Sramana Mitra: San Francisco is very expensive right now but I don’t think it’s as expensive as London or New York.
Peter Bauer: I do have some funny stories. During the interviewing process, there were some guys living in Spain. You realize that these are top class. You get talking about pay and ask for their expectations. Then they say, “Maybe 40,000 pounds a year.” You have to say, “I don’t know how to put this, but we’re going to have to insist that you take at least 55,000 pounds.” They say, “Wow!” Then you would say to him, “Come over here. Look for a flat.”
Sramana Mitra: And see how much it costs.
Peter Bauer: You’ll realize we’re not doing this to be generous. We’re doing this because if we don’t, you’re going to arrive here and be on the next train out of here. There is a bit of that. It doesn’t have to be that expensive to live in London. You can have a nice lifestyle. Obviously, if you have a family, it’s expensive. A lot of the people that are in our engineering team are in their 20’s or early 30’s and not necessarily people with families. We have a lot of that talent really at different stages in their lives. They have a lot of disposable income despite living in London.
Sramana Mitra: The same thing is happening in San Francisco where the workforce is a young workforce. If you give it a few years, this workforce is going to mature, get married, and have children.
Peter Bauer: They can’t be happy forever. I’m joking. I’ve got three lovely ladies.
Sramana Mitra: What’s the plan? You have over $100 million in revenue. Are you looking at going public?
Peter Bauer: There are great opportunities for a company like ours to graduate onto public markets and really be able to access growth capital in a different way.
Sramana Mitra: You’d prefer to be private and not be public anytime soon?
Peter Bauer: I don’t actually have a preference. I think that both are equally exciting and equally hard. We’re interested in becoming a big and meaningful player in the marketplace. Being public or private is a means to an end.
Sramana Mitra: You have to have an exit. There are no two ways about it.
Peter Bauer: The one thing that I’m clear on with my investors is I was here before they were, and I’ll probably be here after they’re gone. I need to create opportunities for them to change places with another investor who perhaps has a different investment mandate or timeframe. That is well facilitated by being public, but it can equally be facilitated by having different types of private investors. One thing that we’ve been really focused on is making sure that the strategy of the company is sovereign and not the strategy of an investor or an owner.
Sramana Mitra: The good news is you do have a fully fleshed-out strategy that’s working. You’ve delivered a significant amount of revenue. Especially in cloud in some other areas of technology, the IPO window is open. If you want to do it in the short order, you could.
Thank you for your time. Good luck!