In IVP’s Hypergrowth Podcast series, IVP investors talk with CEOs from the fastest growing companies to understand the ins and outs of company building in the hypergrowth environment.
Jyoti Bansal, the Co-Founder and CEO of Harness, is on a mission to simplify the entire software delivery process. With the goal of helping companies match the level of their software deployment to companies like Amazon, Facebook, and Google, his team at Harness gives critical time and resources back to companies by allowing them to focus on core innovation instead of more tactical software deployment processes. As the founder, former CEO, and chairman of AppDynamics, acquired by Cisco for $3.7 billion on the eve of their IPO, as well as the founder of an early-stage venture firm, Unusual Ventures, and startup studio, BIG Labs, Jyoti is no stranger to birthing a business, growing it, then creating value along the way for the ecosystem.
IVP led the Series D of AppDynamics in 2013 and led the Series B for Harness in April 2019.
Some key takeaways from Jyoti:
Four questions to ask before embarking on a start-up
- Can I see a visible path to $100M ARR?
- Can I build a sustainable technological advantage?
- Is there an opportunity to build a wider, category-defining platform beyond $100M ARR?
- Is the founding team one where we can work together for the next ten years?
Bottom-up vs. top-down selling
“There is more power that has shifted toward the developer but it’s not just the buying power… it’s really about the decision making power. It used to be that the CIO could make a decision on buying this product and then they will make a top-down decision, you know, an announcement that everyone has to use this product. That’s just impossible these days. No CIO, no head of engineering can make a call like that, unless you get buy-in from the developers…”
“The most important thing for most developers is something that they can try without talking to a salesperson. Something that they can use and feel themselves without, you know, having the pressure of buying or something, right? So you can do it with open source you can do it with freemium… the product has to be good… In this kind of space, mediocre products don’t win and don’t survive”
“At some point, you have to convince a VP or a C level person to spend half a million a year with a vendor”
Tapping talent and investing in recruiting
“The single most important advantage is the ability to attract the right talent earlier on.”
“I think the main advice I would give to people is trying to hire a little bit ahead. Not too far ahead but six to twelve months before you think you would run into a wall with your management structure/management team that you have.”
“For any exec about forty-percent to fifty-percent time does go in recruiting and acquiring the right talent and that’s the best use of your time anyone can do. But I would say at about, somewhere in the thirty to fifty people mark is good to bring in a senior recruiting person”
The formula to fundraising
“You know, as a first-time entrepreneur when I was doing, raising my Series A for AppDynamics, I had to pitch twenty VC’s and get twenty rejections before I got my first offer. For Harness, the second time entrepreneur, twenty VC’s approached me to invest before I accepted one…”
“You want to fund the company in any round for the next, eighteen to twenty four months. I do not like to fundraise more frequently than that; it’s just too much overhead…. You want to have some buffer, you don’t want to be scrambling for funds.”
More from the full conversation in the transcript is below.
Narrator: Welcome to IVP’s Hyper-Growth Podcast. In this series, we talk with CEOs of the fastest-growing companies and discuss the ins-and-outs of company building in the hyper-growth environment. If you like what you hear, consider following us on SoundCloud or subscribing to our podcast on iTunes. Thanks, and enjoy the show.
Jason: I’m Jason, an investor at IVP and welcome to the Hyper-Growth podcast. I have as my guest on the show today, Jyoti Bansal, the CEO and co-founder of Harness.io, a continuous delivery as a service software platform. As well as the founder and former CEO and chairman of AppDynamics, an application performance monitoring company, which was acquired by Cisco for $3.7 billion on the eve of their IPO. Jyoti also founded his own early stage venture firm, Unusual Ventures, as well as his own startup studio, BIG Labs. IVP was fortunate enough to lead the Series D of AppDynamics in 2013 and recently led the Series B for Harness earlier this year. Jyoti, it’s great to see you. We’re so glad to have you here.
Jyoti: Thanks for having me here, Jason.
Jason: I think many people are familiar with your AppDynamics journey and so maybe we pick up the story from where that leaves off. It’s 2017, the company you founded and built was just acquired in one of the most successful enterprise exits of all time and for the first time in ten years you’re not working on AppDynamics. So tell us, what did you do with all that free time?
Jyoti: *Laughs* You know, when AppDynamics was acquired, my first instinct was to do nothing and retire for some time and so that’s the first thing I tried, and you know running a company had a long list of things that I wanted to do so that was the first thing to get things off the list, which was doing a safari in Africa and do the hiking in the Himalayas and see Machu Picchu and to see the fjords of Norway and so there was a long list of things to achieve and so that’s what I did for six months and then kind of spend a lot of time on the beach. But after about eight/nine months it occurred to me I’m not ready to retire it’s just too–I need to get back into doing something.
Jason: Sounds like that was a well deserved rest or break and so that’s nine months you come back hopefully a lot more refreshed. What did you decide in terms of wanting to spend your time? Was it, you know, immediately go to another company or it sounds like you’ve tried a couple of other things?
Jyoti: You know that’s an interesting dilemma I had for some time, what do I want to do next, right. So the options are anywhere from retire and do nothing. In between is like you know, be, you know, advise other companies and make investments and be on the boards, etc. And third is go and execute and operate another company, right, so it’s the–and I did a lot of thinking about it, you know, and at some point, it becomes/its not only driven financially, it’s like what you really enjoy to do. I realize that there are two things I enjoy: I enjoy building companies and I really enjoyed my journey at AppDynamics so I wanted to do it again, and because I enjoy the thrill of building a company and building a great product and assembling a team and competing in the market and everything. At the same time, I also realize that I do enjoy helping other entrepreneurs–that other mentoring and helping and advising and other entrepreneurs are going through similar kind of journeys and sharing my experiences and helping them. So I thought let’s find a way I could do both. And that’s how I settled on starting an early stage venture firm and also building a startup studio where I can experiment too so that I can launch the right company that I could operate.
Jason: That’s fantastic and so, to my understanding Harness was really the first company that emerged from BIG Labs and became a company in and of itself and I’d love to hear, you know, your approach to BIG Labs, the type of ideas that you’re experimenting with and how or why you chose Harness as what stood out in that one as the one to really continue forward with.
Jyoti: So, in BIG Labs, the approach that I have is it’s really I have a running list of some ideas that I’m excited about and most of them have come from my experiences, talking to customers, and AppDynamics, and other former, you know, engagements I had. So we’ll experiment with different ideas and the goal that I set is like the only thing that will ever launch out of BIG Labs is something that meets four criteria. The first criteria that I can see, visible path to a hundred million ARR–that I can bring/build the company to a hundred million ARR and that’s the first part. The second is that I could build a sort of, sustainable technological advantage in that particular problem–that’s the second criteria we look at–we/have we identified the technological advantage or not? The third is we see an opportunity to build a much wider platform beyond the hundred million ARR because is there opportunity to shoot for an industry defining/category defining major platform over time. And then the fourth is the initial founding team that I could get going, right? Is that a team that we could work together for the next ten years? Because it does take at least that much to build a really meaningful platform company. And anything that meets those four criteria is the one that we would launch out, right. So you know, if over a tinier period BIG Labs launches only one company, I’ll be more than happy if it gets there. So it’s not the, you know, if it launches two companies, I’ll be really happy, but it’s not the goal of like the rebuilding dozens of companies in BIG Labs that’s not a real outcome.
Jason: Yeah it really sounds like quality over quantity where it sounded like one, really large market toward your million dollar run rate visibility to that; two, having a really differentiated tech piece; three, having this broader platform of PO; and then four, having a great team to do it with. You wanted to set your eyes on something that’s big that, you know, maybe could be a public company where as successful or more successful than AppDynamics when you were starting out.
Jyoti: Exactly, yes.
Jason: And, so obviously we at IVP are really excited about Harness, but for our listeners who might be less familiar, can you just tell us a little bit about Harness, in your own words, what’s the goal, what’s the vision and why you’re so excited about it?
Jyoti: The goal at Harness is to build a software delivery platform. You know, we talk about every business becoming a software business: Banking, insurance, retail, telco, whatever you do it’s a software business, right. But we have 24-million software developers in the world now, and you know you have about two and a half billion dollars being spent on writing software. But the process of delivering that software from the software developers to the end user is a very complex process–there’s not really good platforms to help with that. And I saw it first hand at AppDynamics itself, you know, it’s viewer–AppDynamics was a SaaS company and we were struggling always to deliver software, you know, really fast, really quickly, you know, in a very reliable way. Almost all of AppDynamics customers I would hear the same kind of stories, that people were struggling to deliver software in the same way as an Amazon or a Facebook or a Google or a Netflix, those kinds of companies could deliver software. Most of the other companies could not get there. And that’s the goal that we set at Harness, that can we really simplify the entire software delivery process, can we build a platform where every company in the world can master software delivery as a business process and get to the same level of sophistication on it as a, you know your Amazon, Facebook, Netflix, Google would have. So that they can start competing on the core innovation and not just the ability to deliver software code. So that’s our mission at Harness, to simplify that, right, and we think it’s a massive market opportunity like you know, like if you can optimize those processes, right. We started with one set of problems in that whole domain, which is continuous delivery, right. So if you look at software delivery, the entire software delivery process, there are many problems here to solve there. And we looked at like, one of the hardest problems that people were struggling with is doing the, you know, continuous delivery of software applications where people can deliver once a day or multiple times a day the core changes that are happening. And that’s what Harness is focused on as the first major use case.
Jason: Great, so sounds like there’s, you know, obviously a very different problem than what AppDynamics is solving, but in world where AppDynamics let’s say, wanted to ensure the up-timer liability of production level software that consumers are interfacing with, Harness almost takes it to the other angle of having that agility before the code is actually released, so this earlier part of the DevOps software life cycle, and again, helping companies that might not have the resources of an Amazon or a Google to have that same level of output as they write software.
Jyoti: Exactly. And, you know, one of the things I always saw with AppDynamics as well, that seventy-percent of the production problems and outages were caused by a change in the code somewhere. So if you can actually manage the software code change and the delivery process better, you can cut down seventy-percent of outages, to begin with, right. So that’s also–so there is a connection in there and, you know, it’s– the thing that I always find very strange is the software delivery is such a competitive advantage for companies who do it well versus who don’t do it well. And there is really no reason for it to be, so we want to democratize the software delivery tooling and processes that everyone could have the same ones and that gives them, you know, I look at like overall it’s great for everyone because everyone can innovate much faster now.
Jason: Yeah and what is the state of the world when you were coming in where obviously people might not have been delivering software continuously but there were certainly writing and delivering software with some cadence. What were you looking to disrupt or what was the state of the world when Harness launched?
Jyoti: Most of the times people are not delivering so people talk about CICD as one of the main things people are trying to achieve. CI is when you’re building your software and merging your software very continuously, multiple times a day; and CD is the part of delivering it to your end users. So most people, the state of the world have done a reasonably good job at the CI part of it but no one has really done a good job at the CD side of things. And that’s why we focus on let’s go and solve that, and you know, the CD side has a lot of complication around not breaking anything in production, you know, making sure your security is right, your compliance is right the process, there’s a lot of sophistication in the process, a lot of complexity that all of that is right. And, you know, the only solutions that we normally see are homegrown solutions that are built on top of your CI. So people try to build a lot of homegrown scripting and plug-ins, etc., on top of their CI system, like Jenkins, etc., to solve CD and it’s almost unmanageable in every place and Harness completely, completely simplifies it. What will take you, like six months to build and do a high-quality job in a complex software delivery pipeline, Harness could do in a day.
Jason: Yeah, I think when, I think about your four criteria that definitely feels like it checks the boxes, really large problem you’re addressing, a very technical problem it sounds like, really good wedge into a lot of other things you can do with it, and the founding team here is phenomenal. So, you decided to move forward with Harness as an idea, obviously, that was a little bit of time ago. You know, Jyoti you have the privilege of being a second-time founder. What gets easier the second time around building a company and what might be harder than when you did it the first time?
Jyoti: I think a couple of things that get easier the second time, one is, you can see what’s coming a little bit sooner. Because I’ve seen some of the challenges so I know like, you know, six months from now-twelve months from now, we are most likely going to run into a challenge like this, so you can plan for it a bit better. So that’s one advantage. Second is the, and probably the most, the single most important advantage is the ability to attract the right talent earlier on. You know, it’s when I was doing it the first time in AppDynamics like, you know, the/it was much harder you know in terms of recruiting and attracting the talent earlier on compared, you know when I do the second time it’s much easier and that makes such a huge difference in everything, right? But, another thing is like obviously fundraising and capital that gets easier you know if you are a second time entrepreneur. You know, as a first time entrepreneur when I was doing, raising my Series A for AppDynamics, I had to pitch twenty VC’s and get twenty rejections before I got my first offer. *Laugh* For Harness, the second time entrepreneur, twenty VC’s approached me to invest before I accepted one *laughs* so that’s obviously different. But at the same time, I do think the basics are not different, the basics are still the same. My basics for building companies are it has to be a large market, that’s number one, and you keep expanding your market. Second, is that you build among the best products in the market, top one or two products in the market. Third, is that you do a really world-class job in your sales execution, good market execution. Fourth is you do take care of your customers and you as a company you really, really do a great job in taking care of customers. And fifth, is you build the right culture in the company. A culture that’s kind of designed for longer term building of a business. So, I look at like, you know, that’s–those are the things that we did well at AppDynamics and fundamentally I want to make sure that those are the same things we do at Harness as well.
Jason: I want to pick up on one of the pieces that you mentioned there, and that’s sales execution, and I think this is a podcast about hyper-growth a lot of the companies that we meet and are involved with are companies that have found some decent product market fit are really trying to hit that scale of hyper-growth and invest in their sales team. And I’d love to hear from you, you know, when you think about finding that initial go to market fit and then being able to double down and really execute on a sales strategy, how did you come up with that for Harness in terms of who to focus on, what segment of the market, what the sales org. should look like, what are some of the things that you consider?
Jyoti: There’s a lot of experimentation that goes into it, right. Which is like what is the right target market segment, what’s our sales motion around it, is it field sales, is it inside sales, is it more online/people buy it on their own. And the early years initially is all about finding that right model, right. So I look at what is the, you know, where do we see the bigger pain and where do we want to build the product for. So, at Harness, we see the pain in both in mid market companies and very large enterprises. So we wanted to build a product for both as we were going through our product market fit evaluation exercise, so now you design your product for that, you want to build your sales motion around that as well, right, which is how do we go and capture that market and we look at the–for us to go into the larger enterprise we would mostly need field sales, and for us to go into the mid market we would mostly need inside sales as a motion. So that’s–we at Harness we focus on building both, field sales and inside sales for the two market segments. We also look at building a bit of the freemium motion from a demand generation perspective that in either of those markets can give a reasonable product for free for people to try and use that can scale that demand generation part. To me, it’s really a combination of those three that was the right model for Harness. With the focus on that, we could go into larger and larger accounts and solve the problems, the very complex software delivery problems, in some of these large enterprises rapidly.
Jason: I’d love to double click into the freemium piece of it where I think maybe in the last three/four years certainly, we’ve seen more of that buying power shift toward developers or at least there’s a lot of companies that leverage open source or leverage freemium to get their product at the hands of developers such that there’s demand but also purchasing power there. Have you seen the buyer of IT change since AppDynamics in terms of the interplay between the CIO and VP of engineering versus the folks who are using the software on a day to day basis?
Jyoti: Yes, definitely. There is more power that has shifted toward the developer but it’s not just the buying power, the buying power is–it’s really about the decision making power. It used to be that the CIO could make a decision on buying this product and then they will make a top-down decision, you know, an announcement that everyone has to use this product. That’s just impossible these days. It doesn’t matter, you know, no CIO, no head of engineering can make a call like that, unless you get buy-in from the developers, you know, in the groundswell around something, you will not get an option. So, most new age CIO’s and heads of engineering they know that and they understand that and they don’t want to buy something unless there is a groundswell at the developer level around it because they won’t get adoption. So, the approach that I like to take and that’s the approach we took at AppDynamics as well, you know, a lot of times when people think of AppDynamics people think of only top-down sales. In our first four years in AppDynamics about fifty percent of our business came through free/freemium downloads from developers themselves, which then we would go and do a good job in top-down sales after that. Over time as the company got bigger, you know, the top-down sales became easier and we needed less of the free downloads. But it’s the–the approach that we took there was what we used to call the sandwich model, that we go from the bottom, we go from the top. The advantage of going from the bottom was you are getting a lot of the developer, groundswell, and buy in and people have used the product, all of that. The advantage of going from the top at the same time though is, that’s happening in parallel, you can go and expand into a larger deal faster. So developers do like if you want to sell for a hundred thousand dollars a year or half a million a year or a million a year, no developer has the budget to do that. At some point, you have to convince a VP or a C level person to spend half a million a year with a vendor. So, the sooner you start having the conversations, that allows you to expand faster. So you can do a lot of small lands with a lot of different teams. But then if you’re talking to a bit higher level as well then you can go into a faster expense. We are using a similar motion at Harness, you know, it’s not too different where we with the freemium notion we go directly to the developers and DevOps and they can try the product and its starts getting this ground, you know, momentum with the teams and then we are also having the conversations with the senior level people so that we can go and expand faster.
Jason: So it sounds like it’s not an either or but a both and developer evangelism is definitely an important piece of that.
Jyoti: Definitely and, you know, there are successful companies who have done completely on developer evangelism and that’s what they have built for the first five years of their company journey. And only then they start adding enterprise sales to kind of monetize the groundswell that they’re building in developers, so that’s a very viable model as well. You know, its, the model that we do is like to do both of them in parallel. That we’re doing the developer evangelism and we are doing and also the top-down selling both in parallel so that allows us to go and capture the market share faster.
Jason: And I’d love to hear your opinion on open source related to getting developer buy in, right, where obviously a lot of, some of the companies in the space are leveraging open source business models, Harness is not. And sort of what are the implications for developer relations and transparency versus what developers really care about when they’re selecting products and finding things that they’re excited about.
Jyoti: I think the most important thing for most developers is something that they can try without talking to a salesperson. Something that they can use and feel themselves without, you know, having the pressure of buying or something, right? So you can do it with open source you can do it with freemium. You know, if you look at the companies and DevOps, kind of ecosystem, you know, you have like companies like AppDynamics, New Relic, Datadog, PagerDuty, closed-source, freemium and they’ve been very successful with it but they all, one thing they all have is a free product for/that developer to try and use and touch before talking with a sales person. You really cannot survive in the DevOps kind of ecosystem without doing that. And you also have companies who have done the free part through open source product. like companies like HashiCorp and Elastic. So both models do work but as long as you are making it easy for developers to try and use something, that’s definitely there. And the second thing is, the product has to be good, like, you know, in this kind of space, mediocre products don’t win and don’t survive. So you have to have a really good product and if you have a good product at the end of the day people want to solve the problem and, you know, it’s a–that model is working quite well for us.
Jason: That’s great to hear. It sounds like that’s a big part of just having a frictionless sales model and again, your point around the sandwich of going top-down and bottoms up to get the lands and expand over time. Maybe we shift gears to another topic that’s top of mind for a lot of CEOs and that’s hiring. You talked about hiring as something that’s gotten easier the second time around. Maybe for folks who are in their first founder journey, what is some advice you’d give them around hiring, when to hire, who to hire, what to look for, especially as they’re building and really growing companies from, you know, the first twenty employees to a hundred to five hundred?
Jyoti: I think the main advice I would give to people is try to hire a little bit ahead. Not too far ahead but six to twelve months before you think you would run into a wall with your management structure/management team that you have. And, you know, I did that mistake as first time and I tried to not make that, which is, because the growth comes at you quite fast and you want to be prepared and not become, not care about the lag because you didn’t have the right management team. So that’s one thing I look at. Second is like what you want to–I look at the hiring of execs really comes with like, two levels–two things you want to manage. One is like the ordering of it, what’s important for your company. So, you know, I always–and different companies can build different ways, but I look at it like we have to build product excellence as the first core thing in the company. So the product team has to be right so that’s the first thing you have to build. Then I look at the second engine that you have to build is the sales and marketing excellence, so you have to get your sales and marketing leaders right to build that. The third engine I look at is the customer success, you know, which is really, really important as you start scaling sales and marketing that if you don’t get that engine right then it’s a problem. And then the fourth engine for me is the operational excellence, you know, your finance, legal, HR, right. So, I look at it like these are the four engines I have to build, like you know, there is the product excellence, the sales and marketing excellence, there is the customer success excellence and there is operational excellence. And you start building the engines in that order and the leadership teams in that order, that’s how I’ve done at Harness. But the thing is, every few years you have to rebuild those engines, each of those engines. Like you know, if you build a product engine 1.0, after three/four years you have to rebuild product engine 2.0 and maybe another three/four years you have to do a version 3.0. Same thing applies to your other engines as well. So as CEO that becomes your job, like you know, you’re building these engines and then you’re rebuilding these engines in your company and you want to make sure that as you go from the version 1.0 of engine to version 2.0 to 3.0, you know, do your current leadership, you know, works with that or do you need to think about replacing and, you know, bringing the right people at the right stage as you rebuild those engines.
Jason: Yeah, I think that’s a really logical order. You said start with the technology and the product doesn’t help to have a great sales team if you don’t have a great product, doesn’t help to have a great customer support team without a great sales team to get you in the hands of customers and then you need the operational excellence piece but you also need the other parts of it beforehand. What–are there different things that you look for, for 2.0 or 3.0 versus, you know, hiring the person who might be able to scale for five/ten years? What’s the trade off between agility and the perfect fit of somebody who can go from one to one hundred?
Jyoti: Well as the company scales, right, initially the agility and ability to wear multiple hats and move really fast and be scrappy is the most important skill in any exec. But as the company scales, like, ability to recruit and scale, become more metrics and data oriented that becomes even more important, right. So, the ideal part would be, like, the same person can scale and do the 1.0 to 2.0 to 3.0 and that’s what I would always wish and many times it does work very well, right. Sometimes it won’t and it’s different skills and people are not ready to make that transition and that’s okay, like you know, then you have to manage around that.
Jason: And because hiring is such an important skill for CEO’s, what advice do you have in terms of when it comes down to it finding the right candidates and meeting the right people, are there resources or firms or advisors that you lean on to expand your network or is that just something that comes with time in terms of getting the right people into the company?
Jyoti: My number one advice is – invest in recruiting. You know, it’s, and I’ve done that mistake my first time, which is like you know, not investing in a recruiting organization. And then you’re always behind on recruiting, you’re always scrambling, you’re always–at a high growth startup recruiting is such an important function and most startups under invest in it and underestimate how hard it is and so that’s my advice on it–recruiting doesn’t happen by magic. It’s like a sales funnel, a sales process. To recruit one person of high quality you have to reach out to forty people and, you know, you have to count on ten phone interviews to three onsite interviews, it’s a funnel. So, you have to invest your time, and resources, and effort into building that process.
Jason: Yeah, that’s something that when I talked to first time CEOs that’s such a big part of their time is finding people to build out the team. Maybe to help quantify it a little bit, you know, for a head of people, or VP of people, chief talent officer type role, how many employees do you think a company should be before that hire, maybe, is it twenty, fifty, a hundred? In terms of who should really have this role to just save CEO time?
Jyoti: I would say, you know, the CEO and the exec team still would have to spend a lot of time in recruiting. Having a chief talent person or, is not going to, you’ll do a much better job because they will manage a lot of the process, but for any exec about forty-percent to fifty-percent time does go in recruiting and acquiring the right talent and that’s the best use of your time, you know, anyone can do. But I would say at about, you know, somewhere in the thirty to fifty people mark is good to bring in a senior recruiting person. So, you know, I was very fortunate to bring that, you know, into Harness early on and that really helped us grow. You know, we just last week hit our two hundred employee mark and but for us to go from twenty five employees to two hundred employees is fast but the quality of talent and people that we have would have been really hard without investing in that function.
Jason: That’s incredible! Yeah, for the viewers who can’t see it there’s big balloons in the Harness office with two hundred so that’s really phenomenal growth compared to how many folks were here at the beginning of the year and on that, you know, we’re starting to see a lot more in terms of multi office strategies, multiple locations. Right now, we’re here in downtown San Francisco but how do you think about offices both internationally as well as outside of San Francisco, which Harness has both of?
Jyoti: Yes, it’s, these days it’s becoming really hard to have only one office. Even if you just look at the Bay Area, the Bay Area with the traffic and commute, it’s hard to have only one office so we, Harness, we have two offices in the Bay area now, San Francisco and Mountain View, that allows us to attract people across the Bay Area. We have our international office in Bangalore, and over time we will be looking at more offices as well. We have our big sales office in Dallas already. So, its/being distributed teams is the new norm for startups. We just want to make sure that we have the core of our company is the Silicon Valley culture and the Silicon Valley/San Francisco startup mentality so we don’t want to compromise on that.
Jason: Absolutely, and maybe ending on that last note, just talking a little bit about fundraising, which again, looks a little bit different the second time around but over the years you’ve received venture funding from some of the most notable firms in the industry, that includes Greylock, Lightspeed, Kleiner, Menlo, Battery, and of course, IVP, twice now. And I’m sure you’ve received term sheets from the many others that I didn’t mention. But, you know, one, what do you think about in terms of when to fundraise and what milestones you look for? Two, how much capital to fundraise? And three, who to work with when you do fundraise?
Jyoti: Good question there. I think, in terms of the milestones and when to fundraise, you know, you want to fund the company in any round for the next, let’s say, eighteen to twenty four months. That’s roughly, I do not like to fundraise more frequently than that it’s just too much overhead on the, on everything. So then you want to fund, for like what do you need for the next eighteen to twenty four months and you want to have some buffer, you don’t want to be scrambling for funds. So, that’s my simple formula on when to fundraise, what do you need for the next eighteen to twenty four months, let’s bring that kind of capital in and create some before our round. Who to raise capital from, who to/like how to pick the right investor, I look at a few things. Number one to me is like, you know, is the shared belief. If the belief is not there in the market, in the company, in the team, it gets harder when things get, you know, you do go through some tough times and hard, you know, things when–not everything is running completely smooth and all that. So shared belief is the number one thing I look at. Then, I look at the person that you will be working with closely, you know, if you are adding someone in your board, like you know, is that a person you will have the right mutual trust, mutual respect, you know, will you enjoy working with them because it’s a long journey together always, right. The third, I look at is like the help that the firm can provide like what do they specialize in and like what are the resources they can provide. And that’s the, you know, I try to not make it too complex than that in like you want to bring the right capital, you want to bring the right firm, the right resources, and we’ve been very fortunate with IVP so thank you for that both at AppDynamics and Harness. You guys have been great to work with.
Jason: Well, thank you so much for that Jyoti and I think you, you know, equally we’re definitely believers in the market, definitely believers in the company and were definitely believers in you and everything that you’re building here. So, it’s been an absolute pleasure. I think that’s about all the time we have for today by now I’ve learned so much, as did our listeners and again thank you so much for sitting down with us and for the time.
Jyoti: My pleasure.
Narrator: Thank you for listening to IVP’s Hyper-Growth Podcast. You can learn more about us on IVP.com or join the conversation on Twitter by tweeting @IVP.