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Unicorn in the Making: Datrium CTO Sazzala Reddy (Part 5)

Posted on Monday, Jan 6th 2020

Sramana Mitra: From your founding team of five, it seems like you took the CTO role. Who took the CEO role and why?

Sazzala Reddy: One of the founders of Data Domain was a product manager. We needed somebody with a little bit more business experience and who could contribute more in that direction.

The remaining four of us are very technical. We picked our product manager Brian Biles as the CEO. When the company grew, we got a more professional enterprise-scale person as a new CEO.

Sramana Mitra: Did you make that switch along the way?

Sazzala Reddy: About one and a half year ago, we hired a CEO. He used to be COO at EMC selling to large enterprises. He has the experience and background to be the CEO.

Sramana Mitra: How did that go for Brian?

Sazzala Reddy: When you start scaling the company, you need a different skill set. It was his call. He made that choice to bring someone in with that experience.

Sramana Mitra: What role did Brian take?

Sazzala Reddy: He’s now the Chief Product Officer.

Sramana Mitra: You mentioned ServiceNow. They did the same thing. What level of financing have you operated with? You talked about one NEA round at the beginning. That first round was how much?

Sazzala Reddy: $30 million.

Sramana Mitra: Series A, $30 million. Wow! How much money have you raised to this day?

Sazzala Reddy: $170 million.

Sramana Mitra: I think I have a decent understanding of where you are. Are you looking at an IPO in the near horizon? Where are you thinking?

Sazzala Reddy: That is the goal. We have a big business. It’s a big market. The disaster recovery market has been untapped. It’s a $6 billion market today. We are aiming for that  IPO.

Sramana Mitra: What about competition? Whom do you see in deals?

Sazzala Reddy: We generally see backup vendors. Backup vendors are not DR vendors. Backup is good for backup. To get your data back from a backup system and copy it into primary storage system to run your workload, it takes you two days or five days to bring up all the data. That’s the problem with backup.

Sramana Mitra: You’re talking about players like Druva.

Sazzala Reddy: Yes. In fact, my old company Data Domain is a competitor.

Sramana Mitra: What about partners? Are players like Equinix your partners?

Sazzala Reddy: We are in talks with a bunch of people who seem interested in partnering with us. We haven’t done any deals yet, but we are in the talks. We are very good partners with VMWare because we work with VMWare Cloud on AWS. They seem to be more willing to partner with us right now. Amazon is also interested because we bring customers to them as well.

Sramana Mitra: Thank you for your time.

This segment is part 5 in the series : Unicorn in the Making: Datrium CTO Sazzala Reddy
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