Sramana: You have a unique situation in a founder-financed company. Where do you see things going in the future? Are you going to take a traditional route and look for an exit?
Ratmir Timashev: Our current vision is to continue growing as a private company. We don’t need venture capital funds to keep growing. We are almost at $500 million in revenue and we have publicly stated that we want to do $1 billion by 2018. We are not applying for an IPO and we are not actively looking to sell the company.
We believe the most difficult part is to find a niche market and build a great product. My partner and I have proven time and again that we can do that. We have created great products in the market at each company we have founded.
Sramana: Where is your sweet spot? Is it with enterprises, SMBs or somewhere else?
Ratmir Timashev: We started with SMBs and we have grown into the mid-market and enterprise in the last three years. We just announced that we have 111,000 customers at the end of Q2. We are adding 3,500 new customers every month. Our current customers are also extending their virtualization projects which means they are buying more licenses as well. We have 94% of the Fortune 500 as customers.
Sramana: How do you sale?
Ratmir Timashev: This market is defined by VMware, which is a channel company. We decided to build a channel company. Anyone who resells VMWare should resell Veeam. That strategy worked very well. We have a very powerful channel that sells. Our engagement model relies on a sophisticated and complex sales and marketing model. We have inside sales and field sales. We also have channel and direct sales. We have inside sales reps who work only with the channel partners and we have direct sales who work with the direct customers, but they also work closely with the channel sales partners.
We have over 25,000 reseller partners and a very large number of extremely happy customers. Our customers would buy anything if we opened a second or third product. Our customers trust Veeam. Backup is the technology that you absolutely have to trust, and they trust us. It’s a good time for us to look at buying adjacent technologies as a strategy for selling.
Sramana: Is your differentiation still virtualization backup?
Ratmir Timashev: We want to go mainstream. We no longer say that we are just built for virtualization. We are promoting availability. We are in a transition away from our initial messaging. Microsoft also has a competitive product with Hyper-V, which is also growing very fast. That is another very big market for us. Our target is now the modern data center, not just VMWare backup.
Sramana: How do you price?
Ratmir Timashev: We license our product the same way that VMWare licenses. We license by the CPU socket. Most of the servers today are shipped with a motherboard that has two sockets. That may support 30 or 60 virtual machines. We are priced based on the power of the physical host. That is also how Microsoft licenses.
Sramana: I found this conversation extremely interesting. Thank you for sharing your story. I look forward to following your success.