Sramana Mitra: You didn’t really have any proof point yet. You didn’t have a product out. You didn’t have anything going. You just got a concept financing of $15 million from Kleiner.
Kris Duggan: The fact that I was in the process of having those 80 conversations and mapping the market was critical to the decision. Another critical factor was just how passionate John is about goal setting. He brought the goal setting process to Google. He worked with Andy Grover on OKR. He was already bought in to the concept. Just the fact that we were building a whole company around goal setting was very exciting to him and that’s why he invested.
Sramana Mitra: In October 2013, you’ve got $15 million in the bank. What happens next? >>>
Sramana Mitra: You basically were putting embedded code on the devices for filesystem management.
Mikko Valimaki: Yes. Looking back, I think we made the right choice. We were able to grow really fast in the selected Asian market. When we were in the open source stage, I would say that from the early revenue, it looked like North America was the biggest one. Then there was significant revenue from Central Europe, and Asia was minor. When we went into the licensing business and figured out that the device market is the best for us, then Asia was really the way to go. Starting in 2010, Japanese, Koreans, and Chinese started to handle the customer relations and develop the market further.
Sramana Mitra: What timeframe did you figure out that this was going to be your core strategy? Do you remember exactly when you came to that conclusion?
Entrepreneurs are invited to the 308th FREE online 1M/1M roundtable mentoring session on Thursday, June 9, 2016, at 8 a.m. PDT/11 a.m. EDT/8:30 p.m. India IST.
If you are a serious entrepreneur, register to “pitch” and sell your business idea to Sramana Mitra. You’ll gain straightforward feedback, advice on next steps, and she’ll answer any of your questions. Others can register to “attend” to watch, learn, and interact through the online chat.
In case you missed it, you can listen to the recording here:
Over the past 10 years, Oracle (NASDAQ: ORCL) has spent more than $50 billion on making more than 100 acquisitions. While the year 2015 was a bit tepid on the acquisition front, it has made up for it this year by already announcing five acquisitions, three of which were announced over the past month. >>>
During this week’s roundtable, our guest was Anand Daniel, Partner with Accel Partners, who discussed Accel India’s investment strategy at length.
As for the pitches, first up, 1M/1M Premium member Norm Wu from Sunnyvale, CA, pitched i-Human Patients. The company did $2.2M in bookings in 2015 for its SaaS medical simulation product selling to various educational institutions. They also did ~$5M in non-recurring revenue last year.
Sramana Mitra: Was there a segment where you were finding traction from a size point of view or any other segmentation parameter?
Kris Duggan: I would say that initially when I first started the company, I thought this might be for companies that are not too big. Maybe if you’re a thousand or ten thousand people, you need Workday or SuccessFactors. What I found was that even these large enterprises have real, major challenges around driving adoption around goals.
Sramana Mitra: Can you highlight what was different in the commercial product versus the open source product? From a product positioning point of view, why would somebody who was interested in the open source product buy this one?
Mikko Valimaki: I would say there are three reasons. Some of our biggest customers were very hesitant to use open source. When we said that this software is no longer open source, there was more demand for it from big companies who didn’t actually want to share all the source code of their own product. We didn’t know about this kind of stuff. Then of course, we started to develop all the new features. It was technically much better. >>>