Sramana Mitra: This is from VCs or angels?
Manmeet Singh: It was angels but most of these angels were working as partners in large VC corporations. They go personally to these conferences. They came by my booth, saw my idea, and asked me, “How many people?” I told them three. They were interested and asked me if I was looking to raise money. They asked me to come in to demonstrate the idea and product. I did that with one more guy. They agreed to fund it. They had checked my past experience. They liked that I was working at a large enterprise and I had done two more startups.
Sramana Mitra; All this is happening in 2008 or 2009?
Manmeet Singh: That was Oracle OpenWorld 2008.
Sramana Mitra: Are you based in Silicon Valley?
Manmeet Singh: Yes, I’m based in the Bay Area.
Sramana Mitra: In 2008, you got a bit of capital and put together a product. When did you start generating revenues?
Manmeet Singh: The first large revenue came in 2009. We have been generating revenue since then, and the company has grown into an enterprise company. We now have more than a hundred people. We have raised about $30 million. 2008 to 2010 was a tough time to raise money. VCs were pretty much not putting money into new companies. I had to find more than one angel to keep the company going. I raised my first $7 million from a lot of angels.
Sramana Mitra: $7 million. Wow!
Manmeet Singh: That was a very tough job because I was outside everyday.
Sramana Mitra: Talk a bit about that. That’s an interesting angle that I think we should explore a bit in terms of your journey. Let’s go chronologically. 2009 was when you started booking revenues. Before you got your first revenue flowing, did you have to raise more angel money?
Manmeet Singh: The same angels put in some more money. The revenue was not huge but still it proved the fact that people were paying for our product. I went to about eight VCs at that point. They liked the idea but the problem was, taking data and security together was very offbeat at that point. They were pushing me to get either into data management or just security.