Over the last decade and more, I’ve had the privilege of working with a large number of bootstrapped entrepreneurs. These include self-financed companies and also modestly capitalized startups that operate in a capital-efficient manner applying the principles of bootstrapping. [You can review my Bootstrapping course on LinkedIn to recap these.]
For our Seed Capital series of podcasts and blog interviews, I’ve interviewed hundreds of investors, especially micro-VCs and angels who are playing and important role in the early stage game.
As automation devastates the fundamental economic model of the human civilization, we are faced with the option of augmenting the human brain such that ALL unskilled, low-IQ humans become upgraded.
I wrote on this topic last year: Man and Superman: Can Displaced Blue Collar Workers Become Doctors?
Since then, Elon Musk has made public statements about Neuralink, his venture to connect the human brain to computers.
Sramana Mitra: You left in 2003. Did you hand the reins over to somebody else?
Keith Krach: Yes.
Sramana Mitra: That was not the point when SAP acquired Ariba right?
Keith Krach: Yes, 15 years ago.
Sramana Mitra: Why did you let go of the CEO job? >>>
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Sramana Mitra: I’m just trying to understand the trends of this industry. If a technology provider is selling into the pharmaceutical industry in the digital therapeutics use case, how else is a digital therapeutics use case going to pan out commercially?
Raj Agarwal: It’s early in the game. That’s a new trend. There are three trends we see in the pharma. We talked about digital therapeutic. The other is beyond-the-pill solutions. How do you empower patients digitally who are on their drugs to be better supported? That is happening and is quite active. The third one is the clinical trial. How do you support patients in their clinical trials or through virtual trials? There are three different areas within the pharmaceutical industry that we are focused on. >>>
There aren’t many stories that one hears about Billion Dollar Unicorn players out of East European countries like Estonia. But ride-sharing service provider Taxify is one such rare gem. The company is already giving Uber tough competition in Europe.
Sramana Mitra: You were basically selling license software at this point right?
Keith Krach: Yes, we were selling license software. We said, “If we’re ever going to do this again, we’re going to pull as much expense as we can and push as much revenue out as we can. When it came to recognized revenue, I said, “How conservative can we be?” What we did was we recognized that revenue over a two and a half year period. We were booking these deals and getting cash. From a cash flow standpoint, we were cash flow positive from our second quarter of existence.
Sramana Mitra: How much money did you raise from Benchmark? >>>
Sramana Mitra: Let’s switch the discussion to pharmaceuticals and where drugs are now being enhanced by various kinds of digital monitoring or reporting. What are the trends there? It seems like you have penetration in that use case as well.
Raj Agarwal: One big trend on the pharma side is that they are recognizing that they need to be connected to the patient in terms of providing more support digitally. That’s one big trend where we talked about patient support programs. We see more and more companies going for that. Digital therapeutics is a different animal. >>>