The Rewarding Journey of Championing a Serial Entrepreneur

by Navin Chaddha

Rehan Jalil is a serial entrepreneur whom I first met in 2007. At that time, he had an innovative idea to build a wireless equipment company with product excellence and a capital-efficient model. Our partnership lasted for 2.5 years, during which Wichorus pioneered the new category of smart wireless 4G infrastructure, impressed customers & partners alike, and attracted the attention of Tellabs, which acquired the company in 2009, providing a good return for investors and employees.

After leading the mobile Internet division at Tellabs for a couple of years, Rehan was ready for his next adventure. We were honored when he chose to spend time as a Venture Advisor to Mayfield in late 2011. He used us as a sounding board while evaluating a couple of different markets and models, and settled on building a company serving the cloud security space. We incubated Elastica in April 2012 and led his Series A round of financing.

It was exciting on our second go-around together to see how Rehan had evolved on his personal journey from product-oriented founder to world-class CEO. Some of the milestones he drove at Elastica include:

– Assembling a 200+person dream team with some of the industry’s top experts in data science, machine learning, deep packet inspection, security, cryptography, stream processing, front-end design and web-scale cloud engineering;

– Building a culture of collaboration and excellence;

– Creating the new category of the CloudSOC (security operations center), a single pane of glass for all security needs and capabilities for cloud apps;

– Designing a delightful product with an intuitive interface, which has won industry awards;

– Launching bold marketing initiatives (including a giveaway of a red Ducati motorcycle at the RSA conference which generated 1000s of leads);

– Building partnerships with cloud providers such as Box and Dropbox and inking a reseller agreement with Cisco that established Elastica as one of the few non-Cisco products to be sold by their sales force;

– Developing thought leadership around shadow data and the source of security breaches;

– Raising a $30 million Series B at a good valuation.

With established early momentum, and as the pioneer of a thriving market category, Elastica was proceeding on its journey as an independent security vendor for the new stack of cloud services. However, the opportunity to join forces with Blue Coat Systems, an established pure-play web gateway security company whose products are being used by over 86% of the Fortune 500, provided a perfect opportunity for Elastica in November 2015. Together the companies will continue to deliver on their mission to make the cloud safe for business. Elastica presents a great example of how partnering early with an entrepreneur can be a very rewarding experience. We are proud to have championed Rehan and his team, and we congratulate them on their achievements.

Image: Elastica

This post originally appeared on LinkedIn Pulse

Read more from this author, Mayfield Managing Director, Navin Chaddha.

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