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Raising Money From 75 Angels: Manmeet Singh, CEO of Dataguise (Part 6)

Posted on Saturday, Feb 21st 2015

Sramana Mitra: In 2012, you had around $1.5 million in revenue and you had a bunch of customers. In 2013, Samsung expressed interest in both becoming a customer and an investor. That’s when you started seeing the traction from the VCs?

Manmeet Singh: Yes. Toba Capital moved faster than anybody else. My old angels have always kept the company alive. We still had a note of about $3 million to $4 million. The earlier note was converted and this new note was created. That, too, was raised by a lot of angels. When Toba came in, they put in a lot of money and that note was converted. That was big money. Samsung followed with a couple of million dollars. We raised a total of over $30 million.

Sramana Mitra: In terms of your strategic planning in terms of how you built the company from a channel point of view, talk a bit about what has been your strategy of getting to these $200,000 to $400,000 a year customers.

Manmeet Singh: When I started, I didn’t even know the price of my product. I was selling it at what the customer was ready to pay. Even now, sometimes, we have to sell it at what customers are ready to pay. Then a good thing happened in 2013. With the money, I was able to hire a strong team. Today, I have good product management. I have a very good VP Sales from Quest who knows how to sell to the larger customers. They all put the process in place. They all guided me. I learned from them. I learned from my board members.

We are still in the startup mode because the pricing is still not written in stone. The main aim of the company now is to detect and protect the sensitive data. Detection could be from many angles. One is breach protection. Breaches have become a big problem. This weekend, Obama is having a big conference in Stanford, which is for cyber security. Everybody is focused on that.

Out of the 10 companies there, three of them are my customers. Two of the largest credit card companies are my customers. You’d really need a strong team for that. I would not have done as much on my own.

This segment is part 6 in the series : Raising Money From 75 Angels: Manmeet Singh, CEO of Dataguise
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