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Concept Financing for a Fat Startup: Tomer Shiran, CEO of Dremio (Part 5)

Posted on Wednesday, Jan 16th 2019

Sramana Mitra: So 2018, what kind of customer level did you finish at? Beside the regular stuff of getting your sales organization ramped up, was there any other strategic thing that you did that is worth a discussion?

Tomer Shiran: When we launched, we had both a free version of the product and an enterprise edition. The community edition is something that people can start using for free, but it doesn’t have the features that an enterprise would need. In our first few quarters, a lot of our focus was on building awareness and getting people to download our community edition and start doing things on their own.

We focused a lot on metrics such as the number of activations and reducing the friction in that adoption process. Once we built the enterprise sales team and hired these sales engineers, we were in a position to start accelerating on the revenue side of things as well. Now we have multiple Fortune 100 and Fortune 500 companies, whether it’s bank or health insurance companies. Things have been moving pretty fast.

Sramana Mitra: Any strategic moves coming up or is it more of the same and scaling systematically?

Tomer Shiran: We do two things. We build product and we take that product to market.

Sramana Mitra: Not much complicated about it.

Tomer Shiran: Yes. We’ve done a lot of things that are very strategic in the product, and we’ve added new functionalities. We’ve built-in ability to connect to different data sources.

Sramana Mitra: Is there any kind of prioritization that you did in deciding which data sources you would build connectors to? Is it vertical connectors or horizontal connectors? That’s a strategic decision in a company like yours. What was the thinking behind that?

Tomer Shiran: On that front, we are very customer-driven. We count the number of times we’ve been asked for a specific kind of connector. If enough people are asking us for a connector to Postgres, then we’ll add a Postgres connector. Teradata is one such example where we added a connector recently based on a request from customers. It also depends on the type of companies.

Are there big opportunities associated with those requests? Is it more of small projects? We take that into account. We’ve also focused a lot on building a platform for how we build connectors. In the last few months, we rolled out a new framework for building connectors that makes it easy for our team to build connectors much faster and for our customers to build their own connectors as well. It’s something we rolled out recently.

Sramana Mitra: Is there anything else that you want to add?

Tomer Shiran: No, I think I’ve covered a lot here.

Sramana Mitra: Great. Thank you for your time. Good luck with your ongoing journey.

This segment is part 5 in the series : Concept Financing for a Fat Startup: Tomer Shiran, CEO of Dremio
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