Peter Bauer: The opportunity of multi-tenant architectures in a cloud world that required an awful lot of software to be rewritten to be able to leverage the massively powerful hardware, which was fast becoming commoditized, and the massive networks were allowing SaaS to emerge as a theme. We put all these ideas together and decided to start building our platform. Eventually, we ran out of money. We were fortunate our wives were particularly patient with us. It took us a few years. We had a platform that really worked and we started to gather a customer base and then we started to bring in some angel investors. We were apprehensive about bringing in venture capital because we had a sense that the industry was in a major transition. We didn’t know how long it was going to take. We wanted investors who were investing their own money as opposed to somebody else’s money.
Later in 2009, we felt more confident about where we were going. We had so many good approaches from the community that we brought in a couple of venture investors. Index Ventures was one of them. The company continued to grow and that gave us capital to be able to expand into North America. We had done South Africa and UK up until that point. The North American growth story really took off. At the end of 2012, we brought in Insight Venture Partners, which led a $62 million round. We were able to continue the growth story. It’s an R&D story as much as it’s a growth story because it’s a very exciting platform. It has so much potential in accumulating customer data that we see real opportunities to build on and add services and value.
Sramana Mitra: Where is your R&D?
Peter Bauer: It’s split between London and Boston. My co-founder is based in London. We have about 100 engineers working out of London. In Boston, we have a small team of 20. I relocated in 2011 to be based out of our Boston office.
Sramana Mitra: Is it easy, difficult, or complicated to have an engineering operation in London these days?
Peter Bauer: It’s interesting because London is such a multi-cultural city that you get global talent coming to work there. With the the European economy becoming shaky, a lot of very good engineering talent has left Spain, Portugal, and some of the less developed European economies. A lot of people have come to London to advance their careers because they’ve run out of growth opportunities in those countries. We were able to pick up very diverse and interesting skill sets.
Sramana Mitra: The only problem with London is it’s so expensive.
Peter Bauer: Yes, it is. It’s almost as expensive as San Francisco.
Sramana Mitra: It’s much more expensive than San Francisco.
Peter Bauer: It depends where you eat.