Sramana Mitra: Let me double-click down a little bit on the team issue. You have built this company from North Carolina?
John Stewart: Yes, from the ground up.
Sramana Mitra: Talk a little bit about what is the consideration of your company today. What has worked and not worked in building this company from North Carolina? How is the company architected organizationally today?
John Stewart: We have 160 employees. We have physical offices here in Charlotte. Our development office is in Atlanta, Georgia. We have a sales office in London, Australia, and an R&D office in Knoxville, Tennessee. We also have employees that work out of their homes all over the country as well. The headquarters has mostly inside sales, marketing, operations, and HR teams.
We placed development in Atlanta, because it’s far easier to get developers and there’s a bigger pool of developers in Atlanta than in Charlotte. It’s a bigger metro area with a lot more tech companies. Sales offices are sales offices. You put them where the business is. There’re a lot of positives to Charlotte as a place to build a company.
Sramana Mitra: How big is the Charlotte operation?
John Stewart: We’re about 90 people here.
Sramana Mitra: The development team in Atlanta, how big is that?
John Stewart: About 35 or so.
Sramana Mitra: Those are the two major operations and then the rest are sales offices in various parts of the world. What has been your experience with the management team? You’re working at centers that are not necessarily big software company hubs. What has been your experience in putting together your management team?
John Stewart: Let me challenge you on that. I would say Atlanta has as much software development as anywhere now.
Sramana Mitra: Even North Carolina is a good software development place now.
John Stewart: It’s gotten there. Atlanta is the major area where we hire developers.
Sramana Mitra: Hiring a VP of Engineering in Atlanta is not big a problem is what you’re saying.
John Stewart: That’s my co-founder. He runs that.
Sramana Mitra: That’s a whole different ball game.
John Stewart: Managing remote employees, you know if a sales person is doing their job. They’re either making their quota or not.
Sramana Mitra: The other question is around funding. You raised sizeable amounts of funding from off-center locations. What has been your experience in raising funding?
John Stewart: The funding came from the traditional locations of New York and San Francisco. There’re not a lot of options for that level of funding in the South East. I had to look elsewhere. I honestly think the VCs in this day and age hardly care where the companies are anymore.