Neil Patel

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Serial entrepreneur Dheeraj Pandey has raised tens of millions of dollars for his latest tech startup. He took his first venture, Nutanix public, and has now moved on to DevRev. Top-tier investors like Mayfield Fund, Firebolt Ventures, Bradley Horowitz, and Khosla Ventures have funded the startup.

In this episode, you will learn:

  • Business models
  • The future for developers
  • Fundraising


This episode is sponsored by Zencastr, my #1 podcast tool. They provide a crystal clear sound and gorgeous HD video. What I love about it is that it records separate audio and video tracks for me and the guests. Plus there is a secured cloud backup, so you never lose your interviews. It is super easy to use and there is nothing to download. My guests just click on the link and w start recording. Go to Zencastr and get 30% off your first three months with a PRO account.

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For a winning deck, take a look at the pitch deck template created by Silicon Valley legend, Peter Thiel (see it here) that I recently covered. Thiel was the first angel investor in Facebook with a $500K check that turned into more than $1 billion in cash.

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The Ultimate Guide To Pitch Decks

Moreover, I also provided a commentary on a pitch deck from an Uber competitor that has raised over $400 million (see it here).

Remember to unlock for free the pitch deck template that is being used by founders around the world to raise millions below.

About Dheeraj Pandey:

Dheeraj Pandey is the Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Nutanix. Dheeraj brings over 12 years of experience working at high-growth enterprise technology companies. Prior to founding Nutanix, Dheeraj was VP of Engineering at Aster Data where he built the engineering team from the ground up, overseeing the development of multiple releases of the product.

Prior to Aster Data, Dheeraj was at Oracle where he managed the development of a storage engine for Oracle Database and Oracle Exadata. Dheeraj holds a Masters in Computer Science from the University of Texas at Austin, where he was a Graduate Fellow, and a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Kanpur, where he was adjudged the Best All-Rounder Among All Graduating Students in All Disciplines.

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Connect with Dheeraj Pandey:

Read the Full Transcription of the Interview:

Hey, guys. Today’s episode is brought to you by Zencastr. I remember back in the day when I was looking at putting together Zencastr. I was looking for a solution that would help me in putting things together. Essentially, this is what allowed me to bring DealMakers to life. Basically, Zencastr, what it is is an all-in-one solution where you just send a link to the person that you’re looking to interview. They would plug in their computer with their video, with the audio, and then you are good to go. You would piece everything together, give it to your audio engineer or even edit it yourself, and you are off to the races. Now, if you’re looking at getting into podcasting, you should definitely check Zencastr out, and you could also get a 30% discount, and this is the discount code that you will be able to redeem by going to Lastly, I was very much blown away when I found out that investing in wine has been one of the best-kept secrets amongst the wealthy. This is now not the case anymore. I came across this solution, which is called VinoVest, and they are a great solution that allows you to diversify investing by implementing or including wines into your portfolio. Take a look at this: wine has one-third of the volatility of the stock market, and yet it has outperformed the global equities market over the past 30 years with 10.6% annualized revenues. It’s a really good way to diversify your portfolio, and you could also get two months of free investing by just going to, and by going there, you will be able to redeem your discount.
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Alejandro: Hello hello everyone and welcome to the dealmaker’s show. So today I really find that this interview and this case is gonna be mindblowing. He’s built a massive company before he’s now at it again. And in fact, we’ve had some of he is a. Co-founders on the previous company also on the show. They’ve gone out to do other billion dollar companies I mean oh bolievable the team and un boy. Well the founder that we’re gonna have today. So I guess without further ado. Let’s welcome our guests today Dira Panday welcome to the show.

Dheeraj Pandey: Thank you alanro grateful.

Alejandro: So originally born in putna there in India one of the most populated areas in the country. So how was life growing up there.

Dheeraj Pandey: Um, you know, very simple grounded this was before Bangalore took off. It was a fairly good tier 2 town of the same caliber as bangalore and hydroad and some of the other cities people hear about. And my father was constantly moving to different cities but education was an important piece of the puzzle for values when parents had this value that you should get educated in good english medium schools and so we decided to stay in putna and my father would travel around the state. Um, and ah you saw a lot of things you know you saw ah middle-class values. Um, you know you understood empathy you you got a lot of help from relatives and and others because you know I grew up in the state which was probably the most corrupt and lawless back in the day and. My father would stop getting paid for like six nine months at a time he was and he was a government servant on a salary and you could see the ah the ill effects of politics and the the dark side of democracy and corruption and socialism and all that stuff as well. Um, but I think ah I learned a lot about giving because we we got so much from our relatives as well and friends and um I think at the same time you know you could see the silver lining of ah math and science and english and all the good stuff that actually. Ah. Was part of my life as well. Which basically makes me who I am today

Alejandro: So why coming to the us and you know also coming to the us was your first experience getting on an airplane right.

Dheeraj Pandey: Ah, yeah, quite something you know this. So after my senior year. Ah, basically in my junior year I had a fork in the road I could have stayed back in India this is 96 in my junior year. Um I figured you know I think I’ll keep it. The options open. It’s always about optionality I you know I applied to some good schools. Um, you know, got some really good offers to ah come to ut austin Arbana champaignne Southern California and places like that and I had a fork in the road I could have joined. Ah. You know Deloitte in Chicago or which was the first year they were recruiting directly out of India I could have joined Unilever in India or I could have pursued a ph d in computer science and decided to actually come to the us and build a better foundation of Computer Science so that’s when I came to. Austin but and and you know there was a fellowship that I had received from the university so I’m very grateful to ut Austin but um, they didn’t pay for my flight ticket. So I had to go to a couple of these conglomerates in India the tartas and the mahndras and they gave me $3000 and I left a thousand bucks with my parents I bought a ticket for $1000 back in the day this is 97 august of 97 and um I had nine hundred bucks in my pocket and ah my this is my first flight of and never really taken a flight in life till um, that time and I was almost 22 so it was quite an exhilarating experience. You know and very humbling and at the same time once you have it is like you know the kind of enthusiasm fizzles out because it’s like a bus ride.

Alejandro: Right? And then also I mean I’m sure that you know coming to a different country I mean so far away to different culture different everything I’m sure that that was one of the very first times in your life I mean obviously now you’ve dealt with it as an entrepreneur left and right with it with uncertainty you know. But thing I’m sure that was the very first time where you were really present to uncertainty in your life. Yeah.

Dheeraj Pandey: um no absolutely in fact um I remember um I was still getting used to the americanisms like and at the subway and I so you know really developed a liking for subway it was closed within the campus in Austin. And ah, the first day I went there. They’re like for here to go and I didn’t know what that meant you know so they asked me the question for here to go and I said yes and that was embarrassing because one of my friends would been there a couple of years like what are they asking? You is whether you want to have it here or you want to do it for go and I think those are the things that. Are etched in memory for you. Um, as to how you learn a new culture. Um, and and how everybody else around you helped you like there were folks who had been here at the university for a couple of years. You know we stayed at their place for fifteen days until we could lease an apartment and everything so all form memories. You know.

Alejandro: Now one memory that I’m sure that you embrace is meeting your wife online. You know, definitely you know some of the tools that the America gave you ah okay.

Dheeraj Pandey: Good memories.

Dheeraj Pandey: Yeah, absolutely I mean internet was still a luxury at homes. But at the university in our computer labs. It was basically in abundance and I was two months into this country October of 97 and I bumped into a website called. Http:// and there was a room called bombay and there was like 20 odd people chatting this is still in the early days when even Messenger was was actually a luxury um or irsc was just taking off but you know I bumped into this girl i. Chapter to throw for like 9 hours straight and 2 3 weeks later we start to call each other and you know there was long distance date for three and a half years before we got married.

Alejandro: That’s incredible and and one of the things here is you ended up dropping out and even before you know, starting New Tonics I’m wondering you know like how your experience of being you know first on trilogy software then you went into. The the startup and then you know to oracle you know, right? prior to to starting the business I’m wondering what each one of those experiences taught you because I think very rich experiences do because you’re able to first see the corporate side then the startup site then more like the innovative you know corporate side of things. So what were so how do you think those experiences really shaped the way that you were seeing things.

Dheeraj Pandey: Um, you know, ah trilogy was all about hiring and recruiting machinery from colleges. They were the best I mean even Microsoft would shudder to compete with trilogy back in the day. The best of the best from the top 50 universities came and worked at trilogy software in Austin. But also you saw the other side of trilogy the excesses you know, like how much money was being spent and this is the dot com this is 99 you can imagine the height of the bubble. You learned how not to ah you know, get ahead of yourself. Ah, but the other good part about trilogy was the network you know people are very helpful to each other I mean again, young people growing together because they’re all out of school. Um I think it was probably the thing that continues to more than 2 decades later people still help each other they’re trologians they know about each other you know. Um, I think the startup for 3 years this is when the bust had happened the the bubble had burst. But 4003 again you learn a lot about how when you raised money? How do you really spend it what does product management mean how do you not build a top heavy company. Ah, and again recruiting was everything I met the best people in my life at that startup because the young talent was amazing coming out of school that joined that startup but you also learned a lot about shipping code and and just putting your head down when there is everything that’s melting around you which is what was happening. How do you not worry about everything else and you know be mindful and stay focused and so on and I think you know again Oracle was about shipping code and learning from the large enterprise requirements and. You know configurability of software and large scale. Ah you know, sort of distributed systems. Um, you know, just amazing. You know I mean this was the time when Oracle was kind of becoming like an Ibm or at least in the early stages of that when changing a lot of code was considered. Ah. Um, you know, heretic. You know it’s like it’s it’s heresy to change so much code and destabilize something that was looking like a mainframe sooner than later you know so I bumped into piple. Um he and I became great buddies. He’s a Ceo of Rubrik right now but he was the first investor. Ah, later in 2009 when we started newutanics so make great friends obviously itching to do something I figured you know I’ll apply to business schools in 2006 I applied to only the top 3 schools in business.

Dheeraj Pandey: And by ah 7 you know I had this thing following in me like I got rejections from all 3 of those places you know Harvard Stanford and Wharton and you know at the same time I realized looking back that it was the best thing to happen to me because if I had graduated in 2009 out of business schools I probably would never have started newanic so you know. Big um, know student of fatalism I believe that everything happens for a reason I think itching to get out and do something start. You know, joined astrodata the eleventh Twelfth employee learned a lot about um. You know the the things that you miss from oracle and the things that you learn from aster to go and start newutanics in 9.

Alejandro: Now new tonics. Um what a founding team I mean we’ve had you know the other founders too on the on the show Ajit mohid now. Now you’re here with us and Tim I got to tell you I’ve been blown away every time I’ve I’ve spoken with with one of you guys. And it’s incredible. How you’re all you know now going you know in different directions and and really building remarkable companies separately and independently from what you did in newtonnics. But I guess you know for the listeners too because team is really everything. And that’s why investors are always like what do you look for team team team team team and and you don’t really get that until you see something like this or for example in Google many of the early employees of Google have also gone out and and done amazing things. But how did you guys? How did the band you know, sort of speak come together. And how did you guys really come with the idea of newtonnics and then to say let’s go.

Dheeraj Pandey: Um, you know as to say necessity mothers invention being at astor during the global financial crisis was quite an experience this is zero Eight Zero nine again we were extremely like heads down focused on building a product. But there was a time when you realized that you know you have this fire in the belly and you want to really bring it out and shape this company assterdata and you couldn’t because you know the founders their hands were also tied. You know they had to figure out the right balance been product and. Go to market. We had an early win at asster with with myspace. You know this is myspace way bigger than Facebook back in the day in oh 8 and you also realize that when you get an early large win on a. You know building an analytics platform for of the hottest brands in the world. Not just in the valley but in the world. Um, you basically forget the sort of this balance that’s required within innovation and go to market and what does the product market fit mean and so on and and. We were just itching to go do something because we knew that we could build a company based on our gut call as well. So you know one thing led to another the financial crisis was a big part of it. We had started to see the advent of hadoop which was open source and how do you compete with open source as a proprietary software. And the idea was to go embrace something as supposed to continue to be cornered into a niche. Ah you know sql back in the day was unfashionable now. Obviously we know Sql came back ten years later to become ah sort of the dolling of everybody with snowflake and and all that. But. Back in the date was like wow every developer wanted to do just open source and disparit systems and batch processing and Java and things like that. So I think there was this fire in the belly around what things did the world need and 1 thing led to another we had started talk early 2009 we spent six months just thinking about how we want to really shape our own careers and that basically became newanics we didn’t have ah the strongest of idea that was just that we wanted to really do something of our own. We knew that we had better distributed systems and we wanted to really go make it elegant I mean Apple was. New thing in town app store and you know just the iphone was there for the first time so there was a lot of learnings about consumer grade design which up until then was elusive in most developers’ lives so between that and the hunger for building a disputed system that the world would like.

Dheeraj Pandey: You know we came about newutanics. The nebulous idea became a little more concrete a little more concrete a little more concrete and by 2011 twenty twelve we thought we had a product.

Alejandro: And then what ended up being the business model for the people listening to really understand how do you guys make money with new tennics. So.

Dheeraj Pandey: So the idea was that we ah took data management which was ah still a hard problem and always we be hard problem in the data management but really make it available to the compute side people. You know the virtualization people the vmbare diehards who were you know basically being. Disenfranchised because they couldn’t make the calls and have the agility to really spin up projects and applications and things like that. So we really brought a lot of ah, very profound data management. Ah, sort of skills to them without they having to know much and again this was the learnings of Apple or really abstractions consumer grade design and we packaged it in in hardware because back in the day our software ah just wouldn’t be available. Ah you know on commodity hardware without. A lot of handholding so we packaged it. We were extremely strict about it. We knew the kind of form factors. We’d go into and we at the same time we made it such that it’s not expensive procurement not like million dollars worth of a decision. You could decide to just go $30000 in a time which for its time was very innovative. You know. Now the cloud took it a step further and said no no, no, not thirty thousand but thirty dollars at a time you know? and um I think the idea that you could break down it procurement into smaller things like really small things and incrementally grow over time. Ah basically was very innovative and disruptive for its time.

Alejandro: Now with newtonics. Theres been many instances where you guys say you know touched being dead like near death experiences and many of them. You know with Vmware and you know with hardware stuff with Intel and things like that. But I’m I’m guessing. Um, I guess what were what were the biggest lessons that you learned from those experiences like who do you need to be as a leader in order to really keep moving forward when you have like those experiences in front of you that are pretty scary.

Dheeraj Pandey: Um, I think the biggest one is around turbulence and how does the crew behave in this turbulence because if the crew panics and starts to point fingers and. Ah, you know basically does ah abnormal things then the passengers panic as well and I think it’s really important to have that focus and the staying power to say it doesn’t matter what happened we are all rolling forward. You know. And that role forward was the most important culture that basically kept us going. You know we had you know all sorts of learnings along the way around quality and around packaging and around. Ah you know, distributing hardware and software together which later on we did. Ah. Sort of unravel because we went with pure software and the opposite of what we did in the first three years in the last three four years of my leutanics presence I mean which is the other thing that you have to change your mind because cloud was coming upon us in 2 16 17 after we’ve gone public. So you need to know when to change your mind and when to have conviction I think it’s a really really um, tenuous balance you know, but the most important thing was you know have the staying power. You know in turbulence don’t blame anybody. Roll forward, stay authentic and people around you just appreciate that stability of emotion because if you get ah very emotional then people around you find it extremely thankless and remember you know doing a company is hard. But. Ah, beating incumbents their own game and also making sure that the enemy is not within but outside. It’s even harder you know.

Alejandro: Now the 3 of you were foreigners and when you’re a foreigner and is your first rodeo twin venture is not easy to really gain access to money. How did you guys go about that in order to really capitalize. Well the business.

Dheeraj Pandey: Um, it was a burden hand principle. You know we knew ah bipo because you know I had overlap with him at at oracle four and a half years he’d hired me and then we had become peers. Um, we had created goodborns. He was also. To do a venture capital for the first time because in one nine he had just joined blumard capital and mutanics was a second deal I mean there was trust about people about each other and he was also hungry to basically invest in good people. We happened to be the second team. That he invested in and within ten months he had moved to Lightspeed and you know he and Ravi Mahathray basically again there was this vicarious trust that look if people trust these people then we can trust them too and and we had a good background. You know, um. Between Ajit mohith and myself we had done good things in life. We appeared authentic and and we got that $10000000 check. Um, which was a series a and we converted our safe note at that time so we had raised about thirteen and a half million in the first six months for existence. But it’s all about people and obviously. The the you know the peddigree mattered but more than anything else. The fact that we we kind of knew what we were talking you know and not that we knew everything I mean obviously we changed a lot of our thinking over time based on the market’s feedback. But I think there was a level of authenticity that basically. Investors are willing to bet on.

Alejandro: Now you came here to the us with nine hundred bucks and then all of a sudden you find yourself ringing the bell and taking new tennis public having built a company that is over you know worth over five billion what was going through your mind. When you were ringing that bell.

Dheeraj Pandey: I think first the gratitude for people. Um, you know we made tons of people not just millionaires but 5 millionaires and 10 millionaires you know? um, but more than the generational wealth I think it was just the fact that um, it took so many people to get there. Um, and yet I knew that the journey had barely begun I mean if anything personally I wanted to go public way later, you know, but you know at some point there was these town hall meetings and everybody’s like look don’t just think about yourself think about. People who had to buy cars and pay for their mortgage and all that stuff you know, um, came into calculations. Ah, it was a tough year because 2016 for the first nine months there were no companies that went public in tech or even in all of and nyc and and nasdaq. I mean there was the first crisis in the first three months with oil and the you know saudis selling their ah assets the next three was china catching cold on its economy and then the next two was brexit so in the first nine months there was a real kind of drought where there was no companies had gone public and we eventually when we went out in september end of september sixteen that whole year we were the largest ipo in the in the in the whole year you know and I think that required a lot of patience. You know there were all sorts of. You know media speculation and how this company could never go public and all this stuff I mean there’s lots of people who are just naysayers will actually come at you and ah, you needed to protect your people your customers. Um your investors. Everybody had to be protected in in those nine months so I think it was real great and determination and patience and looking back. You realized that the journey had barely begun because within a year we said we’re going to become a software company because of what was going on with cloud if we knew that we had to be more portable and then become a subscription company and that was a. 3 4 year journey itself. You know.

Alejandro: In your case I mean this was an 11 year journey now as you were saying and and and obviously every company is equals in lifecycles. You know every company transforms every 18 to twenty four months and I find that as the founder and in this case, the Ceo that you were for all this time for over 11 years. You also needed to transform yourself in order to continue at the same pace in parallel with the business. What did you learn about self-develoment and transforming yourself in order to keep up with the speed.

Dheeraj Pandey: Yeah, the first one was about design and consumer grade thinking and learning a lot from Apple I mean even after Steve Jobs passed away if anything I miss him way more now than when he was alive with with us. Ah I have come to appreciate design a lot I mean there was a. Probably a hidden I don’t know artist in me or ah, even an interior decorator in me because I’ve taken so much of that and personal life as well. But I think overall design was a big part of it and not just product design and you know Api thinking and all that but even organizational design like. What does it mean to design things you know, um I think that was probably the biggest one and the second one is um around understanding customers. You know we were so good at ah, bringing developers closer to customers at newanics I mean a net promoter score was. Above ninety for six years and it was just about the empathy for the end user always being subservient to the customer. Um, you know, knowing what it meant to get our developers connected to customers and how that that was the aha moment and if anything a lot of that became fuel for my next company dev rev. But the idea that customer was paramount and being subservient to them was so important basically was a great lesson in that whole decade.

Alejandro: I mean incredible. The amount of time I mean those 11 years could be 70 or one ah hundred and fifty years corporate and I mean what what you did you know during that journey is remarkable and I guess you know, especially after having accomplished so much I mean what led you to say you know what. I think I have it in me to go at it again and.

Dheeraj Pandey:  Um, I think the world with changing around us with subscription and cloud I mean everything was being streamed from the internet and we had done a massive transformation going from hardware to software to subscription in those four or five years ah but things were. Continually going into the ether as a saas software or as infrastructure as a service or platform as a service. The public cloud was basically proving that this model of 0 touch low touch. You know commerce with credit cards and. You know the initial bill being $10 and $50 was really here to stay and the fact that grassroots was making calls as opposed to ah you know, very senior it people early on I mean they eventually do but you know in the first you know. $800000 you know you start making. Ah you know a lot of these procurement decisions in a grassroots level I think that was there to stay and I figured when covid happened in 2020 that um I think there’s a model that I still haven’t tried which is the saas model and if anything. Even an extreme version of Saas which is now called product led growth. The idea that you could do 0 touch selling freemium at scale. All those things were actually a big part of what I was very curious about so. Ah, you know and at some point you had to realize that you know if you didn’t do it now. You probably would never do it so I’d turn 45 2020 and I figured. Ah this idea of streaming. Um you know solutions from the internet is basically the thing of the future. Let’s go and give it a try because the next five years once I turned 50 it would have been much harder. There’s a psychological barrier to starting company when it turned 50 even though people have I figured it was the right time.

Alejandro: So then how did you go about putting you know the team together here. So.

Dheeraj Pandey: Again, the burden hand principle is people you know and there’s people that you want to learn from I think it came together lots of people that I had worked in the past not just in newutannics. But even folks that um I had interviewed. Um. At Astradata and you know we’ve just had come to form these memories about people that I would respect and they respected us as well. We all came together. Um in late Twenty Twenty Early twenty twenty one? Um, but a big chunk of the dev rev. Um, you know employee base is actually out of college. So these are new college grads and I remember going going back to lessons of trilogy that they can form a great foundation and be a great compliment to some of the experienced people that I’d worked with this in that last decade again designers were a big part of our thinking so we built a really really prominent design team product management team. Um, and many people that I wanted to learn from based on their experience out of salesforce and you know Apple and you know. Airbnb and all these companies consumer. Great company that I really wanted to work with and and learn from.

Alejandro: So then what’s the business model of de rave.

Dheeraj Pandey: Um, we are trying to go after developers we are like look um we feel like you’ve been kind of managed all this while by every manager. On the face of this earth. You know there’s release managers support managers escalation managers project managers um sales Managers. You know they’ve always been managed even though you know going forward their code is going to drive so much. Not just the product but support and sales and growth. They’re all going to be engineered with code. So. The goal here is to really go and convince them that they need to be closer to the customers. They need to know more about customers and all the tools which if there’s so many of them Now. There’s back office issue management tools and. You know, business misenure tools and support ticket tools and slack is there for collaboration with not just internal people but sometimes with customers. There’s product analytics tools. There’s lots of tools and they all become too expensive and therefore they. Either stay with support people or with product managers or with only developers and and so on we just feel like there’s a way we can democratize Data. We can bring collaboration together where everybody learns and collaborates together including customers you know and that’s very important that. We don’t make this exclusive for just vendors like Saas companies but also their customers. So The idea is we go freemium and we do freemium at scale and you know the fact the matter here is Pg is a lot about 0 touch and low low touch. It’s its new sort of. Concept that’s been emerging and talked about for the last couple of years product led growth where the product sells itself a lot now. There doesn’t mean freemium forever. But the fact that you’ve put enough Nudge theory in there and the fact that you can convince people to come and pay for it later on is a very important part of the puzzle. You know. Um, the the important thing here is that you build this at scale because engineering here will matter because over time if you didn’t do this for $10 a month kind of subscription or even ¢10 ah kind of consumption. Then you’re failing the developers of the future.

Alejandro: Now after your experience with newtonnics I mean you you definitely build you know as well as many many people their generational wealth and in this case, you know on the seat round of devif you went at it a little bit different this time. You know you you just raised a massive seat. Why did you think it was better to get outsiders to to jump in as opposed to maybe you know you pushing this a little bit you know with your own means and and then maybe you know, get people later on.

Dheeraj Pandey: Um, I think we’re going through a very interesting balance. You know we’re being ah making sure that we can shore up enough cash because it’s a you know, very um, ambitious project to really integrate a lot of this stuff and do a freemium company. Ah, build a consumer grid sort of business model behind it at the same time. You’re also being very stretchy. So on 1 hand, we’re being chasy and saying look first of all, we’re not diluting a lot because it’s going to be a safe note and you know at some point it’ll convert when you start to show value. Ah, for our end users in the market on the other we are saying we have to be extremely stretchy with the dollars we have so we don’t splurge because these are some really good lessons. We learned from not just trilogy. But. Zambile my first startup in the valley to even you know surviving 2 financial crises. You know one which was the internet bubble burst and then the global financial crisis at both times I was working for startups. So it’s very important to build a grassroots up company rather than. Very top heavyavy company. You’re also doing some amazing work out of Slovenia and Bangalore and now chenai. Um, so I think we’ll be really trying to bring the right balance between not deluting too much making sure we have. Enough money in the bank to run a premium model over time but at the same time being stretchy with the dollar.

Alejandro: Because the seed round that you guys did what was that 50,000,000

Dheeraj Pandey: Yeah I mean effectively, it’s more than that I mean we’re also streaming in some ten fifteen after the fact after the 50 but there’s been amazing demand and I mean and of course there’s still a lot to be done to. I mean there’s no guarantee of success just because you’ve done it once because this is I mean a second gig is as good as the first gig it’s like having a second child. You know it’s it’s different child than the first one you know, um

Alejandro: Yeah, yeah.

Alejandro: But probably easier and the us to to raise money this time I’m sure that this time around people are begging you to give you the money not as not as hard as with new tenings that you needed to bang on a few more doors. No so.

Dheeraj Pandey: It was.

Dheeraj Pandey: Yeah, no, you’re right I mean I was reading the book in the innovation stack recently and in the first few chapters Jim talks about how despite the fact that Jack had Twitter as a success in his pocket. People would still not come to believe square’s initial business model. So I think it’s very humbling and very grounded I mean very grounding to know that just because you’ve done it once doesn’t mean that you’ll actually end up getting the benefit of the doubt right away and I think that. Ah, humility is important because the market is is all powerful and the idea that you have needs to go through the rigors of the product market fit. You need to be having you know the fierce resolve of your opinion. But at the same time knowing that you’ll have to. Pivotared micro pivotvot along the way is an important piece. So yes, raising money was easier but going and proving that you have something that is worthwhile for your end users and your customers and very delightful is going to be just as hard if not harder.

Alejandro: And in this case, imagine you go to sleep tonight and you wake up in a world Five years later where the vision for deaf re is fully realized what does that world look like

Dheeraj Pandey: Um, five years is at least 10,000,000 users. Um, maybe a large percentage of them being monthly active users even daily active users. The fact that developers product managers. Support managers. They’re all coming together with endusers in a very extensible, highly scalable way. But also all the way from small companies to very large companies. You know how do we really get that delight going that look this is very Apple like you know and I love coming to it. And at the same time It’s configurable for what I really want to do because developers at the end of the day. They also don’t want it to be a black box. You know it has to have customization of the object model the workflow engine and all those things. So um, you know we should aim to be like another. I would say um you know this kind of ah wildfire that spreads so fast because of word of mouth rather than spending hundreds of millions in marketing and buying the eyeballs it actually happened because. Developers and product managers and designers actually cared to spread the word.

Alejandro: And imagine if I put you into a time machine and I break you back in time you know back in time you know at that point where you know you’re thinking about what’s next you know, maybe like launching a company of your own imagine you have a chance to speak with that younger the rush and then you’re able to give yourself 1 piece. Of advice for launching a business. What would that be and why given what you know now.

Dheeraj Pandey: Um, that’s a very profound question. Um I would say culture is everything and because what’s happening with developers now is that they’re looking at their jobs. As a 1 ne-year thing and they all want to be working from home and dispersed and remote so connection will be the biggest ah business differentiator you know connection with your own employees first before its connection with the customers. You know. Connection with your employees will mean a lot because the purpose has come to miss now I mean because they are changing jobs so often they look at themselves as doers as supposed to definers I feel like being able to really give your makers the ability to to say they can help define the business. Is the only way you won’t have such a revolving door of a business you know and I know honestly the biggest thing that any entrepreneur is dealing with right now is talent ah purpose making sure you know. In fact, I’m going to talk about this that while that we don’t have. Lots of hundredpl plus Million dollar developers why do we have such few 10 plus million dollar developers the reason is because they are fickle in their overall sort of ability to stick it someplace and work at some place and it’s not the problem with them. As much. It is the problem with the purpose. The fact that they don’t connect to the purpose they connect to their code and what they build today and test today and deploy tomorrow. But at the end of the day. The business sense and why the customer matters is probably missing from the makers and if you can. You know, avoid this revolving door of talent I think businesses will actually be a whole lot more efficient and companies will actually have a product market fit sooner and probably more efficient business models in the future.

Alejandro: I Love it So there is for the people that are listening. What is the best way for them to reach out and say hi.

Dheeraj Pandey: Um, Twitter it’s at dire and also Linkedin the Reg Pan Bay

Alejandro: Amazing! Well Deras. Thank you so much for being on the dealmaker show today.

Dheeraj Pandey: Thank you Breathful again.

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