Sramana Mitra: Why did you raise money? What was the thinking behind raising money?
Manish Sood: The thinking behind raising money was that we had validated the opportunity and had substantial revenue was being generated, how do we accelerate? We are still dealing with enterprise customers. Some of these sales cycles can be long. At the same time, we wanted to make sure that the enterprise customers do not have any questions about the viability or the longevity of the organization. We are here for the longer term to work with them.
Sramana Mitra: If you have a balance sheet and P&L like that, you can always share that with enterprise customers. They would be fine with that. I don’t think that’s a reasonable justification. You wanted to raise money seems like a better justification. My point is it’s not to convince your customers that you’re huge. They’re not going to question your viability and longevity if you tell them you’re earning more than $5 million.
Manish Sood: The competition for us is not other startups. The competition for us is Oracle, IBM, and SAP. We are displacing them. Those are multi-billion dollar companies. The CIO is not going to compare and look at, “You did this amount in revenue. Hence, you are the company that I will put all of my data assets into.”
Sramana Mitra: Yes, but they’re not going to put that on the basis of venture-funding either. You have to win those accounts on merit.
Manish Sood: It’s not one factor that leads to it.
Sramana Mitra: Regardless, whom did you raise money from?
Manish Sood: We raised it from Crossland Capital.
Sramana Mitra: What’s the next milestone? Did you raise money this year?
Manish Sood: Yes. We completed our Series A in March.
Sramana Mitra: Is there any other major milestone or major strategic moves that you want to share in the story?
Manish Sood: A strategic milestone for us has been the customers that we have been winning in life sciences and eventually becoming the standard across all of the life sciences and pharma companies. Our solution is being used to drive all of their commercial operations. For example, our solution has to be up and running 24/7. That drives all of their CRM, sales rep, and marketing type of activity. If our system goes down, that also brings down the activity on their side. It’s the system that has to be available and integrated into their ecosystem. We are seeing a very high rate of adoption across the vertical. The next milestone for us is to start replicating it through our ecosystem into other verticals.
Sramana Mitra: It sounds like life sciences has emerged as a very serious vertical at this point.
Manish Sood: The nature of the problems that we are solving require certain types of data management and data processing type of capabilities, which can be applied to different verticals. In order for us to take it to life sciences and make it highly applicable there, it was primarily driven by all the configurations and the ease of customization rather than heavy verticalization of our solution.
Sramana Mitra: My point is you have developed work flow around your solution that caters well to the life sciences customer base at this point, right?
Manish Sood: We have developed the go-to market strategy that caters well to our entry into the life sciences market.
Sramana Mitra: There is nothing in the product that is life science specific. It’s only the go-to market, which is a big deal anyway. I was trying to understand if there’s any product-side verticalization that has happened as well, but you’re saying no.
Manish Sood: That’s one of the reasons why we have started seeing customers in other verticals also using our product to apply it to their problems. For example, we are being used in an M&A scenario where one of the largest M&As taking place right now in the distribution vertical. We are being used as the data platform for driving that synergy and overlap analysis and then moving the unified companies together.
Sramana Mitra: What is the next major vertical that is emerging from your work today?
Manish Sood: Two areas are emerging for us. One is M&A where it’s not essentially a vertical but a solution area where our product is being applied. The second one is oil and gas.
Sramana Mitra: Interesting. Thank you for your time.