I’m happy to announce that we’ve raised our Series A financing, and I wanted to take a moment to explore what this means for VividCortex’s customers.
Why raise more money when we’re profitable and fast-growing? Before I founded VividCortex I looked sideways at companies who did that. “We don’t need the money,” they all said. It didn’t ring true to me; why raise money if you don’t need it? Now I understand more about how businesses grow, what kinds of chicken-and-egg situations arise as they do, and why it’s important to fund growth properly by investing ahead of revenue so you avoid becoming a victim of your own success.
On the other hand, we’re not exactly cut from the Silicon Valley mold. We’ve raised relatively small amounts of money at infrequent intervals. This forced us to be financially disciplined, which focused us on finding product/market fit. As a result, we’ve built a great product that solves truly painful, otherwise unsolvable, problems for our customers; and we’ve built a sound business at the same time.
We’ve always been venture-capital funded, though. From day one I knew we were building a really challenging product and it was going to take a lot of work. When you accept venture capital funding, you are committing to a path that leads to an “exit.” What does this mean? For me personally, as I’ve always said, it’s a minimum of a 12-15 year commitment, if not lifelong; for the company, it means we’ll eventually become a publicly traded company via an IPO. It means we are in it for the long haul, building an enduring business that will benefit our customers, our employees and their families, our communities, and our investors.
My vision for VividCortex is not small. What you see now is just the beginning. Database technology is one of the most important and interesting sectors of the technology landscape, and it’s far from a solved set of problems. Step One for us is building amazing tools for visibility into databases: what work are they doing? What is their state, as a distributed, diverse set of servers all independently cooperating without knowing it to form a holistic data tier? Where, in all of this complexity and activity, is the hidden performance problem, the inefficiency, the opportunity for 10x or even 100x gains? This alone will be years and years of work to build. The reason nobody’s done it is because it’s hard. But that’s exactly why it’s worth doing! Without technology to solve this problem, businesses suffer; and more to the point, people suffer.
From a platform of great visibility into databases you can build a lot of things, and that will be our Step Two. Few of them are novel, but when people have tried to build them before they’ve chosen a different beach head, and failed. And as the world moves to open source and the cloud, vendors attempting to defend their businesses against this trend make technology decisions that have big consequences for customers. Whoever can find and execute on a solution to these sets of problems will eventually be the next Oracle, the next Cisco or VMWare. Enough said.
This Series A round of funding, though, isn’t about what we’ll build ten years from now. I shared on Twitter that we are accelerating fast; we blew through our Q1 goals by a wide margin. Heck, we blew through our whole quarterly goals in a single month. This growth is largely organic; the market is pulling us along. Customers are eager to buy, increasingly so as they see the problems we’re solving for companies around them that they trust. To meet this demand, we have to scale; and to scale fast we need a safety margin in the bank account. That’s why we raised the money: to ensure that we’ll be a trusted partner for our customers while we evolve the company and technology to keep up with demand.
It’s an incredibly exciting time for our business and for technology in general. As a child I used to daydream about what it’d have been like to be born in a different time. Now, I’m convinced that I’m part of the luckiest generation in human history. What a time to be alive! What an opportunity to make a difference, to be of service!
I’ll end by expressing my gratitude to the thousands of people who’ve brought VividCortex to where we are now, and to where we’ll go next. I couldn’t be more excited to get up and work on the hard, but rewarding, problems we solve every day at VividCortex. Working with amazing colleagues, customers, community leaders, advisors, and investors makes it all much, much better. I think I say this often, but probably not enough: thank you, each of you. Now let’s go make more awesome!
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