Sramana Mitra: If you look at your 2018 deal flow, how many deals have you looked at? What are the nuggets you’re seeing that speak somehow to your investment thesis? What are you seeing out there?
Matt Holleran: We make about three or four investments per year and the reason for that is we do a lot of work on the front end. But on the back end, we also take action in areas such as recruiting, partnerships, and feedback.
So we want to deliver our value proposition. We receive inbound via our network. I’ve been in the market for 20 plus years and from starting the Salesforce AppExchange, we think we have a great and unfair network. We probably see inbound.
Norwest has 300 to 400 per year that are coming via our network. Then we also have proactive strategies where we’re creating opportunities as well.
From our perspective, we want to make sure that we’re doing our work on the front end and we’re delivering on our value proposition to the entrepreneurs on the back end. So we make sure that we’re only doing about three or four per year.
Sramana Mitra: In the 300 to 400 deals that you’ve seen, what are the nuggets? What are the trends in that portfolio of deals?
Matt Holleran: I think what we’re describing is consistent. There are companies that have realized from our positioning what it is that we work on. They are going after titles to serve. They come from all over the world, which we think is very interesting.
We see a mix of horizontal applications as well as vertical applications as I mentioned earlier. So it’s a pretty healthy gamut. In a good way, we are seeing the folks who have recognized that they need the classic series A, both in the capital mount and in the approach.
Sramana Mitra: Talk to me a bit about geography. You said you’ve seen a global deal flow. Are you interested in investing globally?
Matt Holleran: Yes. I got a call tomorrow for a company in London where they’ve got a reasonable start and they know what they want to accomplish. But they know they want to move to the Bay Area. We’re open to that.
In all respects, it’s unlikely we’d make many direct investments in the companies in Europe or in Asia given the geography and our network scalability. But we certainly look at companies like that all over the world. Not in our portfolio, but Zendesk is a great example of that. That’s one of those successes.
Sramana Mitra: Yes. Freshdesk, which is a key competitor of Zendesk, was incubated in 1Mby1M and they’re also an Indian company. That’s not a Silicon Valley company to begin with.
What are your parting comments to our audience before we close up this call?
Matt Holleran: Companies all over the world are looking for great cloud business applications – small, medium, and large. As an entrepreneur, there’s no better time to consider launching out to start an application for a title that is very meaningful.
As a result, think of that global TAM. You have to think about how and when you’ll be ready to service that global market. What would encourage you to think about doing that at the very beginning? That can open up the world to you and make a difference between it being a public company or a great company that you own.
I just want to make sure that people know we spend a lot of time talking to end customers. I started my career as an end customer software. They’re looking for great cloud solutions. This is a great time.
Sramana Mitra: Fantastic. Great speaking with you Matt. Thank you for sharing your perspective.