Sramana Mitra: What was the conclusion? What was the insight that you drew from this process?
Jagan Reddy: One of the fundamental things that I understood from the requirements perspective is, if you look at the FASB, which is the standard for accounting, it is very direct and clear about how you need to do the accounting. The biggest challenge is that the same type of two different companies may be adopting different accounting methods. When I looked into it, I found that the most challenging thing for any ERP vendor would be to come out with a product that can solve all those different ways of accounting. I started working on a software which would be heavily configurable to meet different requirements. That’s where the idea came from and I decided to build a software.
Sramana Mitra: You were based in the Bay Area when you started this?
Jagan Reddy: Yes.
Sramana Mitra: What did you do to get this off the ground? How did you build the product? Did you bootstrap? Did you raise financing? How did the company get off the ground?
Jagan Reddy: I built the software all by myself. I didn’t have a team. I didn’t raise any money. I just built a product with certain functionalities.
Sramana Mitra: You had coding capabilities?
Jagan Reddy: Yes.
Sramana Mitra: Did you start writing this code while you still had the Juniper job? How did you navigate that phase?
Jagan Reddy: I quit Juniper and then I started working on this for six months. I was able to write the skeleton software. At that point, I decided that I need to go back to a job as I needed to support my family. I stopped working on the software and then I started working for another networking company for a year. At that point in 2009, there was a major shift happening in the revenue accounting, especially for technology companies. In 2009, there were several technology companies who were looking for a solution to automate this change.
I was able to understand what changes were happening. At that point, I heard from my friend that Brocade Communications was trying to build a solution on their own to solve this complexity. I was just casually telling him that I wrote a software that could solve this problem. He took that and he shared it with his team. They were interested to know what I’d done. They invited me and I walked them through how we could automate their entire process. They really liked what I’d done so far.
They were also impressed by how I could completely solve their problem and allow them to adopt the rules within the time frame they had. They had only three months to adopt the rules. They decided to go for automation. That’s when I told them that I don’t have a company and I don’t have a name. I just have a software. They basically asked me to go set up everything and come back. That’s when we decided to start Leeyo. We officially started Leeyo in 2009. I recruited a couple of guys to do the implementation and some development work with Brocade.