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Think Big. Move Fast.

Today we are excited to announce Lightspeed’s $10 million Series A investment in Rubrik. Just as Apple built a time machine to protect Macs, Rubrik has built a powerful time machine for enterprise cloud infrastructure that unites data management with web-scale technology.

A market size of epic proportions, a groundbreaking architectural approach, and a world-class founding team drove our decision to invest.

A $47 Billion Data Management Market

This year, IDC estimates that enterprises will spend $47 billion on infrastructure to manage data across business continuity (data protection, replication, recovery), regulatory compliance (archiving, eDiscovery), and business growth (application development/testing, analytics). The Rubrik time machine—Rubrik Converged Data Management—not only delivers backup and recovery but also lays the foundation to addressing each of these areas. For example, enterprises using Rubrik can accelerate DevOps by provisioning on-demand infrastructure for application development and testing.

A Radical New Approach

The velocity at which data is managed is crucial to business survival today. Rubrik innovates with a slimmer architectural approach to delivering instant recovery by eliminating the need for backup software. RubrikRubrik customers have gotten up and running within 15 minutes, slashing the amount of time (sometimes up to 6 months) required to establish and customize their backup and data protection environments and enable de-duplicated storage systems underneath.

In addition, Rubrik’s architectural approach recognizes the voracious need of today’s enterprises to manage ever-increasing volumes of data. Rubrik introduces web-scale technology to data management for the first time. Think Google and Amazon scale-out data centers. That means customers can scale up to thousands of nodes to handle PBs of data with no re-architectural changes or forklift upgrades.

A World-Class Team

When Lightspeed invests in companies, we look for people with the potential to be world-class entrepreneurs. Prior to Rubrik, Bipul Sinha was my colleague and partner at Lightspeed. He has an amazing knack for identifying and mentoring star entrepreneurs building radical new technologies to disrupt massive industries and has already been involved in some pretty game-changing companies like  Nutanix, PernixData, and Numerify. One year ago, Bipul decided to co-found Rubrik with Arvind Jain (Google Distinguished Engineer, founding engineer of Riverbed), Soham Mazumdar (Google Staff Engineer, co-founder of Teragoogle, Google Founder’s Award recipient), and Arvind Nithrakashyap (co-founder of Oracle Exadata, a $3Bn+ annual business). Together, they have built an all-star team from Google, Facebook, Data Domain, and VMware to revolutionize the data management industry by transforming complex, legacy enterprise IT into elegant products that are dead simple to use.

It’s a privilege to be working with Bipul, Arvind^2,  Soham and the rest of the team. Lightspeed is thrilled to partner with Rubrik on its journey to build a large, lasting, game-changing company.

Check out Rubrik’s Early Access program.
See Rubrik’s press release and keep up with the latest news @rubrikInc on Twitter.

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Highfive will change the way we work together

Arif Janmohamed, Partner, Lightspeed Venture Partner

highfive

“Please enter your 9 digit meeting code and hit pound.”
“Sorry, that passcode is incorrect.”
“Please enter your 9 digit meeting code and hit pound.”
“At the tone, please announce yourself and hit pound.”

For over a decade we’ve had to deal with an antiquated, frustrating model for running remote meetings and video conferences. How often do we waste the first ten minutes of a meeting trying to get the technology to work? And how often do we just give up and default to a simple phone call? Yet, we can easily set up Facetime, Skype or Google Hangout Calls with friends, family and co-workers. And with the click of a button, it just works.

The last generation of video conferencing technology was built before the iPhone or the cloud existed. Cisco / Tandberg, Polycom, Lifesize, together established the $3B video conferencing market with expensive, complicated on-premise hardware. The promise of ubiquitous face to face business calls has existed for years, but the barrier of a prohibitively high cost ($10K+ per room plus expensive set up and configuration fees) and a complicated jumble of technology and unfriendly User Interfaces have together soured people’s opinion of business-class video conferencing.

When we first met Shan Sinha and Jeremy Roy, founders of Highfive, the first thing they did was give us an early demo of the Highfive product. They proudly showed off a gorgeous, elegant device that incorporates HD Audio and Video and is easier to set up than your Nest Thermostat. The Highfive hardware device automatically pairs with the cloud and takes less than 5 minutes to plug into a flat panel TV and configure. Use your smartphone or your browser to set up a video conference. Invite a co-worker via an email or text message with a URL link. Share your presentation on the TV screen wirelessly, just like with Airplay or Chromecast. No cables, no dongles, no litany of connectors, no funky numbers, no annoying beeps every time someone enters a meeting, and no IT folks coming in to fiddle with cables or kick a rack of servers. It just works.

And then they told us the price: for less than $1000 (1/10th of legacy products’ price), you had a video conferencing solution that was simple, beautiful, easy-to-use and built for the mobile and cloud era. We were blown away.

But it wasn’t just the product that got our attention. Customers were just as excited about the product. In the past 3 months, the Highfive team has added over 500 new customers, including Zenefits, Patagonia, Slack and Warby Parker. The company is on track to process 1M video minutes per week within the first six months of shipping, which will make Highfive one of the fastest growing business video providers in the industry. And Highfive’s customers are changing the way they work. At less than $1K/device, it’s easy to install video in every conference room, leading to a completely different way of interacting face to face with coworkers, partners, and customers.

Check it out for yourself. One click video conferencing that we can all use… at a price that makes it a no brainer to put in every conference room in your office.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IFqAOs09m8E

At Lightspeed, we’re extremely excited about our partnership with Shan, Jeremy and the Highfive team as they change the way we work together face to face. For more information about Highfive, visit http://www.highfive.com/.

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Prescient words from the CEO/Founder of Nutanix, Dheeraj Pandey . . . he wrote this almost 4 years ago and the future is turning to look a lot like what he predicted . . . .

_________________________________________

Why Nutanix, and Why Now

Author: July 26, 2011

In the next few weeks, we will be talking about the why, what, and how of Nutanix, in that order. Network storage has many challenges today, but it wasn’t always like this. Bear with us as we take a walk down memory lane. This history of how SANs came to be and where they are today will help you understand why a company like Nutanix makes sense now.

Pre-Internet: The Birth of Network storage
The client-server decade of the 80’s had resulted in servers slowly amassing data that was too big for the hard drives of the early 90’s. Corporate offices had ever-growing demand for workstations and PCs. Novell NetWare was king, but the software was bursting at its seams.

Enterprises had not broken through the 1GB hard drive barrier yet, and the cracks in the data center and the branch office were beginning to show. Local storage in PCs was fast, but small, not fail-safe, and an island that impeded collaboration. Local storage in servers was fast, but small, not fail-safe, and an island that necessitated heavy operational expenditure. Ironically, moving away from Mainframe was hurting for the first time.

But in the absence of real breakthroughs, PCs continued to network in a peer-to-peer fashion to provide some semblance of collaboration. Unix servers continued to bulk up to offer as much local storage as was physically possible in those times. These band-aids were becoming expensive and complex for enterprises.

Around this time, in the early-to-mid 90’s, a move towards storage consolidation was underway both in office PC and in the data center environment.

Sun had almost standardized NFS for sharing files between Unix workstations, and Microsoft had been working on CIFS for sharing files between PCs.

 

NetApp seized the business opportunity to deliver a carefully-crafted appliance for departmental IT and the regional office. This one company came to symbolize what it meant to commercialize cutting-edge protocols in a package that was easy to deliver to the small-to-mid market.

The NAS appliance was born.

At around the same time, IBM was working with Brocade in the area of storage networking. Ethernet was too slow and too lossy to carry the SCSI (block-based) storage protocol over the wire; SCSI could never afford the latencies and the retries inherent in the TCP/IP/Ethernet stack. They had to invent a new protocol called Fiber Channel to make storage networks lossless and extremely low-latency. A whole new class of network cards (HBAs), switches, hard disks, storage appliances, and storage administration skill sets were developed to carry the weight of such a high-end network. High-end Unix servers could now store data over the network in a new kind of “mainframe” purpose-built for storage.

The SAN market was born.

The Internet Era
The last decade saw the death of high-end Unix servers, with Microsoft and Linux — powered by x86 hardware — gaining dominance in the data center. Local storage on x86 was still fast, but not sufficiently fail-safe to be enterprise-worthy. NAS, with NFSv3, became datacenter worthy. iSCSI was born as a poor man’s SAN.

SANs mushroomed. The problem that network storage was invented to solve — storage islands – reared its ugly head once again. Yet another band-aid called the “storage virtualization” appliance was invented to stitch these islands together.

Data in the enterprise was growing, but innovation in storage was incremental — more evolutionary than revolutionary.

 

There was one massive revolution underway in the last decade though, albeit not in the enterprise. Google had spent an entire decade building infrastructure that had completely banished network storage. It had creatively used software to make local storage in commodity x86 servers fast, scalable, and bulletproof. Yahoo followed suit, as did Facebook and eventually Windows Azure. The era of cloud computing had arrived. Local storage, with enterprise-worthy software on top, became vogue in large datacenters again.

The Virtualization Era
VMware changed the game in enterprise computing in the latter half of the last decade. As we speak, there are 10-100x more machines in the datacenter, and SANs are hurting badly.

They were not built for such large and dynamic environments, both in terms of performance and manageability. There is a marked cognitive dissonance between the virtualization guy and the SAN guy — different languages, different goals.

SAN is now the biggest bane of virtualization and the biggest impediment to building private clouds. They are expensive, complex, monolithic, and slow!

Network storage looks embarrassingly anachronistic in today’s datacenter. With limited processing power (requests/sec), SANs struggle when faced with flash, the solid-state drive revolution that is on the horizon. A single flash drive worth $3K, with its vulgarly high IOs/sec, will exhaust the processing power of an entire SAN that is worth $500K. The SAN architecture of a few controllers virtualizing access to hundreds of spindles by exposing a few virtual volumes is hopelessly flawed for this decade.

 

We need a new architecture for the coming decades — one that is massively parallel, one that is prepared to manage the Lightning McQueen (flash), but also one that retains the virtues of Doc Hudson (SANs). The slow decay of Fiber Channel in the enterprise is a sign of things to come.

It is clear that SANs are past their prime. The days of a technology from the pre-Internet era are numbered. In the coming entries, we will show how.

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Today we are excited to announce that Lightspeed Venture Partners is leading Guardant Health’s $50M Series C. For the last few years, we have been closely following advancements in genomics that have brought down the cost of sequencing the …

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Today we are excited to announce that Lightspeed is leading Clever’s $30M Series B. When we first met the founders Tyler Bosmeny, Dan Carroll, and Rafael Garcia, we were blown away by both their vision for transforming education and the …

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When Avi Networks founders Umesh Mahajan, Murali Basavaiah, and Ranga Rajagopalan first came to Lightspeed in 2012 with their vision of bringing the benefits of a hyperscale approach to application delivery and layer 4-7 services, it made perfect sense to …

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Once every few years, the combination of a couple of macro trends allows for a new software category to emerge. At Lightspeed, we believe such a confluence of macro factors is coming together to create the next big software category: …

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Today we are excited to announce that we are co-leading the first venture round in Blockchain, the leading Bitcoin wallet; a $30M Series A.

We have been studying and investing in the Bitcoin space for a couple of years …

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I recently wrote about this idea of the “Product Person” and how important it is for startups to have visionary artist DNA in its founding team. They are truly rare and it’s a big reason why so few startups succeed.…

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Who is the Product person? When we talk about early stage venture capital at Lightspeed, this is the single most important question we can ask when making an investment.

Why?

Because the product person is the artist with the vision …

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