Sramana Mitra: Abhishek, you wanted to talk about one of your companies that already had an exit.
Abhishek Srivastava: This is a company called Shield Square, a cyber security company. They had built a cloud-based, real-time bot intervention solution. All online digital asset, whether it’s e-commerce, travel site, or financial services, have been constantly facing issues around content scraping or some kind of form spamming.
These guys had a simple API-based technology. This would fall in the second category that Sateesh mentioned which is an India company going global. They got to a stage where they had a decent critical mass in India, and then they took off in the US and Europe. They had built a substantial base there.
What worked out for us was the highly complementary skill set among the founding team. The technology has a huge potential and an interesting differentiated perspective. Most of the existing customers were pained because all the traffic were being redirected to their own servers.
They were in conversation with quite a few OEMs for partnerships when these opportunities came up. There were a few OEMs who fast-tracked the discussion. It has also to do with how the market landscape was changing in terms of them figuring out that this is a strong element in their overall suite that was missing. They were heading towards build or buy. This wasn’t planned.
The idea was to go along with them and ramp it up even more. But at the end of the day, it was a decent outcome for all the stakeholders.
Sramana Mitra: Who bought the company?
Abhishek Srivastava: Radware. It’s a NASDAQ-listed, Israeli-based company.
Sramana Mitra: Cyber security is going to be interesting in that sense. I think there’re going to be a lot of early exits. We’ve had an exit from our portfolio. Adya was bought by Qualys.
The cyber security market has always been incredibly active from an entrepreneurial perspective. There’re always lots of companies coming up. It has been true for the last twenty years. If you look at the enterprises and the CIOs, they have to evaluate so many products and so many vendors. It’s difficult.
For little companies to get into enterprise deals is not so simple without some sort of a partnership with a larger vendor who’s already on the table. What’s happening is, the larger players who already have a seat at the table are identifying the problems that need to be solved and then getting the point products into the portfolio in that same build versus buy decision that you were talking about.
Cyber security is going to be a ripe area with this kind of exit on an ongoing basis. It’s very good for Indian companies.
Abhishek Srivastava: I agree. You’ll be surprised to know that these guys have zero sales personnel in the US or anywhere in the globe. They were able to leverage inside sales and marketing and also the fact that it’s a very heavy integration approach. It’s more like a plug and play.
It was both a combination of sleek marketing complemented by good integration. I do agree that at the end of the day, this is a space where some of these big boys are on the lookout. They have a much bigger basket.