From funding news to making an acquisition, opening new offices and hiring a host of new executives – plus adding new customers and revenues. It all adds up to making 2017 what CEO Todd Olson calls “a very big year” for Raleigh startup Pendo. But the year also includes a media shout-out.

Pendo CEO Todd Olson

Pendo CEO Todd Olson

Silicon Valley-based VentureBeat gave Pendo some good PR, rating the firm as one of the 10 most promising startups outside of the Valley that bear watching in 2018.

Writes Anna Hensel of VentureBeat:

“A product management software startup, Pendo helps teams measure user activity, create in-app guides, and capture feedback through surveys and polls. Alumni from Google, Cisco, and Red Hat founded Pendo in 2013.

“In 2017, Pendo’s biggest news was its acquisition of Insert, an Israeli startup that does in-app mobile messaging, and the raise of a $25 million series C in July. Investors included Salesforce Ventures and Spark Capital, with Meritech Capital Partners leading the round.

“The company nearly doubled its customer base in 2017, and it increased revenue by 400 percent, according to a company spokesperson. Pendo currently has 163 employees, and it plans to double its headcount in 2018.”

CEO shares praise

In a blog published Wednesday, Olson pointed out the 2017 successes – and made sure to share the praise coming his firm’s way.

“In 2017, we grew by literally every measure. We raised Series C funding, completed our first acquisition and launched some killer new features. We were named a LinkedIn Top 50 Startup, won two awards from the North Carolina Technology Association and were named a best place to work by the Triangle Business Journal. I’m incredibly proud of what Pendo was able to achieve in 2017 and excited to see what 2018 has in store,” he wrote.

While noting that the product management space is red hot, Olson also stressed that Pendo is successfully recruiting talent to help it grow.

“I love Jim Collins’ analogy in Good to Great about having the right people in the right seats on the bus. This analogy often informs my decision-making and planning. For Pendo, 2017 was the year of people. We hired a new Chief Financial Officer (Jennifer Kaelin), Chief Product Officer (Brian Crofts), VP Customer Success (Dan Demas), Chief Marketing Officer (Jake Sorofman), VP People (Leslie Neitzel), RVP Sales West (Cory Ayres), RVP Sales East (Blake Guerrero), and VP Sales Engineering (Brian Mes). That’s eight executives in a single year. Oh, and we added about 90 people altogether in 2017,” he explained.

Olson expects more success in 2018 – as well as diversity. Bottom line, however, remains service and building a winning company culture.

“Customers will never love a company until the employees love it first,” Olson pointed out.

“I love this quote by Simon Sinek. I think it sums up Pendo’s philosophy. It’s also why I’m so excited for 2018. Since 2017 was all about people at Pendo, I’m expecting great things for customers in 2018. And, I think serving customers give us a sense of purpose—it’s our North Star. Everyone at Pendo is aligned around helping customers deliver amazing product experiences.”