Neil Patel

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In the ever-evolving landscape of technology, certain visionaries stand out for their ability to innovate and transform industries. Sanjit Biswas, a seasoned entrepreneur, has navigated the entrepreneurial terrain with remarkable success.

His latest venture, Samsara, has attracted funding from top-tier investors like Raison Wealth, General Atlantic, General Catalyst, and Warburg Pincus.

In this episode, you will learn:

  • Sanjit Biswas’s journey underscores the importance of resilience and innovation in navigating the ever-evolving landscape of technology.
  • Meraki’s success story highlights the significance of creative problem-solving, blending hardware and software, and the role of venture capital partnerships in scaling a business.
  • Samsara’s market-first approach to digitizing physical operations showcases the importance of identifying industries in need of technological transformation and providing comprehensive solutions.
  • Samsara’s growth strategy emphasizes not overcapitalizing early, focusing on achieving product-market fit, and later securing substantial funding for faster growth, including a successful public offering.
  • Transitioning from Meraki to Samsara, the founders carried over lessons on the importance of a customer feedback loop and maintaining a customer-centric culture.
  • Samsara’s vision of leveraging sensor data, analytics, and AI for impactful actions aligns with real-world success stories, emphasizing the potential to coordinate and align frontline workers for positive environmental and safety outcomes.
  • Sanjit’s advice to aspiring entrepreneurs emphasizes wholehearted commitment to the entrepreneurial journey, embracing risks, and building a positive working environment to navigate uncertainties successfully.

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    About Sanjit Biswas:

    Sanjit co-founded Samsara to make it easier and more affordable for businesses to deploy sensors at a massive scale. Prior to Samsara,

    Sanjit was the CEO and co-founder of Meraki, one of the most successful networking companies of the past decade.

    Sanjit grew Meraki from his Ph.D. research into a complete enterprise networking portfolio with cloud-based management that revolutionized the deployment of large networks.

    Meraki’s sales doubled every year from inception, earning the company tens of thousands of customers. In 2012, Cisco acquired Meraki for $1.2 billion.

    Under his leadership, Cisco Meraki continued to grow at over 100%, making it one of Cisco’s fastest-growing product lines in history.

    Sanjit has been recognized as a TR35 honoree by MIT Technology Review and a Technology Pioneer by the World Economic Forum and has received awards for academic research in computer networking.

    He also serves on the boards of ThousandEyes and Highfive Technologies and is an investor in several startups.

    Sanjit holds a B.S. in Computer Systems Engineering from Stanford and an S.M. in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from MIT.

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    Connect with Sanjit Biswas:

    Read the Full Transcription of the Interview:

    Alejandro Cremades: Alrighty hello everyone and welcome to the dealmakerr show. So today. We have an amazing founder that is joining us. You know we have a founder that has done it multiple times you know now he is on his second company. The first one basically got acquired by Cisco for 1 point, 2000000000 the second one he is now taking it public. Over 2000 employees I mean talking about impact today we’re gonna be talking about how he made his co-founder and what a people tell moment that was for him as well as going through an acquisition you know of that size especially being your first company and then also thinking about scale. You know when you. Build you know a company of the caliber and size and and scope like the one that he’s building now as well as now operating a public company a little bit different than really being on the private side of things. So again, brace yourself for a very inspiring episode today and without farther ado let’s welcome our guest today. Sanjit bi wise welcome to the show. So originally born in Canada technically because you grew up. You know in Texas and also a blend with California so give us our walk through memory lane. How was life growing up.

    Sanjit Biswas: Um, awesome. Thank you Alejandra.

    Sanjit Biswas: Life is good. So yeah I was born in Canada my parents were academics so they immigrated from India my dad ended up becoming a professor at a college in Texas so we moved there and that’s really where I grew up elementary school middle school great years made a lot of friends. It was a good. Good place to grow up and then we eventually ended up moving as a family to California which is where we went to high school which is awesome if you’re in tech we became part of Silicon Valley and there’s just technology everywhere this is back in the 1990 s so the birth of the internet and worldwide web if you remember all that. And stayed here to go to college and then I was ah undergrad at Stanford and then was fortunate enough to go to mit for grad school which is where my entrepreneurial journey kind of started when I met my cofounder.

    Alejandro Cremades: So 1 thing that is really amazing here is the resilience that also builds up when you switch locations at such a young age you know is new. Friends is dealing with you known is uncertainty I’m sure that that has shapen who you are today sanjit. How would you say that it did so.

    Sanjit Biswas: Yeah, you know as you can imagine all these different places have very different cultures and when you’re new. You’re just trying to figure it out, especially in ah at an age like that transition to high school. Everyone’s kind of in that like awkward phase if you’re the new kid. You don’t have the friends. You don’t have the the circles of of communities that people that have grown up in the area have so definitely makes you resilient to your point I ended up. Actually when we moved from Texas to California I started high school but actually started high school at a very young age. So I was about twelve years old in ninth grade which is 2 years younger than everyone else and at that point you’re you’re quite physically different right? like you’re literally shorter than everybody else and and much smaller. So that. Was an interesting episode of my life which is we moved from Texas to California different area and the way I made friends was actually through technology. So I found ways to show them how to use the internet as we were talking about earlier. Um, and it was actually a really fun way to meet a lot of people very quickly. So anyway, I kind of turned that disadvantage into an advantage I think.

    Alejandro Cremades: So that problem solving drive that you have where is that coming from.

    Sanjit Biswas: You know I think if you are an engineer by nature. You love puzzles and you love problems and then you like trying to find clever solutions to them so that’s just something that I think has been part of my Dna. My dad literally is an engineer by background. So I think probably somewhere early I got into the the sort of fun of it. And then you know they’re just bigger and bigger problems to solve whether they’re technical you know on the engineering side or business problems.

    Alejandro Cremades: So what? what happened there on the blend that you use between Stanford and mit because it sounds like that was the perfect combination. You know for you to eventually meet your cofounder John so wow how did that happen of of of Stanford and then mit.

    Sanjit Biswas: Yeah, so at Stanford I studied engineering both computer science and electrical engineering and really got into computer networks. So this is again kind of late 1990 s early two thousand s new technologies like wi-fi were just kind of happening at that point and that’s what kind of. Caught my attention and caught my focus so was doing some research as an undergrad really got into it. This was also around the time the dotcom bust so not a lot of jobs out there. So it seemed like a good idea to apply to grad school and really focus on research because it’s it’s a super fun thing to be able to do is spend a couple years on a problem. Um, so anyway ended up applying to grad school was really lucky and fortunate got into mit and decided to move to the east coast and study computer networking so that was kind of the plan. My co-founder john bickett he also was on the same timeline and we ended up meeting on the first day of grad school when we were. You know, put in our advisors new lab.

    Alejandro Cremades: Now What? Ah what? ah transition of events here are ah shifting gears because you wanted to be a professor but eventually didn’t pan out that way.

    Sanjit Biswas: Yeah, you know we we got I would say fairly close because we were grad students for four or five years we wrote a lot of research papers and the work we were doing was really interesting. So for a little context I mentioned wi-fi was a new technology. We thought it could be a new way of providing people with internet access at very large scales. So think a wi-fi network that covers an entire city and that’s what we built our research project was called roofnet we put antennas on roofs very creative name but we were able to basically broadcast these these signals using a mesh network. Made for really interesting academic research. How do you route the traffic. How do you manage so many users but also a lot of practical real world impact because at the time internet was very expensive broadband was expensive and we were able to basically give it away for free to other grad students. So anyway, that was kind of how we got into research it was was a lot of fun. Very productive. And we were all but what’s called all but dissertation. So just basically hadn’t written the big project at the end but right around that time which is in 2006 decided hey we can take this technology and stick it in a box and thought we’d hit pause on our ph ds and and. Give that a shot and that’s what led to our first startup company which is called iraqi.

    Alejandro Cremades: So tell us all Iraqi How was the ah you know the sequence of events that needed to happen for Mor Iraqi to come to live and and what was that ideation all the way to to lunch.

    Sanjit Biswas: So with Moraki you know the idea was really can we take this technology put it in a box make it possible for other people to put up big Wifi Networks we originally didn’t think of it as a startup we thought of a little more as a project which is hey this would just be cool if we could see this research have impact and. The reason it became a company is in order to have devices to put in these boxes. It’s hardware right? So we had to be able to manufacture them pay for them and then essentially transact with with customers mit is not set up to do that mit is a research institution. You can’t you know sell products. Ah as a university so we created the company to help with that. We didn’t have any venture capital right? We’re sitting in Boston we didn’t have a big network of of people and this is before like y combinator for example, so it’s not that we could have applied to a program to get funding and because we were graduate students. We didn’t have any extra money of our own so it actually was a really important life lesson of like. Like he said resilience like how do you make it happen so we found our way to some early customers who were willing to prepay essentially give us payment so we could get the hardware manufactured and then we got the devices out there and that’s what got the flywheel started so the very beginning was essentially a bootstrapping process for us.

    Alejandro Cremades: So for the people that are listening to get it. What ended up being the business model of moraki. How are you guys making money there.

    Sanjit Biswas: Yeah, so in the very early days. It was simply hey check out these devices you can plug them in is basically wi-fi routers that can form a mesh and so on and we charge a couple hundred dollars from them. What became pretty clear though was the value was in the software. The hardware was was sort of the how you made it happen. But the software was what made it very different the routing software the management being able to see all users create guest access all that. So over time we essentially added the license model on top of it where we could run a cloud service and it became cloud networking essentially cloud managed networks and that applied to wi-fi. To ethernet to routing to security. We could use it for all kinds of different networking and that became a really exciting business was good. Gross margin is a recurring revenue or subscription business again. This is fifteen years ago so very different time in the market and something that was truly sustainable. So. That is what and eventually ended up making it so appealing for Cisco to acquire.

    Alejandro Cremades: And what would you say you know made it so challenging on that combination of hardware and software. You know what? what was the challenge because I mean typically you hear this a lot on companies like this not only on The. Execution. But even the way that you know is perceived by potential investors now. But but why is that.

    Sanjit Biswas: Yeah, well you mentioned it’s it’s hardware software and a cloud service. So really, there were 3 pillars there and you had to get all of them right and they had to work for the customer 1 thing to remember is when we were starting moraki in the 2000 s Computer networking had been an industry that was established in the 70 s and eighty s so it was a very mature very well establishished industry. So I remember investors were pretty skeptical that hey can a startup really compete with a market giant like a Cisco systems or Juniper or huawei like they’re these really big companies that are. Well-capitalized you know billions of dollars in market cap can a little tiny company with a few basically students and a couple of million dollars really make a dent and so it was kind of on us to go demonstrate that that could be done the first year of Moroci we basically were self selfunded. We got to a million dollars in revenue roughly without. Raising venture capital at that point Sequoia Capital came knocking and and they were our series a investor they said there’s something here and so that’s when the the true sort of venture backed journey began.

    Alejandro Cremades: Now That’s interesting that you guys decided to to go out it with sequoia because at that point you already had the business validated and to be honest, it was It was probably not an easy decision for you guys too because when you are already producing that level of revenue and having that growth. It’s also very hard to time where you fall as a financing cycle and you don’t want to do it too late or skip financings or how did you go about doing that and bringing secoia on board so that you made sure that. This was time from a financing cycle. You know perfectly.

    Sanjit Biswas: Yeah, you know as much as we’d love to believe we had it all figured out what we really had was the beginnings of something interesting. So we knew that we built a product that people wanted. It was useful to customers. But. We hadn’t yet really figured out the pricing model. Even the price point had you know there’s a lot of work that went into really figure out where this fit in the market. So with Sequoia what we were really looking for was a partnership we wanted to basically work with an investor who wanted to build a business and build one for the long term and that’s what we found there. And it took us a couple of years that enterprise model that I mentioned earlier where we were you know pricing with the cloud service. It took us a couple of years to get there and sequoia was in the boardroom we would kind of go through sort of iterations and and try things very disciplined in terms of making sure we hit our financial plans. But those challenges were always interesting because it forces you to get creative and figure out. Okay, how are we going to make the number next year and the year after so you’re right, there are different points where you can finance a company this happened to be a good one for us because we could get a significant amount of capital into the company maintain a healthy amount of ownership. And then really set ourselves up to build a business as opposed to just find a way to make payroll which is kind of where we were as a bootstrap company like a million dollars of revenue it’s significant but it’s not enough to to really build a big business.

    Alejandro Cremades: So how much capital did you guys raise prior to the acquisition by Cisco.

    Sanjit Biswas: You know it’s been a couple of years but I would guess around 40000000 so by today’s standards not a lot of money and that was over a few rounds.

    Alejandro Cremades: So make us an insider make us an insider to the moment that Cisco knocks on the door and what happened you know what was that progression all the way to getting the deal done.

    Sanjit Biswas: Yeah, so this is kind of rewind the clock back to 2012 so a little over a decade ago the business and and if you remember the global financial crisis had just happened this was kind of a really challenging time to be running a startup company because. Ah, funding really had kind of dried up. We had been through a lot just as a company and customers right? Everyone had gotten very tight with their budgets and so on so we had managed to double revenue as they said basically every single year or or really every single year. Business moroci was coming in at around $100000000 run rate which was really exciting big milestone and back then that was right around the time that you would take typically take a company public so we had good gross margin. We were roughly break even we were growing very quickly and we were getting ready to you know hire the bankers and start the s one process. That’s effectively when cisco came knocking. They said look we have been competing with you guys. We admire the product. We think it’s really innovative. It’s very different and we think it might make sense to consider an option where it becomes part of cisco as opposed to just being an independent private company or a public company. Because cisco did have a lot of brand they had reach that we didn’t have yet as a smaller company and said if you want to really have impact this is something you should consider and so that’s what kind of opened the conversation but to be frank we weren’t looking to sell. We didn’t have a banker. We didn’t run a process where we said we’re looking to try to.

    Sanjit Biswas: Sell this business. We plan to run it as a public company.

    Alejandro Cremades: So how did that initial you know outreach happen was it like a random Linkedin message was it like be I 1 of the investors or or who connected you and Francisco.

    Sanjit Biswas: You know I think it was an email from someone in their corporate development team and we had did I think engage this before two years ago we said hey look we’re just not this. This is not what we want to do from ah next steps for the company perspective. So. We weren’t strangers to them. But we also didn’t have like an open channel of communication because they were actually our largest competitor at the time. So.

    Alejandro Cremades: So what comes through that day. You know that data you’re sitting down and you’re inking the deal your first company. 1 point, 2000000000 exit I mean that’s that’s pretty unbelievable and it a first company first outcome on and especially of that level. It is really incredible. So what was going through your mind.

    Sanjit Biswas: A lot and you know there’s a lot of different factors. You’re wing in terms of the decision. You know there’s some of it which is numbers oriented like you said one point two billion it was a lot back then that revenue multiple was very generous basically Cisco was giving us credit for. Years of basically perfect execution in the future because they knew this business had a lot of momentum I think the last venture round that we’d raised maybe six months before was priced around 400000000 so this is a three x essentially is a big step up. So that part was at least you know clearer right? That hey this is a really generous offer. The part that was less clear was whether it was the right thing to do for the business and for the team because you’re now going to be a part of a much bigger company and that has a lot of implications in terms of how you operate who’s attracted to the business. You know how you get to customers. So that was actually where we spent most of our time debating was is this the right thing to do for moraki over the the next several years and where we kind of came out was we said this is a really interesting idea that we could sell the product under the Cisco label or brand but preserve what’s made it special and that was really what what made the deal happen. But Cisco came back to us and said yes, that’s exactly what we want to do. We’re going to keep you separate. We’re going to run you as a separate basically division or entity and so we maintained our offices in San Francisco mor rocki is still based there cisco moroci it’s called now. It’s gotten a lot bigger. It’s a multibillion dollar business but it’s not in San Jose with headquarters. It’s it’s of course part of the.

    Sanjit Biswas: Platform and they were true to their worth there. So that’s actually what made the deal happen The numbers got got our attention. But really the setup and the commitments they made were what made it happen.

    Alejandro Cremades: So so in this case, the transaction happens smashing outcome ah life changing you know as well, especially financially you know for for the team. Obviously you know at this point you guys work on the integration. You do the vesting and resting for about a little bit over a year but as the saying goes you know wants an entrepreneur always an entrepreneur at what point do you start brainstorming again with John and then thinking that maybe is time to go at it again.

    Sanjit Biswas: Yeah, you know it’s funny. The the term is very much rest invest but I don’t think we did a lot of resting because we we were really excited to now have access to this channel. So we’ve got on planes like we would go see customers and the business actually grew even faster if you can believe it. So.

    Alejandro Cremades: Wow.

    Sanjit Biswas: You know I don’t know how much I can say about the revenue numbers but it was really a very fast fast pace of growth and for us it was about seeing the commitment through like we felt it was it was on us to make sure this was a success to Cisco as Ac choir but also to our team because you know this is their livelihood and I’m really proud of what we accomplished there. It was a tremendous amount of effort and work not just to run mor iraqi’s a business but to integrate it and figure out what you’re going to integrate what you’re not going to integrate or at least not yet and so that was the next two years roughly of our lives. Um, the the revenue again like I said just continued to grow and at some point it was clear that our job was done in terms of. Bringing those 2 businesses together and setting up for success. So we kind of started what we call the process of evaporation we would come to work 1 less day per week in the last couple of months just to make sure the transition was going to be smooth and by the end of it. It. It went off without a hitch. So even though as founders we were moving on the people running the business who had been. With Moroci for some time they were in charge they were in control and they were able to really grow it so that’s kind of what was going through our heads then we took a little bit of time off because we hadn’t really taken a vacation took a couple weeks. My older daughter was born around that time and in November so it’s kind of a good time just like a book ended right? like hey let’s just call this a break. And you know, kind of do nothing for a little bit of time.

    Alejandro Cremades: So then at what point do you realize I think I’m getting bored. You know it’s a maybe I gotta do something with my life.

    Sanjit Biswas: Yeah, you know it didn’t take long. So my co-founder John he he he played a lot of video games I went back to tinkering and all of our friends were still working most of them were still at rocki and you know it’s it’s just it’s a weird thing to be in your early 30 s and still have a tremendous amount of energy. But then say like hey you know? Ah, we’re not ready to be retired. It’s by the way, don’t get me wrong vacations are awesome, but there’s a true sense of purpose you have when you’re building something and doing it with a great team and we missed that so that’s kind of what what got us back into it. It is a big commitment though to start another company because you know the first time through you kind of don’t know what you’re getting yourself into second time you know that it’s it’s a big time commitment. It’s also a lot of it’s a lot of responsibility because responsibility to yourself and your family but also everybody’s on the team. So. That was kind of a big decision for us. But like you said it’s it’s hard to do nothing for a very long period of time I would say about maybe a couple of months and we were ready to dive back in and that was in the spring of 2015 when we started simsar well um.

    Alejandro Cremades: So why some Sarah.

    Sanjit Biswas: Samsara was actually started in a different way than iraqi so Moroci was technology. First we had the wi-fi technology the ideas from grad school. We wanted to to go see that have impact in the world. Sesara was started customer or market. First we had come across the world of operations basically think all the infrastructure of our planet. The. Energy utilities the construction companies. The local governments have run our planet and we’d been exposed to them as customers and we discovered that this was a part of the market that was really underserved like they were running their business on pen and paper. This is 2015 not very long ago and we were kind of wondering. Why has no one brought them new technology and for us as. Kind of second time entrepreneurs. We wanted to have an even bigger impact mor rocki set a very high bar if you look around by the way you go to a Starbucks you see Moroci up ah up there. You know you go to an airport. There’s moroci everywhere etc so we knew that it was possible sets a really high bar but we felt that there was an opportunity to to really move the needle. In in these industries and so that’s kind of how we got started. But again we didn’t know the first thing about operations none of us neither of us had driven a a commercial truck. We never worked in a factory or warehouse and so the first year we just kind of set out to learn and figure out what’s the right product to build. How do we achieve product market fit.

    Alejandro Cremades: So then so then in this case, you know like you did it a little bit different I mean you raised Vc a little bit earlier but I think before we get into that for the people that are listening. What is some Sarah you know how are you guys making money and then why did you go at it differently. You know this time with capitalizing the business.

    Sanjit Biswas: Yeah, so it’s I’m sorry we’re digitizing the world of physical operations. So I mentioned a bunch of different industries but think about the infrastructure of our planet. This is 40% of the world’s gdp by the way we’re all touched by the supply chain by the energy utilities and so on. What we do is we provide a complete system so we have hardware similar to Moroci but we have sensor devices and gateways we have software that runs on all of this hardware and we have a cloud service that that brings the data together and so really, what samsara does is it gets you information about what’s going on in physical operations where your trucks are. If you’re being safe. You know workflow information. So on. We take all that data which is a massive amount of data and then we process it in the cloud and we train things like Ai models to go find insights in that data and then we help our customers take action on that data. So we have workflows we have apps we have alerts things like that. The net result is if you’re a business in operations. You can really significantly improve your safety. For example, you can improve your efficiency you can improve your sustainability because these are big carbon emissions businesses. So that’s kind of the impact that we have and to put it in perspective that. Example customer of ours is Dhl. You know the yellow parcel delivery vans that you see all over so they use us to improve their safety in their operations because they’re on the roads all day long. They use us to improve their efficiency because they’re running routes. They’re trying to figure out how can we do things faster more efficiently with you know this big footprint.

    Sanjit Biswas: And they care a lot about sustainability so they want to basically use the less fuel transition to ev these are all data problems so we help with things like that.

    Alejandro Cremades: So then so then in this case, what? what did you do differently because obviously on the last one it sounds like it was more bootstrapped. You know a little bit different the approach until sekoia came in. You know it sounds like capitalizing here the business. You know what’s a little more proactive. Why why did you guys go a little bit more proactive this time around.

    Sanjit Biswas: Yeah, so with this one we were a bit more sophisticated in terms of knowing that we had access to capital. But again, you don’t want to overcapitalize a business. You need to first find that product market fit. The first year John and I because we had had a significant exit from rocki we were able to essentially be the seed investors for Samsaro so we just essentially loaned the company some money in a convertible note and just got to work like we said, let’s go focus on customers. Once we found the beginnings of product market fit. We knew what that felt like because we’d been through it once before and we said now is the time to go right in order to go scale this business fast enough and really serve customers at scale we should go inject more capital into it and we ended up partnering this time with Mark Andreessen at Andreessen Horowitz who saw the potential for all of this. Sensor data all these you know iot products to go really make a difference to have an impact so that’s kind of how we got off the ground with sesars we initially funded it out of our pockets and then we went and partnered once we had that initial product market fit or at least the beginnings of it. And then from there we were able to kind of go through the stages very quickly because you know we we had the pattern matching right? So we’d seen multiple products at moraki go from 0 to 100000000. We knew what that felt like and what that looked like and we didn’t want to get slowed down by access to capital.

    Alejandro Cremades: So So in this case, what obviously investors were probably throwing money at you I mean the last company one point, $2000000000 exit. You’re like what investors would typically consider a tier 0 founder now those ones that you know that the money is going to the execution. Why did you Choose. You know when obviously you had all these investors that you had access to I mean what were you really looking for I mean were there like a certain you know, maybe like a few checkboxes that you were like this. They need to be a must.

    Sanjit Biswas: Yeah, so because of our experience in the first company with Sequoia. We knew the importance of a high quality venture capital partner as opposed to just money for money’s sake. You know lots of different ways to raise financing especially in the mid 2010 s there were a lot of Vc firms out there. But the partner is who matters the most who’s in the boardroom right? and these businesses by the way they take nearly a decade to really get going. Samsara is now an eight year old company and so think about it. We’ve had like 30 plus board meetings those matter right? The the sort of counseling that you get the sort of diversity of thought the perspective. And so we really focused not just on the money like can we get access to capital but really who is coming with that and and how do they think and in our case, we wanted someone really strategic and we met a lot of different investors. We did have a lot of choice and in this case, Mark actually just stood out as hey this is going to be a really interesting partnership. Ah, because he’s a long-term oriented thinker he’s very strategic and sees the world. A little bit differently so we really like that.

    Alejandro Cremades: So so in this case I mean for you guys the level of scale you know was a little bit different. You know that what you were used to with muraki. You know we’re talking about over two thousand you know employees that you guys have and and the level of growth is just unbelievable I mean what kind of perhaps. I would say like lessons did you take from iraqi that you know you were absolutely going to apply as you were thinking about scale with samsara.

    Sanjit Biswas: Yeah, we learned a lot along the way with Moroci so there were a couple of key lessons. The first was just the importance of running a customer feedback loop so spending time with customers really understanding the real-world challenges that they had and then building technologies to solve that. I think many companies start with a great idea and kind of push the boulder. Uphill we know that’s possible, but it’s actually a lot easier if you’re following customers around saying what else can we do for you and and they open up they share once you solve 1 problem for them. They tell you about all the other problems that are part of their business so that customer feedback loop. The customer centricity was very important. And then maybe the second one which is very related is the importance of the company’s culture and so both Moroci and I’m sorry they’ve been very customer-cented businesses right? running this feedback loop listening for feedback truly becoming a technology partner first and networking and now with physical operations that has served us really well so those are probably the 2 lessons that I would say carried over.

    Alejandro Cremades: Yeah, because I mean you guys I mean with moraki you were more like on the hundreds of millions now with or or 100000000 you know ar now with with with this one with samsar we’re talking about crossing the one billion ar which is incredible.

    Sanjit Biswas: The the most strong.

    Alejandro Cremades: Especially a company that you started from nothing sanjit I mean this is absolutely unbelievable like I guess when you’re thinking too about supporting that scale we were talking about the the investors right? You were talking about Mark Andrisin and I guess I guess the question here that comes to mind is how much capital did you guys.

    Sanjit Biswas: Um, even.

    Alejandro Cremades: Race prior to going public and why going public too versus perhaps you know like doing an acquisition like you did on the last company.

    Sanjit Biswas: Sure so this business raised a considerable amount more capital because we were actually growing it faster and in this case because we had that understanding of product market fit and many of the members of our leadership team had worked with us at moraki so we were able to just go really fast like we knew. Who we wanted to bring in at which point in time from an access to capital perspective. We raised that series a like I said but then very quickly we ended up doing an insight around for the series b in other words Andreessen Horowitz proactively approached us and said we’d like to finance the company some more so you can go even faster because it’s working. Ah, general catalyst which is another venture capital firm him on tanisia and we served on a board together so he knew us and he was sort of aware of the the traction of the business so he got involved in the seriesc and so access to capital was just really not an issue for this business to answer your question I think we raised over $900000000 of vc for this company. Didn’t spend it all a lot of it sat in the bank balance and then when we went public. We raised an additional several hundred million I think eight hundred plus million which again sits on our balance sheet. So in this case, this is a business that is much larger scale like you said them? Rocki we’re also serving a different buyer different audience. So our customers. Businesses that have been around 50 some cases one hundred plus years they’re much more conservative and they want to make sure that they have a technology partner who is well-capitalized and is is rock. Solid. So that’s one of the reasons we wanted to be public was to be able to show them that we have the balance sheet. We have the profitability. We have the the margins etc.

    Sanjit Biswas: Ah, to really be around for the long term.

    Alejandro Cremades: Now this time around a little bit different because the first one private this one is public. Also you haven’t had the best you know years, you know to really be at it. You know in the public eye because the macro environment is absolutely crazy. But. What you guys have done is absolutely insane. I mean we’re talking about a market cup of 18000000000 and in the last year I mean year to date year to date that you see this blood path happening. You guys have increased by one hundred and eighty two percent the stock price I mean it’s just like unbelievable. so so sadit how is it. To operate a public you know company now like Sam Saa versus what you? what you? what you were used to before and what do you think has allowed you guys to experience this type of explosive growth when we’re seeing this crazy macro environment.

    Sanjit Biswas: Yeah, it’s definitely ah has been a challenging environment to be public. But I think we’ve learned a lot along the way. So it forces you to really think hard about what are the sort of fundamental elements of the business that we need to focus on as a leadership team and as a company and for us we knew we were onto something in terms of the. Big addressable market like I talked about the industries we’re talking about 40% of the world’s gdp. So there’s no shortage of of market opportunity if we can go and and drive impact there so we knew the target was was in sight we had a really good sort of core unity economic model which is you know was clear when we took the company public. So we said if we just stay focused. On solving customers problems and and really just being efficient right? So how do we grow but grow efficiently. We should be able to get this company into a really good spot and I think what’s happened you know as a public company report earnings every quarter. What’s happened now is the the transparency being public the the operating margin leverage has been clear. Growth rate has been sustained and now we’re at scale like you said so you know over time things tend to just kind of come out like you’re able to see the the sheer scale of the market. You’re able to see the fundamental value of our business and I think investors have turned on to that over the last year

    Alejandro Cremades: So Sadjit Imagine I mean you see a lot of people that you’ve been able to onboard Amazing. You know the level of and caliber of investors that you’ve also added and now being a public company I think that vision is a big one. You know vision is ultimately what drives everything. So. We’re thinking about vision for Samsar and we’re thinking about you going to sleep tonight Angit and let’s say you’re having this newsose of a lifetime and you wake up in a world where the vision of samsa is fully realized what does that world look like.

    Sanjit Biswas: Yeah, well for us, you know again, we serve the world of physical operations. So our vision is that that this world will run on samsara we think that all of the sensor data all of this you know data analytics and Ai and then being able to take action based on the data. Can be really world-changing so that’s what I’m looking forward to over the next five years and the way we make that impact happens through our customers. You know through their operations because they’re the folks that have millions of frontline workers right? They have millions of vehicles millions of piece of equipment and so they’re at scale by partnering with them. We’re able to go change the world. And so what’s fun about this job by the way is seeing the real-world impact. So I’ve mentioned Dhl and how they’ve been able to prevent accidents in the road. They’re very very large fleeted vehicles right? We have other customers Expo Logistics they’re very big logistics company. We serve some of the biggest biggest in every industry at this point and it’s amazing because we get letters or emails from them. On a regular basis every couple of weeks about hey you helped save this driver’s life or with this really crazy accident that we were able to avoid because of the technology so that feels really good and when we look at the numbers we can do the math on it. We estimate in the last year alone we’ve helped avoid about 200000 accidents. So when you ask about 5 years from now. think we’re going to be able to prevent millions of accidents I think we’re going to save billions of gallons of fuel right? which is going to be good for our customers. Bottom line but also good for the environment. So that’s the kind of impact that I’m looking forward to the next five years

    Alejandro Cremades: So now we’re we’re talking about the future but I want to talk about the past but I want to talk about the past with a lens of reflections andgit let’s say I was to put you into a time machine and I bring you back in time I bring you back in time to maybe 2006 where you and and John and. And we’re thinking about you know, getting started with something and shifting gears and not being a professor but going at it as an entrepreneur. Let’s say you’re able to be right there on campus maybe on mit and you’re able to stop that younger sanjit and have us ah a sit down with that younger sanjit and. You’re able to give that younger sanjit one piece of advice given what you know now before launching a business. What would that be and why.

    Sanjit Biswas: Well, that’s a really interesting thought experiment. Um, you know what I would probably tell my younger self is is just just do it like fully commit to it and do it because what I didn’t mention when we started Moraki John and I actually took leave from our ph d programs and academic research.

    Sanjit Biswas: It can be really it can be really challenging but it’s also it has its own culture and that’s we knew so it was a little bit intimidating to say we’re going to go try this entrepreneurship thing and so what we did is we actually went on leave and we thought hey if this doesn’t work out. We can come back in three months and just pick up right? where we left off finish our degrees and become professors. Um. That you know is is something that kind of led us to be a little risk averse like we’re always like hedging if you will and look the moroci journey worked out incredibly well and I think it was it was just an amazing experience. Not just financially but also from a real world impact perspective. We got to build some great products and we built an amazing team. If I could tell my younger self about that future I think my younger self would have been. Yes let’s go do it that sounds amazing. But at the time we didn’t know what we knew were was all the uncertainty all the challenges that lay ahead but we weren’t kind of visualizing what could happen. Just from a day-to-day perspective in terms of creating ah an environment that we love to work in ourselves.

    Alejandro Cremades: I Love that. So for the people that are listening that are super inspired that will love to reach out and say hi. What is the best way for them to do so.

    Sanjit Biswas: Probably Linkedin shoot me a message just find me online. Ah san itt on Linkedin under sams sorry I would love to hear from you.

    Alejandro Cremades: Amazing, well easy a will sand you thank you so much for being on the dealmakerr show. It has been an honor to have you with us today. Thanks.

    Sanjit Biswas: Thank you Alejandro it’s fun.

    *****

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