Sramana Mitra: When they started Observe.ai and when you wrote your first check, they did not have yet a product?
Alok Nandan: They were building something else when they met us. Over the course of the next six months, they iterated and pivoted and eventually arrived at this idea. Initially, we wrote them a small check and then we doubled-down over the course of a year. It was an extended dating period. At the same time, we were actively helping them ideate.>>>
eBay (NASDAQ: EBAY) recently reported its third quarter results. Its GMV declined in the US and it missed revenue estimates. While the new internet sales tax laws are partly to blame, increasing competition is also a tough challenge for eBay.>>>
Sardor has bootstrapped a marketplace of home appliance technicians to over $10 million in revenue. Great story.
Sramana Mitra: Let’s start at the very beginning of your journey. Where are you from? Where were you born, raised, and in what kind of background?>>>
This report from Gartner says that end-user spending on public cloud services will grow 25% in 2020. For this week’s posts, click on the paragraph links.>>>
Sramana Mitra: FinTech is a segment where there aren’t a lot of humans in the loop. One of the great benefits that AI is delivering within FinTech is pre-approved loans within 30 seconds.
Alok Nandan: You’re absolutely right. If it falls within a certain range, then it will automatically get approved. Humans may only get pulled in when there are exceptions to the rule. You can still do some of that fast processing. The human is not reviewing every outcome that the model is doing. It’s only reviewing the exceptions.>>>
Sramana Mitra: How do you define seed in your world view? I’m sure you’re watching this trend out there. The seed has fragmented. It’s pre-seed, seed, post-seed, pre-Series A, small Series A, large Series A. Where in that continuum have you positioned yourself?
Alok Nandan: You’re absolutely right. There’s a lot of noise around what exactly is seed. Our viewpoint is, if you think about the entrepreneur’s journey, the first round tends to be their own capital or some friends and family. Then there is a large gap to get to a Series A.>>>
Sramana Mitra: Talk a bit about trends. If you look at the last 18 months of your deal flow, what are you spotting?
Alok Nandan: One of the big trends is AI. The next trend is around the explainability or accountability of AI. How do you make sure that the machine learning models are explainable to a human being? That is an important trend which will apply to most of our portfolio companies as well as other companies out there.>>>
Sramana Mitra: What else do you want to discuss that I have not asked you?
Amos Stern: We can talk a little bit about the type of customers that would use a system like that. It’s interesting because we have two types of customers. If you look at the different types of companies that exist in a market, you can split it somewhere in the bottom-third. The top part are big enough to have their own security operations team, or big enough to have a security infrastructure and a security organization.>>>