LP Login

Think Big. Move Fast.

By: Will Kohler and John Vrionis

Datos logo 2


We are thrilled to be partnered with Tarun and Prasenjit, founders of Datos IO, who just announced their Big Data recovery solution for customers of scale-out databases such as Cassandra and MongoDB.

Early stage investing always comes down to two things: people and market. Datos IO has both in good measure.

People build products. In the enterprise space, we often find that the product visionaries behind the next great success come from the ranks of the legacy incumbents. Their deep domain knowledge enables them to recognize the flaws in the current products, and their entrepreneurial drive seeks to redefine or disrupt the market.

It was immediately clear that Tarun and Prasenjit are the types of people we’re looking to support. Tarun didn’t just sort of understand the data management and application recovery domain:  He was a product manager at Data Domain, THE 800lb gorilla in the category. Prasenjit didn’t just know a little bit about storage systems and software: He helped architect the very first iSCSI storage controller at IBM Research.

The best startups have founders who are magnets for talent. They are magnets because of their world-class abilities and their vision, and because they are compelling storytellers. They also have the ability to become great leaders if they are good human beings with a track record of treating people the right way and having the highest level of integrity. Tarun and Prasenjit are all of the things we look for in a set of founders.  datos headshot

The other equally important factor in investing in Datos IO was our belief in the market opportunity and timing.

To remain competitive in today’s economy, startups and enterprises are making data a top priority, allowing them to engage and understand customers like never before. This data-centric world encompasses social, mobile, and cloud environments and an increasing number of real-time applications that generate unprecedented levels of business insights. Think IoT, on-demand commerce, mobile front-ends, real-time analytics, digital advertising, fraud detection, and much more.

The demands of Big Data are forcing enterprises to rethink their entire IT infrastructure stack. We’ve had a front seat from the beginning of this process through our founding investments in DataStax and MapR. Growth rates for these new distributed apps and databases has reached critical mass. Companies are standardizing on NoSQL platforms, providing tailwinds for an estimated 35% CAGR in the NoSQL market from 2014-2020, according to some analysts.

As enterprises adopt scale-out databases to remain competitive, IT groups need a next-generation recovery platform to manage their mission-critical applications at the core of massive revenue streams. Tarun and Prasenjit come from this world, and they understand that managing recovery with Python scripts is not going to cut it.

Datos IO is introducing the first big data recovery platform that offers a “single state of truth” for distributed applications. Maintaining consistent versioning across all scale-out data stores for enterprise applications is a big deal, and not just for application owners and heads of IT infrastructure. DevOps can formulate versioning and recovery mechanisms to orchestrate delivery of applications including test and deployment, continuous integrations, and version control. And of course DBAs must ensure that new databases offer the same kind of enterprise-grade data lifecycle management capabilities as in traditional relational databases.

Tarun and Prasenjit have addressed the question of recovery in their past lives at Data Domain and IBM, respectively, and we’re extremely fortunate to partner with them as they reinvent it for the new data-centric world.

Continue Reading ...

SaaS is no longer a new business model. One look at any of the market maps for marketing tech, sales productivity apps, HR tech or other functional areas within enterprises would tell you how crowded these traditional enterprise software landscapes have become… Is there another billion dollar company to be built in some of these areas? Sure, and I’m actively looking for those. But where are the large greenfield spaces? What are the areas that haven’t seen a modern piece of software in years? I believe most of the greenfield opportunities in SaaS today are beyond the traditional horizontal/vertical enterprise software areas. As new distribution and pricing models emerge, and a younger workforce looks for modern software tools even in the most old school industries, some of the hitherto untapped areas are becoming ripe for SaaS to penetrate. Here are a few areas I am beginning to see some interesting startups emerge in:

  • Government software: I think the combination of the recent hires the Obama administration has made + the stark difference in the quality of software government officials use in their work vs. personal lives has gotten to a point where we are going to see huge SaaS opportunities open up across a spectrum of government functions – better software to manage elections, create/manage/store documents and forms, communicate with citizens, allocate city and state level resources, finance management, budgeting etc. Traditionally, selling to governments has been associated with long sales cycles and conservative buyers. But I think that’s beginning to change. Am increasingly coming across early stage startups seeing great traction selling to states and municipalities, in some cases while deploying an inside sales model, which would have been unthinkable even 3-4 years ago.
  • On-demand services for the enterprise: The on-demand economy has had a great run over the last few years. The model that Uber and Airbnb pioneered is now being deployed to all forms of consumer goods and services – food, groceries, car valet, laundry, spas etc. But surprisingly, to me, one area where on-demand startups haven’t focused enough is the enterprise segment. Workplaces have similar needs as households and individuals – food, office supplies, cleaning, maintenance/repair services, transportation, legal and accounting services etc. My view is that we will start seeing some interesting startups come up that offer similar on-demand services with an exclusive focus on enterprise needs. ManagedbyQ is a great example of a company that’s leveraging this opportunity.
  • SaaS for the hourly worker ecosystem: Historically, most of the big enterprise software companies have been built around addressing the needs of knowledge workers. Salesforce, Workday, Zendesk, ServiceNow, Veeva, Marketo, Tableau are all examples of software that address the needs of knowledge workers. This is largely driven by two factors: (1) Knowledge workers tend to spend a lot of time in front of a computer screen and the software workflows they use are mission critical to their daily output and (2) Knowledge workers tend to have more budget to spend on software. However, with everyone owning a smartphone now and freemium distribution models having proven out, almost everyone now stands to benefit from the power of software. Uber and Instacart are the most obvious examples of startups that have leveraged the penetration of smartphones and built massive franchises with 1099 workers on one end of their marketplaces.
  • Heavy industry software: Heavy industries like construction, mining, oil and gas etc. are still primarily using legacy on-premise solutions in various aspects of their business. From project management to cost/budget management to big data applied towards machine optimization, there is a ton of greenfield opportunity in these industries. With smartphones and tablets everywhere, field workers in these industries now have the opportunity to use software to make better decisions on the go… Why wouldn’t these industries leverage modern software to drive higher efficiency gains than they’ve ever had the opportunity to?

What other areas are ripe for SaaSification, according to you?

Continue Reading ...

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.

Continue Reading ...

Highfive will change the way we work together

Arif Janmohamed, Partner, Lightspeed Venture Partner


“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 …

Continue Reading ...

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

Continue Reading ...

gh4c logo_print

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 …

Continue Reading ...

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 …

Continue Reading ...

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 …

Continue Reading ...

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: …

Continue Reading ...

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 …

Continue Reading ...