Thinking Twice About ThoughtSpot — a Visionary Product and Team at the Forefront of Business Intelligence | Sapphire Ventures

Jai Das
Jai Das
Sep 17 · 4 min read

Every interaction I have as CEO of ThoughtSpot is an opportunity to learn about business transformation. In one customer meeting, I’m learning about how data is transforming mom and pop restaurant businesses, while at the very next meeting I’m learning about supply chain challenges in managing seasonality in global toy businesses. What we’re building at ThoughtSpot is at the center of all these, which is very exciting.

-Sudheesh Nair, CEO, ThoughtSpot

According to recent data from CBI Insights, 70% of tech startups fail — usually about 20 months after they’ve first raised their first million in financing.

Today we’re excited to announce our follow-up investment in ThoughtSpot — a visionary business intelligence and analytics tool that instantly brings data insights to everyone in the enterprise (not just analysts and data scientists). Recently named a Leader in the Gartner 2019 Magic Quadrant for Analytics and BI Platforms , ThoughtSpot relies on a deep architecture that allows for sub-second performance across billions of rows of data. In addition, the tool includes an AI engine that lets users select simple terms, such as product sales, and unearth complex, valuable insights to questions they might not have known to ask.

Two of the biggest names in the Business Intelligence and Analytics category — (also a Sapphire Ventures investment) and Tableau — were recently acquired within days of each other for a combined total of $18.5 billion. Google (GCP) and Salesforce made these acquisitions because of the recognition that BI and Analytics are becoming the lifeblood of all enterprises as they transform themselves to be more agile and data driven. However as we know companies that get acquired often have a short shelf life and they become slower to innovate. The void left in the market because of acquisitions have to be filled and that is where a company like ThoughtSpot with its unique search-based analytic capabilities and a truly incredible management team to fill it.

Instead of delivering this information in technical jargon, ThoughtSpot displays the results of its queries in natural language, so that everyone — from frontline employees to C-suite executives — can quickly understand and take action.

Sample ThoughtSpot product UI

Since its Series A in 2012 , the company has taken off. It now counts more than half of the Fortune 10 as customers — along with major enterprises like Walmart, Hulu, Daimler, 7-Eleven, and Rolls-Royce. Revenue has jumped 132% in Q2 FY20 compared with Q2 FY19 (sales by 195%), allowing the team to expand into Singapore, Tokyo, Dusseldorf, and India. Internally, ThoughtSpot has grown employee count by more than 65%, to nearly 500 employees, and has been recognized as a Technology Pioneer by the World Economic Forum, one of the 100 most important cloud companies by Forbes, and one of the 50 best private cloud companies to work for by Glassdoor and Bessemer Ventures.

Sudheesh Nair, CEO, ThoughtSpot

In his new role, Sudheesh has not only proved himself to be enormously talented at hitting and exceeding goals for growth — he also has a rare empathy and understanding of organizational behavior. At a time when so many tech teams are balancing the pressures of scaling with the desire to remain creative and experimental at their core, Sudheesh has a unique ability to balance the personalities, values, and skill sets of early-stage employees — many of whom thrive in a chaotic, experimental environment — with later hires, who often bring more operating experience and appreciate order.

Yes, we think ThoughtSpot has an amazing product, but if you want to know the real drivers behind ThoughtSpot’s ascension, I would point to the culture Sudheesh and Ajeet have created that includes:

  • a transparent and supportive work environment for all types of talent;
  • employees with missionary-like zeal, who go above and beyond their job descriptions; and
  • flexibility to pivot when challenges and opportunities arise.

It’s a privilege to continue the journey with Sudheesh, Ajeet, and the entire ThoughtSpot team. This is a rare opportunity — and we’re incredibly excited for what’s to come.

Disclaimer: Nothing presented within this article is intended to constitute investment advice, and under no circumstances should any information provided herein be used or considered as an offer to sell or a solicitation of an offer to buy an interest in any investment fund managed by Sapphire Ventures. Information provided reflects Sapphire Ventures’ views as of a time, whereby such views are subject to change at any point and Sapphire Ventures shall not be obligated to provide notice of any change. Companies mentioned in this article are a representative sample of portfolio companies in which Sapphire Ventures has invested in which the author believes such companies fit the objective criteria stated in commentary, which do not reflect all investments made by Sapphire. A complete alphabetical list of Sapphire’s investments made by its direct growth investing funds is available here . No assumptions should be made that investments listed above were or will be profitable. Due to various risks and uncertainties, actual events, results or the actual experience may differ materially from those reflected or contemplated in these statements. Nothing contained in this article may be relied upon as a guarantee or assurance as to the future success of any particular company. Past performance is not indicative of future results.

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Jai Das

Written by

Jai Das

Managing Director at Sapphire Ventures. Chief cheerleader of portfolio companies. More bohemian less bourgeois. Supporter of all who create music and art.

Sapphire Ventures Perspectives

Thoughts and perspectives from the Sapphire Ventures team

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