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1Mby1M Virtual Accelerator Investor Forum: With Ravi Mohan of Shasta Ventures (Part 3)

Posted on Wednesday, Oct 31st 2018

Sramana Mitra: We focus a lot on that product-market fit process. Our guidance to our entrepreneurs most of the time is to figure out that product-market fit before going out to raise money. The vast majority of the market is in that mode right now. That’s just an aside.

In B2B, do you have sweet spots? Are there specific things that you are noticing or liking in what you’re seeing? If you look at your last 18 months of deal flow, what kind of trends are you seeing? What trends do you think are going to be the genesis of major venture-funded companies?

Ravi Mohan: The areas we are investigating fall into three broad categories within B2B. One is we’re looking at security. Security is a very broad area. It impacts every enterprise’s brand and every enterprise’s ability to interact with their customers and partners in a manner that respects that relationship from a confidentiality perspective.

The benefits of people finding ways around the security guards at scale is huge. There’s a lot of different reasons why people are attacking large enterprises. The world is changing with cloud, mobile, and new serverless technologies to build and run applications. There is a lot of opportunity in security, especially in figuring out the footprints of what needs to be done to secure the enterprise and live within the rules that are available through compliance as well as show what you’ve done properly. One of my partners is focused on that area.

Second is, corporations are moving to utilize the data available for them to be a more data-driven organization. There’s a lot of opportunity in terms of pulling that data in one place, understanding that data, and converting that data into actionable intelligence that can drive decision-making and workflow to help companies adapt their businesses. We spend a lot of time looking at data infrastructure.

Out in the application software world, we bifurcate that into two categories. We’re looking for smart applications that take information and intelligently assist humans to drive better decision making and better workflow. We just did an investment in a company in Seattle started by an Indian entrepreneur who grew up in the US. It’s going after the procurement space and really looking at building a smart procurement application to help companies ensure that they buy at the price they’ve contracted with.

Then the second area within SaaS is replacement markets. There’s a whole host of automation that has happened in both mainframe as well as client server. There’s a huge opportunity as these applications get older and new capabilities are required within them. One example is Salesforce. It’s a replacement software for CRM. They replaced Siebel and have built close to a $100 billion market cap company around that opportunity. Workday is doing the same thing for human capital management. ServiceNow is doing the same thing for the help desk. There are more categories out there and we’re looking in those areas.

This segment is part 3 in the series : 1Mby1M Virtual Accelerator Investor Forum: With Ravi Mohan of Shasta Ventures
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