Understanding the Future of High Tech

If the best way to create the future is to build it, then the best way to understand a possible future is to listen to those who invest in it. Gartner interviewed several leaders at TCV to better understand their views on the future of high technology and high-tech providers. The views expressed below represent TCV’s view on its operations and the future. These opinions are TCV’s own and independent of Gartner positions. Throughout the interviews, the following themes emerged regarding the forces and factors driving technology investments and future success:

  • Top-line revenue growth has replaced cost efficiency as the primary job for technology — it is now Job. 1.
  • Insight is the source of effective strategies for achieving growth through differentiation and specialization.
  • The pace of change is accelerating across the frontiers of technology, including how rapidly companies and consumers adopt it — and few competitive advantages are as decisive as speed.
  • Technology architectures are in the midst of a generational change that is driven by more than the cloud or Hyperscalers.

TCV has invested in these insights, focusing on companies with the technological potential to support rapid, substantial growth in large, untapped markets. Figure 1 shows the ideas and connections TCV leaders described as the future of high tech.

Figure 1. TCV’s Perspective on Technology-Accelerated Growth

Growth Is Job 1 for Technology

“When you cut through all of the jargon and acronyms, the biggest difference for software and tech over the past five years has been in supporting growth,” says McAdam, who contrasts the growth imperative with technology’s prior jobs of taking costs out or getting cheaper computing power. 

“Technology has created operating leverage via business process automation. Now technology’s value rests in driving top-line growth.” This changes the nature of technology, how it is valued, and what it does, according to McAdam.

“Growth is the uber premise when we think about disruptive technology solutions and the digitization of everything that drives our investment themes,” McAdam explains. “Consider CFOs. It used to be that an old-school CFO would be cost-oriented and say yes if the solution saved money and drove EPS. CFOs of today still care about this, but not as much as they care about taking market share from the competition. The clearest way a tech company can get a multibillion-dollar market cap — one that is 10, 20, 30 times revenue, is to provide a product that allows customers to transform their businesses and grow faster than the competition.”

Building for Scale and Speed

Applying technology in support of revenue growth requires TCV to work with companies on their go-to-market (GTM) strategy. TCV uses the ratio of revenue growth to sales and marketing expense (see Figure 2a) to identify points of friction and efficiency.

Figure 2. TCV’s Sales and Marketing Ratio

The calculation indicates how much new growth the company is achieving for every dollar spent on sales and marketing. If the ratio is 50 cents every $1 spent on sales and marketing generates 50 cents in new growth. The lower the ratio, the more opportunity there is to increase efficiency or effectiveness.

Figure 3 illustrates how the sales and marketing ratio can visually depict the performance of a company’s sales and marketing efforts. (Note these ranges are for illustration only; typical ratios vary by industry.)

Figure 3. Illustrations of Sales to Marketing Ratio

Source: TCV

TCV is using technology in a number of ways to move the needle:

  • Implementing analytics and diagnostics to identify growth obstacles, and documented strategies to better orchestrate key GTM practices across sales and marketing.
  • Facilitating forums and collaboration where leaders share ideas and best practices and road-test ideas with other executives.
  • Leveraging GTM practices that are based on best practices within the portfolio and providing other TCV companies with ready-to-programs to speed time to value.

TCV’s head of Marketing, Katja Gagen, added: “We see companies using technology to optimize their go-to-market capabilities. This can range from publishing thought leadership on growing sales pipeline or refining their messaging. The difference with technology is that companies can actively benchmark themselves against industry best practices.”

Blending Human Insight with Analytics to Identify Growth Potential

“We track nearly 10 million companies in our database,” notes Tim McAdam, a general partner at TCV. “We then do a deeper analysis of 2,000 to 3,000 candidates per year in order to select 12 to 15 companies in which to invest.” This puts our information on prospective companies into an analytic engine running proprietary algorithms created from the firm’s domain knowledge, sector expertise and 26 years of investment insights.

The result for each candidate is much like a credit score — a snapshot of investment worthiness that guides subsequent analysis and decision making. As McAdam explains, “Any given result is statistically valid because of the high number of other companies we have ranked against the same set of metrics. It’s an empirically driven assessment of the company’s areas of strength and needs for improvement.”

TCV uses this information to differentiate each of its portfolio company’s situation and connect it with experienced people and resources in support of the company’s success. McAdam compares TCV’s role to that of a coach, “we recognize that the founders of our portfolio companies are deeply invested in their firms. We seek to provide advice for them with humility, intellectual honesty and insight, with an eye toward finding solutions that move them forward.”

Growth requires a different Technology Architecture and Infrastructure

Matt Robinson, a TCV principal, explains that “high-tech architectures shift about every decade. Today, the increasing importance of speed, extensible solutions and consumption-based business models is the driver of evolution in architectures and infrastructure. If my technology is designed to drive your top-line growth, then your growth becomes my growth,” Robinson explains. “Our architectures and infrastructures need to be seamlessly integrated together.” Thus, the business case for architecture evolution is at least as important as the technical innovation from cloud and Hyperscalers.

The Future of High Tech — High Growth Potential

TCV does not see the future as one of consolidation around a few large well-capitalized companies — either Hyperscalers or so-called digital giants. “It is an old argument to think that everything will consolidate,” McAdam notes. “That view makes sense only if companies stop finding new ways to grow.” While he believes that Hyperscalers are important, he sees their role as “more of a channel to a stream of future technology-intensive growth and innovation rather than a competitor in the application/solution space.”

Gartner subscribers can see the full published case study at: Case Study: The Future of High Tech and Generative Providers (TCV).


At Growth Enablement, Modernizing Sales Enablement Means Throwing Out the Old Playbook

In an increasingly competitive sales landscape, throwing out the playbook may seem like a bold strategy. But that’s exactly what Scott Santucci, president of the sales enablement consulting firm Growth Enablement, has been advising his clients to do. Commercial systems designed even as late as 2019 are likely full of complex trainings, outdated information, and other sorts of friction that can slow down the actual sales process. Instead, businesses should focus on systematically reducing the obstacles that stand in the way of sales progress to accelerate enablement.

In today’s episode of Growth Hacks, Katja and Kunal speak with Scott about how he’s viewing the evolution and current state of enablement, and how he’s adapting the traditional customer-centric approach to unlock value at a faster pace for both businesses and their customers. In addition to actionable tips on accelerating the sales enablement process, Scott walks us through combining perspectives from sales, marketing, and product to create a route to value. He also shares his strategies for simplifying metrics to measure commercial health. Lastly, he breaks down the importance of including diverse stakeholders from across the organization in the process of creating a new sales enablement playbook, and his top tips for salespeople just starting out.

Here’s what you’ll learn:

  • How to use the sales and marketing efficiency ratio to improve commercial health across an entire organization
  • The importance of having multiple perspectives in the room to improve sales enablement
  • Ways to identify the right route to value to clarify sales messaging and training
  • Tips for aligning organizational economic value with the needs of your customer base
  • Actionable strategies to eliminate friction in the sales process

To hear more on this, settle in and press play. 

Please find the transcript below, which has been edited for brevity and clarity.

Kunal Mehta: It’s my pleasure to introduce Scott Santucci to Growth Hacks. Scott is going to be presenting a bunch of Growth Hacks today. I met Scott when he was a research director at Forrester, where he founded the enablement practice, led research around executive buying, and built frameworks to give people a common language to talk about sales enablement, and sales productivity. After Forrester, he moved into more commercial roles, helping companies transform not only their sales process, but simplify their go-to-market. How awesome it is to have Scott Santucci in our metaverse. Welcome to Growth Hacks.

Scott Santucci: Thank you so much for having me, Kunal, and I just want to plug Growth Hacks. Having been in the research business for so long, the way that you are tackling these issues and being reflective and asking questions about what’s really happening, not what should be happening, it’s just really fantastic. Thank you for having me as a participant on your show, and I’m definitely a listener.

Katja Gagen: That’s awesome. Glad to hear that. Where does this podcast find you today, Scott?

Scott Santucci: I’m in Leesburg, Virginia, suburb of Washington, DC.

Katja Gagen: Scott, you’ve done a lot of research around sales enablement, and our listeners are excited to hear about this. Tell us in a few words, what is sales enablement, how has it evolved and why does it still pique your interest today?

Scott Santucci: To be simple about it, Katja, what is sales enablement? If you ask 10 people, you’ll get 15 different answers. So let me give you sort of two schools of thought. One would be sales enablement is about doing something for salespeople to help drive more revenue or more sales. That could be in the form of training. It could be in the form of leads. It could be a form of content, those kinds of activities.

Another school of thought is that sales enablement is about creating the overall system, including customers. Figuring out sales and marketing and product and making sure that environment is thriving better.

The reason I’m so interested in that bucket, and what makes me so compelled is that the world that we live in today is so interconnected that we have to have different strategies on how we optimize sales and marketing. To me, they’re directly related of looking at the ecosystem or the buying networks that we’re connected with our customers with.

Those are the things that I concentrate on and that’s where my research has always been. It’s that sales and marketing exist in order to drive growth, and we drive growth by making sure we’re always understanding what our customers are looking for, what kinds of problems they have, and also what stands in the way from them getting the value from our products and services.

Kunal Mehta: Scott, you have been an analyst, a practitioner, a consultant. You have talked to thousands of people. You are at the center of enablement. I’d really love to get your meta view on the state of enablement today.

Scott Santucci: I think the state of enablement today is the state of a lot of businesses. This is a adopt or die kind of situation. And I hate to be so bold but let me give you a headline of what I mean by that.

If you are following the practices of before either 2008 or before 2019, you are probably arming or gumming up your commercial system. You are probably producing lots of activities that are overly complex, like a training class or a marketing piece, rather than recognizing how much information salespeople have to synthesize and make it digestible for lots of people inside their customer network.

If you have always been a person who believes you work backwards from customers first, that’s never going to change. What’s different is how interconnected selling activities are today. How fast things move, how many people are involved and how those situations make the old strategies not suitable for 2021 and beyond.

Katja Gagen: That’s interesting Scott. Since you’ve been in the enablement business for some time, what’s an example of things working and where can companies miss the mark?

Scott Santucci: What works is creating things that actually take stuff away. Here’s a perfect example of a really great enablement program. Going in and identifying all of the obstacles that stand in the way, say, to produce a price quote and just systematically eliminating them and replacing it with something simpler. You would think that doing something like that is no big deal, but taking stuff away is not in most people’s muscle memory, so to systematically reduce things that stand in the way of making progress is great success.

Another example of something that’s great success is getting people in the room that have different backgrounds, to collaborate on a shared vision. It might be a picture, a map, a diagram of what the future could look like for customers. Having multiple perspectives involved and the discipline to get it on one sheet of paper means that picture is going to probably be more accessible to more people in those customers.

Those are two examples of things that work. I put them in the bucket of synthesis. Things that don’t work are more detailed training, plotting the Salesforce out, doing another heavy training activity to teach them more and more sales technique.

Kunal Mehta: Got it. Scott, I want to start with something we are both really passionate about, which is the sales and marketing efficiency ratio, or something you refer to as the commercial ratio and how you are using it to measure the health of sales and marketing. Scott, maybe before we get rolling into it, you could just explain what it is.

Scott Santucci: The commercial ratio is a measure of the overall health of a commercial system. That includes the revenue coming from customers, includes the spending that’s done for sales, and the spending that’s done for marketing.

The calculation is pretty straight forward; we got that from you guys. It’s the revenue growth divided by total sales and marketing spend. That gives you a ratio. Which gives you a relative health of how efficient the sales and marketing investments are.

Now that’s the calculation. What is it measuring? It assumes that the money spent for sales and marketing, its purpose is to drive revenue growth. There are situations where you would spend sales and marketing money to retain customers, but that’s what its focal point is.

Kunal Mehta: What was your aha moment when you first learned about it?

Scott Santucci: Having been a consultant for so long, one of the things that has always been challenging is how much data companies track about sales and marketing. One large client, they track over 5,000 different metrics for their sales organization. If you are tracking that amount of data, you are tracking nothing. What I’m a big believer in is, what’s the one metric that we can work backwards from that we want to move the needle from?

When we arrived at that commercial ratio from talking to other people inside your company, to have that one metric. The metric says to me, how do we, as a company work better together? How do we team up and be on the same page to go find more efficient ways to attract customers?

Where it became an aha moment to me is how do we stop the internal bickering to circle the wagons, go outside, and compete in the market and not compete inside our company.

Katja Gagen: That’s really interesting Scott. How do you use that ratio to bring people together or align them around a common goal?

Scott Santucci: That has been interesting. I think step number one is, let’s help everybody get on the same page behind it. Some people will reject it because it is not a ratio that they are familiar with, or it sounds like something that’s coming from finance.

I think step number one is let’s understand what the meaning of it is and step number two is to recognize that there is a sequence of events to get there and that we can get there together. By having a plan of stopping to do things that don’t work and finding ways to invest in things that do work. Having that narrative helps a lot.

I think what’s important though, is making sure you meet all of the different folks that would be involved in teaming together. You’ve got to meet them where they are first and then help them connect the dots, second.

Kunal Mehta: Scott, maybe you could just give us a practical example of how you’ve rolled this out at one of your customers now.

Scott Santucci: Let’s take a business with about $500 million in revenue in the security space, a SaaS company in the security space. Using the commercial ratio, as a way to say, if we want to improve the overall health of sales or profitability, let’s look at how we’re doing today. And using that ratio to say, what would it be if we went from .55 to .60, to .75 to 1.0, and why don’t we ask those questions of what would it look like?

Let’s simulate what that would look like in terms of our financial performance, what it would look like in terms of our organizations and help people envision what that would look like. In doing that process, what’s interesting is people move off the thing that they have to do right now in that moment, and they can start envisioning making incremental change.

Then from there could be doing things differently, and where should we start? Let’s look at your business like a portfolio of different revenue streams, and let’s segment it out differently and look at these different buckets in their own isolation.

What we’re looking to do is optimize or create the most value out of each of these revenue streams, and we want to take out as much friction as possible so that we make it much easier to do work and make sure that people agree with that. Then the next part is, let’s pick one of those things and work on something to tackle.

Katja Gagen: Right. And in the end, it’s all about value creation, right?

Scott Santucci: That’s right. Yes, exactly.

Katja Gagen: In that vein, you talk about the route to value, and how you combine what sales and marketing do to deliver that value. Give me an example.

Scott Santucci: That’s a great question. Let’s pick that same example that we were working backwards from, one of the things that we highlighted. So now that we have these different portfolios of revenue streams, and we have a good understanding about where their friction is. The idea of a route to value is a different way to think about a sales messaging and sales training.

A basic metaphor is to say, let’s recognize that we’re in the value creation business, to your point. What we want to do is help our clients along a journey from where they are today, the bad state, to where they want to get to, an envisioned future state that our company can take them.

We need to figure out what that journey looks like. We call that a value map, that’s where they want to get to. Now what the route to value is, is to say, let’s figure out what the change agent and the executive sponsor need to do to buy into that picture, and then help guide them through the decisions, the predictable decisions that they’re going to need to make through that journey.

It’s like plotting out a movie, in that there are predictable scenes that you can work backwards from. Then once you have that, you can determine, do we want our salespeople to be security subject matter experts? Or do we want them to be decision-making brokers, decision-making champions?

If you make them decision-making champions, things become a lot easier. You give them less materials; you can define very specific scenes. For marketing it’s capturing stories that match to each one of those scenes that you already have and organize that information to help salespeople.

A route to value is writing a future movie of where you want to take your customers. You are casting your clients as the heroes. Therefore, you are also casting your salespeople as the guides and then marketing is there to equip the salespeople with the tools that they need to help the clients, to navigate all of those different variables that they’re going to run into inside their organizations.

Katja Gagen: I like that. Scott, I’m getting my popcorn ready here for the movie roll out. After you’ve brought everyone in the company into this value creation, how do you make sure the economic value is aligned with what the customer wants?

Scott Santucci: The process of building a value map is very challenging. There’s a technique that we like to call model map match. The model part is, let’s model our customer’s world, what we’re looking at, isn’t interviewing customers about what products they want. That’s way too late in the game.

What we want to do is figure out what challenges do individual companies have that meet certain patterns. Let’s find out what’s the profile of the human that’s most likely to drive that forward. We call that person a change agent.

What do they look like? What’s their profile? You know that that person isn’t going to be successful unless they have an executive sponsor. If we understand what problems exist and we understand who these types of people are then the next thing that we can figure out is how do we build the information that they need to figure out why they need to change in the first place? And why now?

If you don’t have those things figured out, we put the burden on salespeople to figure it out and that’s really hard to do. When you have that information then Katja, it becomes pretty simple to figure out whether your value proposition matches those predictable conditions.

And then you have a scorecard and then you keep the validation from it by how well it’s testing in the field and how well it’s resonating. But you can always tweak it by bringing customers in to talk and react to it so there’s always ways to keep it fresh.

I think the challenge is just having the discipline to build it outside-in from the get-go.

Katja Gagen: I love that, Scott. Thank you. As always, we will finish our podcast with some rapid-fire questions. First one, what’s your go-to book?

Scott Santucci: I wish I had one go-to book. There are three books that I’ve read, and I keep reading over and over and over again. One is The Chaos Imperative, which is about embracing disruption and turning it into innovation. Another one is Antifragile, which is about turning disorder into a strategy. The third one is Switch, which is about how change actually happens and how you have to plot it out. You know how you can manufacture it and create an environment for change, rather than putting on the backs of individual people.

Kunal Mehta: Hey, Scott, what’s your biggest pet peeve?

Scott Santucci: My biggest pet peeve is for people who say salespeople should do X, Y, and Z, and they haven’t done it themselves.

Katja Gagen: What’s one piece of advice you would give someone starting out in sales.

Scott Santucci: Be curious. It’s not about you. It’s about the customer. Find out everything there is to know. What they think, find ways to be relatable with them. That’s the easiest path to being successful.

Katja Gagen: What was one thing you learned about yourself during the pandemic?

Scott Santucci: What I learned about myself during the pandemic is that going back to your roots of what you know and finding ways to challenge certain questions. So, doubling down on being more curious, what I did is kind of threw out my old playbook, I just threw it out and I decided I need to build one from scratch. I’m so grateful I did because a lot of the things in my old playbook just won’t work today, and I don’t think it’s coming back to where it was before.

Katja Gagen: Well, thanks for being with us today, Scott.

Scott Santucci: Thank you.

Katja Gagen: Thanks for listening to Growth Hacks. You can follow us on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you listen. To learn more about us and TCV’s CEO and founder podcast, go to TCV.com or email us at growthhacks@tcv.com.

***

The views and opinions expressed are those of the speakers and do not necessarily reflect those of TCMI, Inc. or its affiliates (“TCV”). TCV has not verified the accuracy of any statements by the speakers and disclaims any responsibility therefor. This interview and blog post are not an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to purchase an interest in any private fund managed or sponsored by TCV or any of the securities of any company discussed. The TCV portfolio companies identified, if any, are not necessarily representative of all TCV investments, and no assumption should be made that the investments identified were or will be profitable. For a complete list of TCV investments, please visit www.tcv.com/all-companies/. For additional important disclaimers regarding this interview and blog post, please see “Informational Purposes Only” in the Terms of Use for TCV’s website, available at http://www.tcv.com/terms-of-use/.


Product-Focused Storytelling: How Redis Rebranded and Refined its Marketing to Connect Deeply with the Developer Community

Growth Hacks – Moving the Metric

When open-source database company, Redis decided to undergo a rebrand, their first order of business was to identify what the rebrand was solving for. In Redis’ case, they wanted to connect even deeper with the developer community and unify the entire Redis community towards a single vision. To harness the power of the developer community, Redis adopted product-focused storytelling and prioritized building a growth funnel to fuel bottoms up adoption. By building that bridge between the Redis product and its key audiences, the company now has a pipeline to a community that not only knows about early life-cycle Redis products, but whose usage can better inform Redis’ demand funnel as well.

In the latest episode of Growth Hacks, Katja and Kunal speak with Mike Anand, CMO of TCV portfolio company, Redis. Mike explains how Redis derived its product-focused marketing strategy as part of its larger rebrand, and how that strategy has helped Redis build a vocal community of developers. He also talks through his top priorities as he makes Redis’ marketing operations more agile and data-driven, and how Redis has taken a use case first approach with analysts to build stronger relationships and garner better coverage.

Here’s what you’ll learn:

  • How to run an effective rebrand that resonates with your primary audience
  • Using outside-in messaging to become a product-focused storyteller
  • Unlocking the benefits of building growth and demand funnels in tandem
  • Leveraging use cases to build strong relationships with analysts
  • Why making marketing at Redis more agile and data-driven is a “number one priority”
  • The importance of mission and social responsibility in modern recruitment

To hear more on this, settle in and press play.

Please find the transcript below, which has been edited for brevity and clarity.

Kunal Mehta: Well, today we have the privilege of being joined by one of the coolest marketers in the portfolio and a veteran in the software industry. It’s my pleasure to introduce you to Mike Anand, the CMO of Redis. Mike also held roles in large companies like Amazon and emerging companies like AppD.

He’s going to be sharing his experience in leading the transformation of the Redis brand. Mike, welcome to Growth Hacks.

Mike Anand: It’s a pleasure to be here today on the best podcast in the universe.

Katja Gagen: Awesome and we love to have you. I know we’ve been attached since we had made the first investment in Redis, but for our listeners, tell us one fact that nobody knows about you.

Mike Anand: One is that I have a twin brother and I’m five minutes older than him. I met my wife while she was looking for volunteers for Earth Day.

I’m blessed with two kids, a son, and a daughter. I have the best of both worlds.

Kunal Mehta: Fantastic. I’m sure you let your brother know you’re older than him. For our listeners that don’t know what Redis does, maybe you can give us a quick elevator pitch.

Mike Anand: Before the elevator pitch, I’ll just give you the framing from the outside-in. If I take that outside-in view, we’re at the intersection of two developer-driven trends. Mass rapid adoption of open-source software and the cloud itself. And that is fueling tremendous innovation in the database market.

I mean, look at all the database companies that have emerged in the last 10 years that are attracting a huge amount of investments. So Redis’ unique differentiator is really about simplicity for developers, to help them build real time applications for the real time world.

As enterprises see disruptors from digital native companies, a whole new adoption of technologies and tools like Redis allow them to move faster, innovate faster, and create differentiated experiences for their customers.

Katja Gagen: That’s great, Mike. And across industries, organizations are accelerating the digital or cloud transformation for long-term growth and profitability. But we also know that organizations remain untested in the face of digital challenges. And their digital readiness is a bit uncertain.

What’s your take on that? And who do you believe will be the biggest winner in this trend?

Mike Anand: Yeah, Katja. Look, I think change is hard, right? If you want massive change in an organization, I believe you have to make it personal and you have to make it about people. There isn’t a technology that offers a silver bullet. You’re asking people to change the processes that they have relied on successfully for years.

I believe the heart of a successful transformation is really lining up your business objectives to your DNA and really understand how it ties to your team. And paramount to all of this is making sure that you have an executive sponsorship. And I believe the big winners are those who set goals and objectives and then gain alignment. But actually, start small and then gradually add more complexity and scope, based on what they have learned.

Kunal Mehta: What are the major trends in digital transformation that companies should be paying close attention to, and who do you believe has advanced in these key areas?

Mike Anand: You know, I think innovation and transformation is all around us. If you look at the FinServ industries, they’ve always been leaders in everything from customer experiences to new products. I mean, how people bank, how we invest today, how we trade stocks. All of it is upside down from when I grew up. Retail and that whole sector has been forced to adapt by Amazon and even more so accelerated under COVID. Healthcare is seeing early innovation and transformation across patient communications to prescription delivery, really exciting stuff happening around drug discoveries.

I think the biggest example is entertainment. Gaming is now the world’s biggest form of entertainment with 2.7 billion players and getting bigger every day. Gaming is now bigger than the movie industry and sports industry combined.

Kunal Mehta: Wow, that’s an incredible stat. I’d love to hear a story about how Redis is equipping some of these companies to grow so quickly.

Mike Anand: I think if you look at all these industries, what do they have in common? They have to differentiate themselves from digital native companies. They have to provide experiences for consumers, like never before.

If you think about the world’s largest taxi company, owns no taxis. The largest content creator doesn’t have a writing staff. But one thing that is common is that it’s about age of real time. And Redis is the fastest database out there helping all these companies across all these industries, where they need to make sure that their applications can leverage the real time data to drive business intelligence and insights.

Kunal Mehta: Outstanding. And I think that foundational firepower is critical to all of those transformations that people are talking about.

Katja Gagen: I know Mike, you just did a rebrand at Redis. How did you go about this? How did you lay the foundation and how did you build on it?

Mike Anand: I think it’s really important when you start a rebranding exercise, to keep it simple, keep your messaging simple. You need to build a pool of people that you can use as your listening post, as also the people that you can understand and dive deeper with. And I think also the second-most important thing that you have to think about is, why are you actually doing the rebrand? In our case, a rebranding exercise was all about breaking the silos between our open-source project and the company, which was perceived as only focused on commercial business.

You have to really understand why are you rebranding? And then when you think about creating the buzz and excitement it’s very, very tempting to out-think yourself. But as you build that process, as you build that engine to create noise and buzz, you really have to think about, how can you tie this launch to the stakeholders, right? And who are the key stakeholders that you want to make an impact with?

This is where your tone matters. This is where leveraging your simplicity of your message matters. I would try to bucketize the activities in those larger categories.

Kunal Mehta: You know, my follow up Mike is when I look at your work specifically with the analyst community, it went from largely on the fringe to big mindshare with key analysts. Maybe you can just give us the three things you did to grow your mindshare with companies like Gartner.

Mike Anand: When think about analysts and then community, I really think about building a relationship. Look, analyst community has a tremendous power and knowledge of what is painful for your customers. The first part of connecting and building that journey with that analyst community is to not only just make a hard pitch and sell them what your products can do, but it’s actually help you understand from them better, what do your customers need? It is no longer about companies; it’s about use cases. When you reach out to analysts, I highly recommend you, you step away from, ‘Hey, how many inquiries are you getting about X technology or Y?’ Really focus on use cases.

That was the angle that we took at Redis to help us understand the use cases that matters to the customers, tie our story to those use cases, and then build and foster a relationship from that point on. That way both of us get mutual benefit out of the conversations.

Kunal Mehta: I think we have kismet on this. The use cases are worth so much with the analysts and then even introducing them to some of the companies that are driving this innovation – just a well done move there.

Katja Gagen: I agree. And I think what’s also true is we’ve seen things are evolving right? In the technology business, but also when it comes to the role of the CMO. Mike, how have you adapted over the years and how have you seen the role of marketing change? Tell us a little bit more about field marketing and account-based marketing, that are some of your sweet spots.

Mike Anand: It’s a very exciting time to be in marketing. Marketing is going through tremendous evolution. The enterprise buying journey has completely changed. Developers hold a special power and the new ITDMs, right? And if you think about it, buyers are anonymous and distributed, sales is getting involved later and later in the cycle.

I truly believe that modern CMOs have to think about and take the role differently. And they have to become a bigger partner to the CEOs, and the role is bigger than just creating demand and building brand. Modern CMOs, I think, really have to be technology forward leaders. They have to be agile, and data driven. And they have to find a way to inject technology in a sensible way that allows them to get both the leading and lagging insights about the business itself.

Second, I really think that CMOs have to think about not just being storytellers, but product focused storytellers. They have to build the bridge between what’s being built and sold, but they also have to be the community builders out there. Get the community to participate in promoting your story and your technology.

Lastly, about ABM, it’s very exciting, it’s all the rage. But the way I encourage people to think about it is actually think about account-based revenue. Because that’s when you can tie both sales and marketing to joint MBOs.

Kunal Mehta: Well in this shift that you’re talking about, how are you creating top-of-the-funnel motions?

Mike Anand: Yeah, Kunal, it’s a perfect segue, right? I really think that there are two funnels. There are growth funnel and demand funnel. Early on in the company life cycle, a lot of people are focused on growth funnel, but for a company like Redis and where we are at the stage of ARR and the growth that we are, I’m really building two funnels in parallel.

Product led growth funnel, is all about creating the groundswell among developers and creating those little fires everywhere. And it doesn’t matter if some of these sign ups don’t convert into enterprise business, it’s okay. We just have to let people get their hands on the product and experience for themselves the benefits that Redis provides to give them real time data, to build their applications.

For the demand funnel, it’s about taking those product qualified leads, and understanding, out of those, what are the population? What are the accounts? What are the segments that you really need to engage, that you really need to go after?

How can you leverage the product usage data to actually drive insights for your demand funnel? And then if you can marry those two together, then I think you can build a very healthy top of the funnel business.

Kunal Mehta: Outstanding. Mike, as a marketing organization, what are the biggest challenges you are facing right now?

Mike Anand: One of the biggest things for us, that I’m focused on marketing, is how to make marketing in general, more agile. Traditionally, marketers have relied on a certain set of metrics and a longer bake-off, to be able to make the impact. And for the world that we really live in, my number one priority and the goal for marketing organization to become more agile and data driven. And it’s identifying those leading indicators that gives me an idea of how each of our campaigns are doing, and when and how we need to course correct.

The second big challenge is we have some really exciting products out there that are early in their product life cycle. So, it’s about creating that awareness of those products in the mindsets of Redis developers, and customers and partners. This is where I alluded to the comments about, you have to really make the messaging all about product and product focus with an outside-in driving messaging.

I think the third one is, we are today sitting in the age of a great resignation. I think, as a marketing leader, you have to really think about your team and who’s on the bus. What sort of people do you want on the team? But how can you connect what these people want, to a bigger, broader mission than the job itself. What role does the marketing organization play in taking social responsibility? And that mission is bigger than just the job and the company itself.

Katja Gagen: Awesome. Thanks so much, Mike, we’re going to shift now to a rapid-fire format and ask you a couple of quick questions. I’ll let Kunal start.

Kunal Mehta: As you walk into your office in the morning, what’s your favorite metric to look at, where you know things are going well?

Mike Anand: One of my favorite metrics is sales velocity and knowing how quickly we can convert those leads into a closed one. That’s got to be my favorite.

Kunal Mehta: Maybe you can talk about the company you admire the most today and why.

Mike Anand: Yeah, I’ve had three related careers, Kunal. As a product manager, I really loved the working backwards approach from the customer for Intuit. They make such a complex products like taxes and accounting, and they make it so simple. As a storyteller, really enjoyed Stripe’s journey of how they tied the story into their products and the evolution of that.

As a full stack marketer, I really get excited about looking at some of the consumer companies who inject fun and personalization into the brands and how B2B companies learn from it. A few examples of that are Pinterest and NextDoor that are building communities, it’s super relevant to us. Target is another one that makes shopping fun and how they take on Amazon. A small brand like Tieks, who sell only one product out there, but they make it personal, they make it simple, and they give you that experience every time you get that box that is so unique. And I think there’s a lot that B2B companies can learn from some of those brands in the consumer world.

Katja Gagen: Thanks Mike. If you were to mentor someone who wanted to get their feet wet in the marketing pool, what’s your advice for getting started? How do you build your career?

Mike Anand: I think you have to really find a way, Katja, and try a few different things. You’re going to get a lot of advice. You’re going to get a lot of coaching. But you have to really take your journey and really think about what’s important to you.

Early in your life, I would really ask you to expose yourself to a few different roles, a few different types of companies. Go work for a big company and understand how things work, but then also go work for a startup, where there are no swim lanes, there are no processes, and you have to disrupt yourself almost every single day. Think about it from that perspective and stay hungry.

Kunal Mehta: Mike, if I was working for you, what would be your biggest pet peeve?

Mike Anand: I’d be blessed if you were on the team, but at the same time, look, kindness is not an optional, I’m an empathy driven leader. It’s a mandatory requirement.

Second is preparation. Meetings in the zoom world are happening all the time. Every five-minute conversation is now a meeting. One of my biggest pet peeves is showing up to the meetings unprepared. I really want people to do the due diligence of putting together, hey, what is the outcome you want to drive from the meeting? Why are you coming to the meeting? What are people going to get? And do the prep work before you show up to the meeting so you can drive a better outcome out of it.

Katja Gagen: Thanks so much, Mike, for sharing all these nuggets of gold with us. I really like how you emphasize that brands start with empathy and listening. And you talked us through the process of how you can build a brand that galvanizes both your developer community, but also internal stakeholders.

The other takeaway I really liked is to keep the message simple. It’s easier said than done, but it’s something that is so important. And lastly, how the role of the CMO has changed and what it takes today, and in the future, to be successful.

Katja Gagen: Thanks for being on the podcast, Mike.

Mike Anand: Thank you for having me. It was a pleasure.

***

The views and opinions expressed are those of the speakers and do not necessarily reflect those of TCMI, Inc. or its affiliates (“TCV”). TCV has not verified the accuracy of any statements by the speakers and disclaims any responsibility therefor. This interview and blog post are not an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to purchase an interest in any private fund managed or sponsored by TCV or any of the securities of any company discussed. The TCV portfolio companies identified, if any, are not necessarily representative of all TCV investments, and no assumption should be made that the investments identified were or will be profitable. For a complete list of TCV investments, please visit www.tcv.com/all-companies/. For additional important disclaimers regarding this interview and blog post, please see “Informational Purposes Only” in the Terms of Use for TCV’s website, available at http://www.tcv.com/terms-of-use/.


Commerce Technology Provider Spryker Announces $130 Million Financing Round Led by TCV to Accelerate U.S. Centric Global Expansion to Enable Transactional Business Models

NEW YORK AND BERLIN (PRWEB) DECEMBER 17, 2020

Spryker, a fast-growing commerce technology for global enterprises, today announced that it has raised over $130 million in a Series C financing round, led by Silicon Valley-based TCV. Existing investors One Peak from London and Project A Ventures from Berlin also participated in the round.

The funding will be used to expand Spryker’s proven B2B and Enterprise Marketplace products and create a compelling 3rd party technology AppStore. Spryker also intends to grow its international footprint with a focus on the U.S., which already accounts for 10% of its annual software revenue. With $7 billion in annual spend, the potential in digital commerce software is massive — and Spryker is rapidly increasing its market share. Spryker also intends to grow its global talent to maintain its innovative edge and continue to build new products for future use cases and touch points, including IoT commerce, subscription, and click & collect.

Used by over 150 global customers, Spryker accelerates the deployment, time-to-value, and transformation towards transactional business models beyond e-Commerce, retail, and desktop. These benefits stem from Spryker’s innovative headless and API-based architecture, combined with a modular packaged business capabilities (PBC) design. The cloud native PaaS (Platform as a Service) delivery model empowers sophisticated businesses that have outgrown SaaS (Software as a Service) and on-premise single tenant models. As more companies shift to become “composable enterprises“ led by multidisciplinary “fusion teams”, Spryker is at the forefront of this movement having pioneered and predicted these approaches.

Founded in 2014, Spryker has been growing its recurring revenue more than 100% annually. The global team counts more than 250 employees with over 35 nationalities, working out of offices in Germany, USA, U.K., Netherlands, and Ukraine. Spryker recently pioneered a “New Work” model, offering remote first options for talent worldwide. Spryker is expanding operations in the U.S. in early 2021 to continue its rapid growth and support global customers, such as Ricoh, Siemens, and Toyota.

Spryker was named the most innovative and visionary of all new vendors in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Digital Commerce, recognized as a major player in B2B e-Commerce by IDC, and has partnered with leading global software integrators.

Boris Lokschin, Co-Founder & CEO at Spryker Systems said:

“With more industries beyond traditional retail building transactional business models we enable our global enterprise customers at any touchpoint. Verticals like Food & Beverages, Manufacturing, Services or FMCG transform to become composable enterprises and demand for cloud native, modular commerce technologies to power their sophisticated B2B, Enterprise Marketplace, or Unified Commerce initiatives. They want the platform to respond to digital best practices and enable shorter time-to-value, better TCO, and faster innovation which always was Spyker’s DNA. With TCV we are happy to have one of the most reputable global growth funds joining us to support our global, U.S.-centric expansion as well as groundbreaking product roadmap.”

Gopi Vaddi, General Partner at TCV who will be joining Spryker’s board of directors, said:

“We at TCV are pleased to partner with Boris, Alex, and the team at Spryker in their effort to provide a modern commerce platform that revolutionizes the deployment model with packaged business capabilities. With the acceleration of the digital adoption curve in the global pandemic, there has never been a better time for customers to rethink their digital commerce strategy.”

Bob Burke, Venture Partner at TCV, said:

“Digital commerce is a strategic priority for enterprises operating across consumer (B2C), business (B2B), direct to consumer (D2C) and marketplaces. Spryker offers a next-generation solution with a modular, API-first solution that is extensible with the ever-changing business & technology needs of enterprise organizations. We look forward to supporting the Spryker team as they expand internationally and empower businesses in their digital transformation.”

David Klein, Co-founder and Managing Partner at One Peak, said:

“Similar to how Hybris and Demandware led the first wave in commerce infrastructure software solutions, Spryker is now leading the way with a best-of-breed, highly scalable cloud platform which drives sales for its customers. Boris, Alex, and the Spryker leadership team have done an outstanding job in hyperscaling the Company to a global leader in the past three years since our investment, and we are thrilled to continue to support their expansion into the US and beyond.”

Florian Heinemann, General Partner at Project A Ventures, said:

“Since its founding in 2014, we have been excited about Spryker’s development and growth. We are confident that with this new funding and the world-class team, they will become one of the global leaders in e-commerce software. New transactional business models require innovative technical implementation and Spryker is the best solution we know of to do this. For many companies with sophisticated business models, Spryker is the right partner, especially in B2B and marketplaces.”

Oscar Jazdowski, Co-General Partner at SVB, global banking Partner of Spryker said:

“SVB is excited to be part of Spryker’s growing success story. We are extremely impressed by the management team and are convinced that their commerce solutions are building the backbones of today’s enterprises. We are confident that Spryker will successfully scale globally, and we are pleased to provide support with funding and expertise across Spryker’s core markets in Germany, EMEA, and the U.S.”

With $130 million raised in this round, Spryker’s company value exceeds $500 million which makes it one of the fastest growing enterprise commerce software companies ever.

About Spryker:

Founded in 2014, Spryker enables companies to build transactional business models in B2B, B2C, and Enterprise Marketplaces. It is the most modern platform-as-a-service solution with a headless architecture that is cloud-enabled, enterprise-ready, and loved by developers and business users worldwide. Spryker customers extend their sales reach and grow revenue with a system that allows them to increase operational efficiency, lower total cost of ownership, and expand to new markets and business models faster than ever before. Spryker solutions have empowered 150+ companies to manage transactions in more than 200 countries worldwide. Spryker is trusted by brands such as Toyota, Siemens, Hilti, and Ricoh. Spryker was named the most innovative and visionary of all new vendors in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Digital Commerce and named a major player in B2B e-Commerce by IDC and is the only commerce platform to provide full B2B, B2C, D2C and Marketplace capabilities out of one stack. For more information about Spryker please visit Spryker.com.

About TCV:

Founded in 1995, TCV provides capital to growth-stage private and public companies in the technology industry. Since its inception, TCV has invested over $14 billion in leading technology companies, including more than $2 billion in fintech, and has helped guide CEOs through more than 125 IPOs and strategic acquisitions.

TCV’s investments include Airbnb, AxiomSL, Dollar Shave Club, ExactTarget, Expedia, Facebook, LinkedIn, Netflix, Nubank, Payoneer, Splunk, Spotify, Strava, Toast, Xero, and Zillow. In Europe, TCV has invested over $2 billion in companies including Believe, Brillen.de, FlixMobility, Klarna, Mollie, Perfecto, Redis Labs, RELEX Solutions, Revolut, RMS, Sportradar, The Pracuj Group, and WorldRemit. TCV is headquartered in Menlo Park, California, with offices in New York and London. For more information about TCV, including a complete list of TCV investments, visit https://www.tcv.com/.

About One Peak:

One Peak is a growth equity firm investing in technology companies in the scale-up phase. The firm provides growth capital to exceptional entrepreneurs with a view to transform innovative and rapidly growing businesses into lasting, category-defining leaders. In addition to Spryker, One Peak’s investments include HighQ, Neo4j, DocPlanner, Keepit, Concentra Analytics, Quentic, Coople, DataGuard, Pandadoc, and Brightflag. To learn more, visit http://www.onepeakpartners.com.

About Project A:
Project A is one of the leading venture capital companies in Europe, with offices in Berlin and London. In addition to $500 M in assets under management, Project A provides its portfolio companies with a wide range of operational support services. This includes more than 100 employees from key areas such as software engineering, business intelligence, marketing, recruiting, and many more. In 2020 Project A was named Germany’s best VC by Business Insider magazine. Project A was founded in 2012 and since then has supported more than 60 start-ups in 12 countries. The portfolio includes companies such as Catawiki, WorldRemit, Homeday, Spryker, sennder, KRY, Trade Republic, and Voi.

About SVB:

For over 35 years, Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) has helped innovative businesses, enterprises and their investors move bold ideas forward, fast. Through its various locations in international innovation centers, SVB offers clients targeted financial services and expertise. No other bank in Germany focuses solely on the innovation economy. Europe’s leading technology and life science businesses, in all stages of development, look to SVB’s niche expertise, experience and unparalleled network, as they grow at home and tackle new markets abroad. Learn more at svb.com/Germany.

Media Contacts:

For more information about Spryker please visit Spryker.com.

Media Contact:

Spryker, press@spryker.com
TCV, Katja Gagen, kgagen@tcv.com, 415 690 6689


Making the Mundane Sexy: How Intuit Turned SMB Bookkeeping and DIY taxes into Massive Business Lines

Dan Wernikoff rose to become an EVP at Intuit and general manager of its small business unit and consumer tax group. In both cases he scaled the business-within-a-business from small groups of early adopters to huge hordes of happy SMBs and consumers, by relentlessly measuring early indicators, leveraging core strengths, and focusing on long-term growth goals.

In this conversation with TCV General Partner Tim McAdam, he shares:

  • Lessons about how selling into SMB markets differs from enterprise
  • The best metrics for tracking success, and
  • Why empathy and understanding matter more than slick ads and sales techniques.

He also explains how to infuse human expertise into SaaS models in a way that fits the SMB/consumer mindset.

For these insights and more, settle back and press play.

***

Dan Wernikoff is a former Venture Partner at TCV.

The views and opinions expressed are those of the speakers and do not necessarily reflect those of TCMI, Inc. or its affiliates (“TCV”). TCV has not verified the accuracy of any statements by the speakers and disclaims any responsibility therefor. This blog post is not an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to purchase an interest in any private fund managed or sponsored by TCV or any of the securities of any company discussed. The TCV portfolio companies identified above, if any, are not necessarily representative of all TCV investments, and no assumption should be made that the investments identified were or will be profitable. For a complete list of TCV investments, please visit www.tcv.com/all-companies/. For additional important disclaimers regarding this document, please see “Informational Purposes Only” in the Terms of Use for TCV’s website, available at http://www.tcv.com/terms-of-use/.


Making Mobile Magical = Selling Without Sales Reps

When the world flipped from desktop to mobile, consumer brands made an often painful, but highly profitable pivot. It stood to reason that high-velocity B2B software companies could likewise take advantage of the big shift to mobile. Platform trends make for disruptive go-to-market models, right?

Many tried, but few have succeeded. SafetyCulture is one of the few that thrived. At TCV’s annual growth offsite, David Yuan, GP at TCV, caught up with Luke Anear, CEO and founder of SafetyCulture, to talk through his path. Luke is not only building a disruptive mobile-SaaS company. He’s also one of the most interesting entrepreneurs. Over dinner, he shared his career as a private investigator, nearly losing his shirt as a spec boxing match promoter and working as a videographer for Tony Robbins.

For an inside story on how SafetyCulture reached high-level scale and a compelling market position on the back of a mobile-first product, settle back and click play.

 

Dave Yuan: I’m a general partner at TCV. I’ve been passionate about this conversion between consumer, internet and enterprise software go-to-market models. We’ve been exploring this intersection for the past decade. This past Summer I had Luke, the founder and CEO of SafteyCulture, join us at our offsite and talk through mobile first. SafetyCulture’s reached a high-level scale, great growth, and a really interesting market position on the back of a mobile-first product, monetization, and go-to-market strategy. Hey, Luke. Thanks for joining us today. Good to have you this Summer.

Luke Anear: Thanks, David. Yeah. Nice to be chatting to you.

David Yuan: Well, I know the topic for today is mobile, but before we jump into it, give us a snapshot in SafetyCulture.

Luke Anear: SafetyCulture created the checklist app that allowed teams to be able to do inspections and take photos and build workflow around maintaining standards in the workplace. And originally, it was based on purely safety and helping people go home at the end of the day, but today it’s across quality and really anywhere that teams are trying to maintain a high standard in the work they do. I think it collects about 400 million responses a year now through the app, and we’ve built a pretty interesting database now which allows us to benchmark and understand how well teams are managing risk and also how they can improve performance.

David Yuan: Awesome. Can you give us a sense of size? You know, customers or whatnot. Just so folks know the level of scale you’ve reached because it’s been impressive to watch you grow.

Luke Anear: Sure. We service about 70,000 organizations, and the team– we’ve got about 280 people on our team and we’re in most of the developed countries around the world. And people use us across all sorts of different industries from transport and logistics, to hotels, to Starbucks stores making sure they’re clean and look good every day. It’s a pretty broad spectrum of customers that we interact with.

David Yuan: That’s impressive. Okay. Well, the topic is mobile. On the consumer internet side, obviously, over the past 5, 10 years, we’ve gone through this often times painful pivot from desktop to mobile. But generally, that’s where the world is on the consumer side. Mobile is everything at this point, or at least for right now. Why hasn’t that happened in the enterprise software market?

Luke Anear: I think the people who buy software are typically still taking directives from management and it makes sense that they want to be able to get certainty from what they buy and so that’s based on traditional sales processes, people promising a lot with their software and then quite often they’re not quite coming to fruition over an extended period of time. We’re really empowering more operations and field-based people to do their jobs better and once they get traction with that, then it’s hard to stop. So I think we’re seeing more and more examples of that, but there’s still a long way to go. Enterprise is slow to adopt things. There’s a lot of stakeholders and so, I guess, companies like SafetyCulture being able to Trojan Horse our way in and then navigate through that process without having to be negotiating and trying to sell software to anyone. It’s a pretty fun time.

David Yuan: Absolutely. You’re obviously successful now but when you were getting going, when you were getting started, why do you think Mobile First would work as an approach for your product?

Luke Anear: I think you go back to around 2011-2012 when we started looking at this. It was really the point where everyday workers now had this computer in the pocket.  We heard the term before but when you think back, the iPhone came out in ’07, and it took three or four years really for people who weren’t sitting in front of computers to get that level of penetration. It was around 2011 that we went, “I think the timing is right for us to provide a tool that everyday people can pick up and build a workflow and start implementing”. The hypothesis was would these people be comfortable enough to even download software.  It turns out most of them, because they had never been involved in buying software and they didn’t know the rules about buying software and using software. And so they just would do it and other people would tell each other that that’s what they’re using and so word had spread. It’s worked well for us.

David Yuan: That’s great. I imagine when you were getting started that the first step was getting individual use, so getting that download. And we have seen quite a bit of that level of traction. But very few companies get the broad adoption that SafetyCulture has achieved within a company or organization. How did you do it? Was it intentional? Was it organic or a mix of both?

Luke Anear: Probably a little bit of luck in there as well. We focused pretty much on solving a specific problem for the workers out in the field trying to do their job, trying to manage risks so, it’s kind of like the field manager, is probably the person we targeted. And, essentially, they became our champions. They were our salesforce in a sense where they would all of a sudden feel that they’ve got this new superpower, and they can share that across and up and down through their business and that one thing would lead to another. Because they were able to articulate the benefits so well internally, they could steamroll over the top of IT policies or any of the normal barriers. We’re not going to stop using this. You guys are going to figure out how to make it work because we love it.

That was really the secret to our growth, that we were empowering those people. They had asked us for slide decks to present to their management. We still get asked that all the time from people like what materials can I use to present? It’s a marketer’s dream where you’ve got people who are your customers, who are working hard for us to roll it out because it makes their lives better. And that was really quite something I hadn’t seen before, when we saw that happening.

David Yuan: So I understand it, people are looking for help from SafetyCulture to present to the internal procurement folks or help to actually present the work that they’ve created in SafetyCulture to be consumed by upper levels?

Luke Anear: Interestingly, from a growth point of view, they’re pitching our software to their internal management. They’re literally doing pitches. They’ve got the decks up and they’re saying, “Here’s the company. Here’s how many users they have. These are the companies that use it. These are the use cases.” And then they bring their own use case in and “this is how we’re using it. We want everyone here to be using it.” It’s just a phenomenal thing to kind of watch. You kind of pinch yourself and think: How did ever even happen? Because we never had salespeople and, yet, these people were using our products and selling it for us.

David Yuan: Absolutely. I played around with your product a little bit. It strikes me, that there’s that elegance to it. The product really works well for an individual user, but it feels like the more people on SafetyCulture in my organization, the greater the power. And so how do you incent that team adoption?

Luke Anear: The path to getting them to adopt it across their team gets accelerated when we get more people doing it, particularly early on. That’s been an area that we were focused on in terms of onboarding and getting people up to speed as quickly they can, inviting other people on their team. That’s when things start to move. Frankly, if they’re a three- or a four-person team, they’re never going to experience incredible benefits from it compared to 1,000-person team. We want to help them get to 1,000.

David Yuan: That’s where you set the paywall.

Luke Anear: Yes, we move around the paywall and look at different things. You see churn come down once it gets stickier once more people are using it, and that’s when the value increases for them. So we focus on getting them to that point.

David Yuan: Are there other elements of the paywall? One, obviously, is users, which we describe, where the trade-off is monetization and adoption and churn, like you just walked through, but are there other elements of the paywall that you either experimented with or currently employ now?

Luke Anear: We’ve tried usage limits and things like that. We still have a usage limit for users in terms of how much they can collect and store, but I always try and push the free line out on that. And we’ve played around with a certain number of inspections and things like that and then you hit a paywall. But I try not to put shackles on the experience as much as possible. There are companies that try and extract money at every opportunity, and then there are companies that want to see you do well, firstly, and then we’ll give you opportunities to pay for more. And I think we take that seriously. It’s not something that we kind of sit back and say, “Let’s get at every dollar we possibly can.” We always leave quite a bit on the table from that point of view because we value that experience more than we value getting every dollar that we can.

David Yuan: Absolutely. Can we double-click a little bit on that because I think a lot of companies aspire to have that customer intimacy and insight but as you scale, it can be quite difficult to capture those voices in a way that cuts through at all. Are there specific things that you guys do to make sure you stay close to the customer voice on this like paywall on product and other aspects?

Luke Anear: Yeah. Like engagement metrics are probably the strongest signal on that. And you want to see at what points do people get their real sort of aha moments or wow moments. And building the experience towards those moments, that’s kind of key, and so understanding and breaking down what are the points where people achieve a certain level of interaction so that we can either accelerate the time to that moment or increase the peak of that moment. People remember the peaks of the experience and that’s what brings them back. And sometimes it’s simple things. It’s often not necessarily what we value. It could be a PDF report, for example, that’s got photos in it. That’s the most basic thing from a tech point of view. But from our customer’s point of view, they used to take photos on their phone and then type stuff up in Microsoft Word and then put it all in. And now magically, it kind of happens.

David Yuan: That’s great. If the broader topic is mobile, it leads us down a line of thinking, which is providing discreet value or utility value or great experience through individual user. As we talked about, as you deploy more broadly into organizations, you start bringing teams online. When you think about the features or the product experiences that really drive joy for an organization, are they different than the specific user experiences or are things like analytics or benchmarking?  Do they become more central? How do you think about the overall organizational experience to complement the user experience?

Luke Anear: I think collecting data for the sake of it is no one’s outcome. And so it’s about, what are the decisions we can make with this data? How do we get the insights? Or how does this make us more intelligent or smarter? That’s ultimately the goal. And the more that we can do that proactively and the less burden that we place on the organization to have to understand the data and make sense of it, the easier it is for them to be able to adopt it and share it. For us, collecting, having an incredible front-end user experience, is part of it. That makes it easy to collect information. But then how do you take a position on what information is important? And I think we’ve seen a lot of BI tools and stuff, where people can pivot and do all sorts of stuff with their data, but I don’t think that’s enough anymore. And for us, it’s about understanding our customers, so that we take a position on what data is going to be most valuable to them. And then we shape the experience around that and really serve up those decisions for them on a platter. They essentially want to know, our customers want to know, what’s working well across their teams today? What’s not working well?

And importantly, what do we do about that? Understanding just those three basic questions drives a lot of the decision-making for us around how do we present this information back? And how do we make it easy for them to get the insights that help them run their business? And make it easy for your customers to get value from that data and those insights. That takes a deep understanding of the customer to do that. And also, when you do it well, it increases the competitive barrier for other people to come in, because a lot of them just take the easy way out and go, “Let’s just allow everybody to pivot, however they want to pivot the data.” And that just creates work for our customers. They’re like, “Don’t create work for me. Make it easy for me.”

David Yuan: I love it. The same intensive focus on consumer experience at the individual user level extending into the team level and ultimately the enterprise level. That makes a lot of sense. And do you see that progression as SafetyCulture is adopted in your customer? Do you see that progression naturally mirroring monetization? Is there a certain point in which that you realize that experiences gone from the individual now to the team, now to the organization, where it does make more sense to consider different paywalls or different levels of monetization?

Luke Anear: Yes. And it also gives you opportunities to add value layers on top of that. We can mix that data with other data sets. We now do IoT and sensor-based hardware as well, which collects data that we layer in on top. When you sit back and take a position on what’s valuable, you’re then in a great place to decide what else is relevant, and what else can we provide that’s going to be helpful? A lot of thought goes into that, and our customers have got other data that’s valuable. And we’ve mixed data with customer satisfaction data, and we can see uplifts in CSAT when people are doing regular checks and inspections. It becomes multi-dimensional.

David Yuan: We’ve talked about being super intentional about the user experience from individual users to team to organizations. We’ve talked about monetization along those same dynamics. Let’s shift gears a little bit to go-to-market. So, initially, most bottoms-up premium models are all marketing and, primarily, organic marketing. When did you get the conviction to start really leaning into paid marketing, if you have, and when did you start thinking through hiring that next layer of expense, those inside sales reps? You’re moving from a very organic business to more a traditional software model over time, so when did you know that it was time to start putting some money to work?

Luke Anear: I think we’re still getting there actually. We haven’t spent a lot on acquisition and that. We do a little bit on content and things, but I think we’re still at the beginning of that journey. I probably can’t offer much in that sort of area, but in terms of inside sales, we have in the last 12 months, had people who are now focused on our existing customers and helping them get more value and expand and accelerate their path to value. We now will pick up the phone and chat with people. We never used to do that. I think for about the first 40,000 organizations, we never picked up the phone and spoke to them unless they specifically wanted to talk to us about something.

Because we’re a fairly low price point, it doesn’t make sense for us to try and have someone closing every sale. We’ve always got to sort of separate that out and make sure that our organic growth engine is strong. And that makes everything else easier. If you’ve got a product that sells itself and that can be adopted and self-served, then when you come to talk to a customer they’ve already got their own case study. We’re very conscious of that. We never want to be just saying, “Well, let’s just build out massive amount of salespeople,” and that becomes your growth engine. For us, it’s all about the organic adoption and then expanding that adoption and making sure that they’re getting maximum value from it. That’s a conscious choice and something we’re continuing to find a balance on.

David Yuan: You’re the envy of probably 90% of the software world, to be a product-led go-to-market, that’s fantastic. In terms of your customer success and customer support, it sounds like you think about those heads or that expense on a return-on-investment basis. But my guess is you aren’t actually compensating them on sales. Are you assigning quota to your customer success reps or is it purely organic?

Luke Anear: Not for the most part. There are a couple now of account execs, two or three or something. But all the rest are just focused on helping the customer and doing what they do. So yeah, there’s probably a place for it, I think, as we continue to grow. And talking particulars, we never actually sold a big, upfront deal, in terms of 1,000 seats or something, until just probably seven months ago was the first time we’d even done 500-seat deal. It was always only just one user and then they expanded up to thousands. And now that we’ve got companies that come to us and say, “Look, we want to start with 2,000 users.” That’s where the account execs can have that conversation and it makes sense to have a quota for them. But that’s a new area for us.

David Yuan: The beauty of your business, and as we talk through it becomes more and more explicit, is that SafetyCulture is following a different playbook. It’s a different software business model. As you think about the mobile opportunity and the bottoms-up opportunity, do those apply to traditional application software companies? Are there things that a traditional app company can learn from SafetyCulture, or is it really a grounds-up business model and grounds-up product model?

Luke Anear: That’s a good question. What we’re seeing from a lot of the established desktop or legacy players is that they’re trying to extend their software to mobile. And I think at best all they’re going to do is sort of keep their current customer because their current customer wants them on mobile. You’ve got a lot of luxuries on desktop. There’s more real estate. You have typically people who sit in front of a computer for at least a good part of their day. Those luxuries don’t exist with mobile. People are on the move. They’re out and about.

Where we see companies struggle is when they’re simply extending the functionality, or even a reduced functionality, of their desktop experience. You need to be able to step back and think about that user as a different customer. You’ve got to break down what they do in their day, what their outcomes are, and how can we do that. And that may be an extension of some of our software. Or it could be a completely different experience.

We want to get them out of our app as fast as we can with the outcome they want. Whereas a lot of the time, people think about trying to keep people in their software for longer. We’re trying to help them get on with the things they need to do, and that means get them in and get them out so that they can get on with their day.

David Yuan: Absolutely. If it is a truly generational shift and it’s a new category of application companies, who else is doing this well? Who else besides SafetyCulture do you look to, do you admire, that inspires you from a mobile product standpoint?

Luke Anear: I think for enterprise software to do well, you’ve got to solve a particular problem. There’s an Aussie company, Canva for Work, which is a design experience for teams. They’re doing great. There are obvious ones like Intercom, where I can now see what customers are saying and how we’re interacting with them. I can deal with stuff. And then you’ve got other guys, Trello, which is part of Atlassian now. I think there’s a mix. But I think the key thing is not necessarily to follow some of these others. Canva for Work is very different to us, as is Slack and Intercom, and so while there might be similarities in some of the functionality, the outcome that they deliver, those peaks and those moments for customers are completely different. There’s a few around that we looked at. But I think that the biggest clues will come from your customer base and understanding that more than admiring what other mobile-first companies have achieved or mobile experiences are on offer.

David Yuan: Good point. You’re a global business. SafetyCulture is a global business, but you were founded in Australia and as we look at product-led software companies, a preponderance of them are actually coming out of Australia and New Zealand. What’s going on? Is there something in the water? Is there something foundational going on in your neck of the woods that make for these beautiful UI product-led business models?

Luke Anear: I think the simple answer is probably we never had the money that you guys had in the U.S. and so we just had to figure it out. And we didn’t have that kind of luxury of time and great investors that would just be backing us from the beginning. We had to really get traction and prove out a business model before people would even take any notice of us. I think that’s played a part for a while. And then there’s a couple of other factors as well. We never had the experience or the talent, really, in Australia. No one really had the belief on how you could scale a company from your garage. You’d hear about it, but it was always in the U.S. Now there are more examples, people are starting to realize what’s possible. And we’re also seeing a lot more talent coming back to Australia that had left. There’s 24,000 Australians working in the Bay Area. You’re seeing more and more of those come home. And then we’re seeing other people from all around the world realizing that there’s now a pretty healthy tech community, and it’s like doubling every couple of years. Sydney’s got at least twice as much talent as it had two years ago and we’re seeing that continue. It’s a number of factors all coagulating together to make it a better outcome for us all, but we’re still going to work hard. And as much as people think we’re out surfing at the beach all day, we’re doing some long days and hard work to get it done.

David Yuan: Absolutely. The good news is, the market certainly has noticed and I’ve been taking that 14-hour flight for the past five years looking for companies like yours, so the world has noticed. And congratulations to that whole ecosystem. This has been awesome, Luke. Really appreciate all the great thoughts.

Maybe stepping back from business a little bit, you lived a super interesting life in addition to being a successful entrepreneur. Taking a step back from SafetyCulture, what are you most interested in the business world or even outside of the business world?

Luke Anear: Well, a couple of things. I think travel is so accessible now to everyone fortunately, compared to previous generations, that your ability to go and experience different culture or different part of the world is greater than ever. I think that’s super exciting. I have a very curious mind, I love learning from different people, and cultures, and stuff. So anytime I can get exposed to the way other people doing things, that’s something I always look for. In terms of a broader business world, I think it’s great to see the amount of wealth that individuals are amassing, Bezos and different people, and even what we saw Warren Buffet doing with Bill Gates. I think to see them now harnessing that and channeling it towards solving really complex and big problems around the world that perhaps governments in the past would take responsibility for but just can’t anymore. I think to see that and these examples being set for everyone that’s following, is something that I look up to and think that’s making the world a better place. I think the more social conscious we become and the deep desire for people to want to improve the world around them, and make life better for other people, I think more of that that’s happening, the better. It’s just a great time to be alive.

David Yuan: Absolutely. 100%. Luke, thank you so much for your time and your thoughts. This is fantastic and congrats on all your successes at SafetyCulture.

Luke Anear: Thanks, David. Much appreciated.

 

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The statements, views, and opinions expressed are those of the speakers and do not necessarily reflect those of TCMI, Inc. or its affiliates (“TCV”). TCV has not verified the accuracy of any statements by the speakers and disclaims any responsibility therefor. This interview is not an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to purchase an interest in any private fund managed or sponsored by TCV or any of the securities of any company discussed. The TCV portfolio companies identified, if any, are not necessarily representative of all TCV investments and no assumption should be made that the investments identified were or will be profitable. For a complete list of TCV investments, please visit www.tcv.com/all-companies. For additional important disclaimers, please see “Informational Purposes Only” in the Terms of Use for TCV’s website, available at http://www.tcv.com/terms-of-use/.


Silver Peak Announces $90 Million Investment From TCV to Accelerate SD-WAN Growth

SANTA CLARA, Calif. — Silver Peak®, a global leader in broadband and hybrid WAN solutions, today announced a $90 million strategic investment from TCV. The investment enables Silver Peak to expedite execution of its go to market expansion plans and cement its position as a global leader in SD-WAN and cloud-first WAN edge solutions. TCV is one of the largest providers of capital to growth-stage private and public companies in the technology industry and has backed industry-leading companies including Airbnb, ExactTarget, Genesys, Netflix, Rapid 7, Redback Networks, Splunk, Spotify, and Zillow. With the investment, TCV general partner Tim McAdam will join the Silver Peak board of directors.

As applications migrate to the cloud, it’s become clear that enterprise networks must evolve in order for geographically distributed companies to benefit from the increased agility, flexibility and simplicity the cloud promises. Users connect to applications via the Wide Area Network (WAN), which was originally designed when applications resided exclusively in the data center. To truly realize the full benefits of the cloud, enterprises need to move beyond legacy router-centric approaches that are manual, error-prone and ineffective in a cloud-first environment. Only Silver Peak delivers all the necessary functions of the new WAN edge in a single device – advanced SD-WAN capabilities, routing, security and integrated WAN optimization – that simplifies the WAN edge, delivers new levels of agility and automation, and improves productivity.

“It’s rare that we see an opportunity to disrupt a massive, entrenched $100 billion technology category supporting mission critical applications and communication,” said Tim McAdam, general partner at TCV. “After researching all the players in the multi-billion-dollar SD-WAN market and speaking with enterprise CIOs, it is clear that Silver Peak has the most complete solution, clear market differentiation and traction, and a unique vision for the future of the new WAN edge. We look forward to working with the team to rapidly grow the business.”

“With more than $100 billion spent on the WAN every year by enterprises, much of it on technology that pre-dates the cloud, Silver Peak has an enormous opportunity as we deliver disruptive new WAN edge solutions for enterprises,” said Silver Peak Founder and CEO, David Hughes. “TCV has a proven track record for identifying high-growth markets and investing in those innovative companies with the right solution and the right team in place to achieve market leadership. Our partnership with TCV will help accelerate our growth trajectory, increase our competitive advantages and extend our market leadership. We are excited to work with the TCV team.”

J.P. Morgan served as exclusive placement agent to Silver Peak on the transaction.

About Silver Peak

Silver Peak is a global leader in broadband and hybrid WAN solutions. Silver Peak offers a high-performance SD-WAN solution that provides secure and reliable virtual overlays to connect users to applications with the flexibility to use any combination of underlying transport without compromising application performance. This results in greater business agility and lower costs. More than 3,000 globally distributed enterprises have deployed Silver Peak broadband and hybrid WAN solutions across 80 countries. Learn more at silver-peak.com.

About TCV

Founded in 1995, TCV provides capital to growth-stage private and public companies in the technology industry. Since inception, TCV has invested over $10 billion in leading technology companies and has helped guide CEOs through more than 110 IPOs and strategic acquisitions. TCV’s investments include Airbnb, Altiris, AxiomSL, Dollar Shave Club, EmbanetCompass, EtQ, ExactTarget, Expedia, Facebook, Fandango, GoDaddy, HomeAway, LinkedIn, Netflix, OSIsoft, Rent the Runway, Sitecore, Splunk, Spotify, Varsity Tutors, and Zillow. TCV is headquartered in Menlo Park, California, with offices in New York and London. For more information about TCV, including a complete list of TCV investments, visit https://www.tcv.com/.

© Silver Peak Systems, Inc. All rights reserved. Silver Peak and the Silver Peak logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of Silver Peak Systems, Inc. in the United States and/or other countries. All other marks may be trademarks of their respective owners.

Contacts

Silver Peak
Danielle Ostrovsky, 410-302-9459
dostrovsky@silver-peak.com

or

TCV
Katja Gagen, 415-690-6690
kgagen@tcv.com


10X: What 5G Means for Consumers and Enterprises

Depending on where you look, the number of connected devices, or ‘things’, out there is now in the region of 8.4 billion.  That’s a large number, but it’s barely the start.  By 2020, Gartner expects this total to jump to over 20 billion.

Importantly, this staggeringly fast growth of connectivity for consumer and enterprise use cases necessitates a high-performance network infrastructure and services and 5G will help take the industry to this next level.

In an era where just about everything will be connected—from the familiar smartphone to the connected robot, car or enhanced media distribution—there is a demand to share more wireless data.

3G arrived at the millennium, bringing us a major step forward in wireless connectivity speed. It offered connection speeds of around 380Kbps. The arrival of 4G networks built on that to deliver up to 100Mbps—the performance level many of us are familiar with today.

Even though 5G will be 10 times as fast, it won’t replace 4G in the same way that 2G (and gradually 3G) have been superseded since 4G’s arrival. 5G and 4G will work in complementary fashion to handle different types of traffic most efficiently. 5G remains in a technical trial stage as the standards for mobility and network interoperability continues being developed. Early commercial deployment is expected to start in late 2018. Yet, once the standards are set, there’s no turning back – 5G will be a catalyst for new applications and new opportunities that are just waiting to be imagined.

At the leading edge of this industry is Cradlepoint, an international market leader providing wired and wireless connectivity and networking solutions for distributed and mobile enterprises. Founded in 2006, the company has been at the forefront of providing 3G and LTE networking solutions for enterprises.  The company was first to market with LTE routing solutions. It now has 18,000 customers worldwide and has shipped more than 1.7 million cellular routing platforms.

In a recent conversation, Cradlepoint CEO George Mulhern explored the 5G opportunity with TCV Venture Partner Doug Gilstrap, an IT veteran and the former CSO of Ericsson.

 

Doug Gilstrap: If we believe everything we hear about 5G, it’s all expected to really start happening in 2018. Is that hype or hope?

George Mulhern:  The technical trials are underway as we speak.  The commercial production testing will start in 2018. There are already many 5G trials taking place around the world and 5G-ready base stations have been deployed by the major vendors. They’re already using some of the new spectrum for 5G both licensed and unlicensed spectrum, and the expectation is that it will be commercialized in 2019 and 2020.

Doug Gilstrap: When (and how) does 5G displace 4G? When will it be the new norm?

George Mulhern:  5G and existing LTE technologies are going to coexist for quite a while.

We’ll start to see some limited early deployments in 2018, and it’ll grow from there—but it’s not going to completely displace 4G.  In fact, some of the early deployments will be based on the LTE core—so they’ll coexist. That’s going to be important for customers because they’re looking for a transition.

It’s not going to be a light switch moment where they wake up one morning and 5G is everywhere. It’s going to be expanding over the next two, three, four years. It’ll be a significant improvement to the wireless capabilities as it gets rolled out.

Doug Gilstrap: Whats 5Gs selling point? What benefits can 5G adopters expect?

George Mulhern: Efficiency. We see 5G offering significant cost savings to operators and end users.

Our customers with many sites, branch locations and IoT needs (buses, police cars etc.), can expect better performance with advances towards 5G. This means no lead time to connect and wait for broadband digs, so any new high-speed broadband connectivity can be met instantly.

Also, with 4G Advance and 5G inter-workings, some of our enterprise customers will have better performance compared to the existing fixed line infrastructure in place today.

For customers with massive amounts of logistics and transportation needs, the new 4G/5G data plan charges plus our hardware and software solution makes the implementation, the monitoring, and the usage tracking affordable. And the productivity gains will be impactful. This technology will be price competitive and offer a variety of physical and logical diversity for all our clients.

We’re seeing the operators charging hard into the mobile enterprise space as the next wave of market opportunity, and we are here, hand in hand with our solutions to help make it happen.

 

Doug Gilstrap: Is everything going to be wireless with 5G?

George Mulhern: Because of the 10X performance improvement, 10X latency improvement and capacity improvement, 5G is going to be a tremendous technology. It’ll be a dominant last mile technology, but I don’t think the wires are going to go away entirely.

It’s like when email first hit, and people predicted the post office would disappear. Email opened the way for a whole host of new applications and capabilities, but didn’t completely displace the older technology, although its role in communications has been significantly diminished.

Any time you get something as flexible as wireless that provides the kind of performance and capabilities people need, I think they’re going to naturally migrate towards that. It happened on the LAN with Wi-Fi. It’s happened in the Personal Area Network with Bluetooth. And it will happen on the WAN as well. I would bet Doug’s paycheck on it…

Doug Gilstrap: Thanks…! Do you expect there’ll be a different take-up in different countries, unlike 4G?

George Mulhern:  The race to 5G is full on right now.  It is likely that many of the same countries who led the way to 4G/LTE will be early to the 5G market.  Carriers in the United States, Korea and certain countries in Europe were early movers in LTE and are investing very heavily in 5G right now.  Japan is also investing heavily in 5G and plans to have the network built out when they host the Olympics in 2020.

5G is very important to the carriers/operators because it opens up a much broader set of applications and markets to them.  The mobile phone market has been a tremendous growth opportunity on the consumer side and especially the evolution to mobile broadband (3G+/4G), but it is saturated, and the operators are now really focused on growth in the wireless side for the enterprise.  Examples include fixed wireless access to the enterprise, which is core to Cradlepoint, and we look to provide solutions for growth in other areas as well.  5G will provide opportunities in Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) for enterprise and residential (video), Internet of Things applications, autonomous vehicles, etc. That hits home for companies like Cradlepoint who can help deliver these new applications and services to the end customer.

George Mulhern: Now, let me ask you, who do you think will benefit the most, consumers or the enterprise—and what industries will be early adopters?

Doug Gilstrap: I think both enterprise and consumers are going to benefit tremendously from this battle among carriers to get solutions to market first.  We have seen the industry pull in their timelines for 5G from what they were, and they’re currently selling 5G-ready radios and are in 5G trials with many of the largest operators.  We’ll see the commercial first movers with the device versions in the latter half of 2018.

For the enterprise specifically, there are a lot of use cases that will need lots of bandwidth, so operators are utilizing different options across the 5G spectrum such as 3.5 gigahertz and 28 gigahertz because more capacity is needed to meet enterprise needs—and not just speed, it’s throughput as well.

Think of mission-critical applications for the enterprise, where there’s a lot of imaging needs and where a lot of data throughput has to be in real time with no jitter because people are using that data to make decisions. Or think of the oil and gas or utility industries which have remote diagnostics and imaging requirements.

There’s also healthcare where imaging and X-rays need to be shared because professionals are doing their work remotely. It will also be massive for video distribution to the enterprise or to the consumer residential markets. These require high-end bandwidth and low latency for quality of service. Any mission-critical application that requires that fits 5G very well.

On the horizon are consumer applications such as augmented reality, virtual reality, and the autonomous car. If you consider all the sensors and the data transmission that has to go back and forth—from the speed of the car to the cars on the road and changing road conditions—there’s so much going on. It’s low latency and high throughput.

 

Doug Gilstrap: How should enterprises think about preparing for the deployment and adoption of 5G? What are best practices and pitfalls to avoid?

George Mulhern:  My advice for enterprises preparing for 5G would be: Don’t wait.

Start incorporating LTE into your organizations now. With gigabit LTE commercially available on multiple operator networks, you can get much of that performance already. In the digital economy, it’s the companies that can move with speed, agility and gain insight that will succeed. Incorporating wireless into their business today not only prepares them for 5G, but they’ll start to reap some of those benefits much earlier than their competitors.

Doug Gilstrap: How do businesses really take advantage of LTE and 5G? Because it’s not easy. You can’t just say, “Oh, I’m going to implement 5G, and we’re ready to go.” It’s gigabit LTE as well.

George Mulhern: Each customer has their own priorities and strategic goals. We have customers today using LTE as their only WAN source for their branch offices.  Others are using it for temporary networks (a pop-up store for example), or air-gapped networks for security reasons.  Smart City applications like connecting traffic lights, Wi-Fi in businesses, connected police cars, digital signage, surveillance cameras, kiosks, the list of “things” being connected now is endless.

What’s ideal for retail and transportation can be different than what’s needed in the public sector or in financial services, however high speed, secure mobile access fits in with each of these verticals.

It is our view that this next generation of edge networks need to be much more agile and flexible. They need to be able to expand, contract, and incorporate new applications as business needs dictate.  We call it the Elastic Edge.  These networks will be Software-Defined, Cloud Orchestrated, Wireless and much of the time delivered as a service to the customer. Therefore, 5G will be a game changer in terms of flexibility, agility, performance, and cost.

Doug Gilstrap: George, what’s the fastest chipset that you will have in your routers from a theoretical chipset speeds standpoint for 4G advanced next year?

George Mulhern: Today we know that there are many operators that have commercially launched LTE Advanced 1 Gigabit services and our solutions will support this gigabit speed.  As 5G moves above the 1 Gigabit level to 10 Gigabits, so will we, supporting gigabit speeds on our platform in 2018, as those networks become available to the enterprise.

Our goal will always be that our solutions will be able to operate as fast as the networks will support.

 

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TCV is an investor in Cradlepoint and Doug Gilstrap serves on the board of directors of the company.

The views and opinions expressed in the transcript above are those of the speakers and do not necessarily reflect those of TCMI, Inc. or its affiliates (“TCV”).  This transcript is not an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to purchase an interest in any private fund managed or sponsored by TCV or any of the securities of any company discussed.  The TCV portfolio companies identified above, if any, are not necessarily representative of all TCV investments, and no assumption should be made that the investments identified were or will be profitable. For a complete list of TCV investments, please visitwww.tcv.com/all-companies/.  For additional important disclaimers regarding this document, please see “Informational Purposes Only” in the Terms of Use for TCV’s website, available at http://www.tcv.com/terms-of-use/