Sramana Mitra: Let’s talk about a few of your portfolio companies. What have you invested in that you feel really good about? What did you see in these companies that really captured your attention?
You gave us one example to begin with. So give us a little bit more color on these companies that you have chosen to invest in.
Matt Holleran: We encourage entrepreneurs to think seriously about whether they should announce funding as opposed to reflectively announce it. We made a number of investments that aren’t public information.
Because the entrepreneurs think it’s super important what they’re building and they’re waiting for the right time to let the world know that this great opportunity exists. What you might see on our website is a subset of what we’ve done.
I would encourage your entrepreneurs to consider this question. A couple of examples that we talked about earlier. First, ServiceMax was four people with two great domain experts in field service management.
I did recruit the CEO, Dave Yarnold, who I worked with and for at Clarify, the customer support company, years ago. He had been a VP of sales from $4 million to $100 million at SuccessFactors. Dave built an extraordinary business that became a global category leader and was acquired by GE for a billion in cash.
Propel has a large global category super domain expert in Ray Hein. They had two co-founders when we made the initial investment. We helped them to bring on board a co-founder. We’ve led the syndicate for the A1 and the A2.
I’m pleased to share that we keep building a great business and recently had Norwest join an $18 million series bait and join the Board.
As I’d mentioned, there’s DataGrail. They had three people at the time at which we led the $4 million classic series A1 financing last year. We keep building a great company and they’re growing as fast as they rightfully should.
Sramana Mitra: All three examples have the following characteristics, right? They’re great domain experts. They have previous success track record, and you’ve known them before from past life. Is that accurate?
Matt Holleran: No, I didn’t know the original ServiceMax team, but I did recruit someone that I’d known. I did know Ray. He was a partner of mine many years ago when he was at Agile Software.
In the case of DataGrail, I didn’t know the team. I think they have a really great domain expert both in customer-facing applications and in products. But, I did know some of their early advisers and folks who are high-value angels to participate in syndicate and as a result got to know them quite well.
Sramana Mitra: So the prior knowledge requirement isn’t there. It sounds like domain knowledge is your main driver, is it? Is that correct?
Matt Holleran: Yes. You have to be able to understand a title that merits companies you built around. In order to understand that title, you need to really understand their problem and their language.