You’re an inspiration to build this future with.

And, of course, a big final thank you to our investors for choosing to sidestep safer, traditional bets and shooting for the moon with us instead.

Onwards and upwards, to an ever brighter future, together.

Haven’t started your observability journey yet? Use Honeycomb for free.

Also, we’re hiring! Check out our open positions.


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