Last January, Alphabet's X "moonshot" factory announced a surprising turn, a new cybersecurity company called Chronicle. The press statement was short on details, and since then, Chronicle has been silent about what it's working on.
Chronicle is one of Alphabet's newest "Other Bets," the group of Google's sister companies that are hoping to stumble on the next big thing in tech, such as self-driving cars (Waymo) or high-speed internet access in remote areas (Loon). And cybersecurity is a potentially massive opportunity for Alphabet. Research firm Gartner predicts cybersecurity spending will hit $96 billion in 2018, and only increase from there.
Now, Chronicle CEO Stephen Gillett is revealing some initial details about where his mysterious Other Bet is going. Here's what he told CNBC.
Chronicle is getting closer to going public with its cybersecurity platform, but hasn't set a date, said Gillett, a veteran technology executive who joined Chronicle directly from his work at X. But some outsiders have viewed the planned Chronicle product, he said, including executives at other security companies.
Gillett said that just before the January launch, he called chief executives from around 30 top cybersecurity firms to reassure them that the technology giant's latest company wasn't formed to compete with them.
"In order to disarm their concern, I offered them and their CTOs access to our platform," he told CNBC on Thursday. "We have such incredible scale, what we are doing … it's nothing that they would even attempt to do."
Since those conversations, Chronicle has been alpha testing its products at a range of companies, including Fortune 50 giants, smaller firms and those spanning industries including health care, government, finance, retail and others. Just this week, the Chronicle team moved into its permanent home, a new building in Mountain View, California, next to Alphabet's headquarters.