Christian Gheorghe: We’re seeing a transformation towards a much more volatile type of risk environment where there’s more global competition and where the user base is changing significantly to a prosumer market – where consumer experience is demanded at work. Furthermore, the mobile platform is starting to have a big impact on the enterprise space. With respect to these trends of user communities and cloud and mobile platforms, we need to answer how companies can manage their businesses in terms of performance, financial analysis, planning, and predictive analytics.
That was the impetus behind Tidemark. I called Tony and said, “Let’s look at the analytical space from the ground up.” We took a blank sheet of paper and re-imagined what this application should do. We then decided to build Tidemark as a cloud-based enterprise analytics company that offers a large variety of analytical applications to help businesses run better and make data-driven decisions better in real time.
Sramana Mitra: I think the best way for us to understand Tidemark would be through use cases but before we do that, let me ask a few questions about how you built your company.
Christian Gheorghe: Our first company, Saxe was bootstrapped. I obviously had no money. I came into the country with $26. Driving the limousine allowed me to save about $10,000, but that was to live on. Andrew was the partner who financed a lot and I had equity. Eventually, we built it through one customer at a time.
Tian was venture-backed. I wanted to scale the company faster and I also wanted to have partners to help me in navigating enterprise software. That company was backed by PQuad capital and Draper Fisher Jurvetson.
Sramana Mitra: What year was that?
Christian Gheorghe: That was in 1997.
Sramana Mitra: Was that when the internet bubble was coming together that you raised venture capital and built Tian?
Christian Gheorghe: A little bit before the complete burst of the bubble, right in the middle of the challenging times. To have a time-bound frame to sell companies when the whole thing is challenging from a marketing perspective; that’s actually quite a good time to start a company.
Sramana Mitra: That’s very good luck to have. Timing is everything. You did Tian in ’97 and how long did that go?
Christian Gheorghe: 2004.
Sramana Mitra: So seven years. After that?
Christian Gheorghe: OutlookSoft from 2004 to 2009.
Sramana Mitra: That was venture-backed?
Christian Gheorghe: That was venture-backed by PQuad Capital, Fidelity, Battery Ventures, and Greylock.
Sramana Mitra: Is Tidemark also venture-backed?
Christian Gheorghe: Yes, Tidemark is venture-backed. It’s backed by Greylock, Andreessen Horowitz, and Redpoint.