Neil Patel

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In the bustling landscape of entrepreneurship, where dreams collide with reality, and visionaries transform industries, few narratives resonate as profoundly as that of Armon Petrossian.

From his humble beginnings in Portland, Oregon, to the pulsating heart of Silicon Valley, Armon’s journey is not just a tale of success but a testament to the power of perseverance, innovation, and the pursuit of a bold vision.

Listen to the full podcast episode and review the transcript here.

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The Portland Upbringing

Born and raised in the picturesque surroundings of Portland, Oregon, Armon’s early years were steeped in the spirit of entrepreneurship. As the son of hardworking Armenian immigrants, Armon inherited a legacy of determination and resilience.

Armon’s father, a tireless and incredibly effective real estate broker, instilled in him the values of dedication and self-reliance. Armon remembers going to public schools from elementary through middle and high school and loving every bit.

Observing his father as he went about his daily tasks and how seriously he took his job inspired Armon’s passion for entrepreneurship. As a child, he was selling candy in the treehouse in his backyard to the neighborhood.

Even in high school, Armon would do informational interviews with anybody in his network that he thought was very successful in their careers. One of the interviewees he respected a lot suggested he learn a foreign language. Armon decided on Mandarin since China is a quickly emerging market.

A Global Odyssey: University, China, and Europe

Armon’s quest for knowledge and adventure led him to the University of Oregon, where he embarked on a journey that would shape his destiny.

Fuelled by a thirst for exploration, he delved into the fields of business, finance, and Mandarin Chinese, setting the stage for a transformative experience abroad.

During university, at 20-21, Armon continued expanding his world perspective with frequent travels to Amsterdam, Spain, Italy, and other European countries.

In his opinion, going to foreign countries where you have no past relationships with anyone forces you to realize who you are as a person in the first place.

His travels helped Armon understand and comprehend his own identity. That experience was one of the most illuminating things that brought him closer to himself and who he was.

It exposed him to learning how to create relationships out of thin air and connect with people with whom he didn’t have any preexisting context.

His time in Shanghai, Southern China, was a revelation, a collision of cultures that challenged his perceptions and broadened his horizons.

From the bustling streets of Shanghai to the tranquil canals of Suzhou, Armon immersed himself in a world unlike any other, confronting the complexities of language, culture, and identity.

The WhereScape Incubation: A Catalyst for Change

Upon returning to the United States, Armon found himself at a crossroads, torn between the security of convention and the allure of innovation. He explains that he didn’t have a particular field targeted where he wanted to work. It could be software, tech, or real estate.

However, Armon was passionate about finding someone he could model his career after based on their skill sets–a mentor. And the person he found was at WhereScape.

He remembers thinking that if he could match even half their charisma, energy, thinking, communication, and skills to fill in the blank, he could be very successful in his career regardless of where he went.

Joining forces with like-minded visionaries at WhereScape, Armon delved into the intricate world of data analytics, laying the groundwork for a revolution in the industry.

He entered the company as an ETL intern, gained valuable exposure to the industry as a whole, and witnessed the business’ growth.

WhereScape blossomed into a hub of creativity and ingenuity, and Armon’s entrepreneurial spirit soared. Working at the company would prove to be a launch pad for Coalesce since Armon built many relationships during his time in the company.

Essentially, he followed an unconventional path to founding a software company driven by the desire to work for a specific person. Although Armon did not have any intention to get into data warehousing, data Analytics, or data engineering, it was the best decision he could have made.

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Founding Petrossian Properties

Armon explains that he had always been passionate about entrepreneurship. At WhereSpace, he saw two paths unfolding for the business.

The first was where the existing organization stayed the same. Still, it ended up taking on some investment and started to move in the direction of building a next-generation product.

Alternatively, the business structure would alter as the result of an acquisition and shift gears. Since Armon wanted to build financial freedom, when the opportunity presented, he grabbed it.

He recalls finding a unique code path to circumvent the regulations associated with short-term rentals in the city of Portland, where he was living.

Armon discovered that he could buy homes, convert them into legal bed-and-breakfasts, and advertise them on Airbnb. His foray into the world of short-term rentals, a side hustle born of necessity and ambition, provided the financial freedom to pursue his dreams without compromise.

This was Armon’s first experience being a solopreneur and developing self-awareness to be in a position where he could be in a position of financial freedom.

The business allowed him to build a foundation to maintain the standard of living he wanted while pursuing something that could initially be more risky.

Ideating the Coalesce Concept

Armed with a wealth of experience and a burning passion for innovation, Armon embarked on his most ambitious venture yet: Coalesce.

Teaming up with his co-founder, Satish Jayanthi, a seasoned professional and industry veteran, he set out to redefine the landscape of data transformation and analytics.

By this time, Armon and Satish had worked together for almost a decade, gaining exposure to a large volume of massive-scale data warehouse implementations at WhereSpace. They had learned about the core concept of what could actually solve ubiquitous breaking points.

These points were identifiable on passing the threshold of some of the world’s largest, most complex data warehouses or data engineering projects. Armon and Satish came up with solutions to these problems.

As the core team, the duo had always fantasized about being able to take a concept and all the learnings they had of dealing with these massive scale implementations, starting from scratch, and building a cloud-native solution.

Armon and Satish focused on solving the problem, the biggest bottleneck in analytics today, and Coalesce serves that data transformation component. But since WhereScape was gaining more momentum, it ended up getting acquired.

It became clear to Armon and Satish that what they wanted to accomplish was not going to happen at that company. That’s when they decided to leverage their relationships with partners, customers, and the vision of what they wanted to build. They also had a go-to-market team.

Coalesce: A Vision Unveiled

Coalesce was not just a company; it was a manifestation of a vision—a dream to revolutionize how data is harnessed, processed, and utilized.

Armon and his team forged ahead with unwavering determination and unparalleled expertise, defying the odds and overcoming obstacles with every step.

Armon credits their exposure to the exact space where they wanted to build a product and their relationships with the ease with which they created Coalesce. They quickly navigated the ideation and product market fit phases.

Armon recalls how they were able to shave off several years of the company journey because they had so much clarity about what they wanted to accomplish. That was the genesis of building Coalesce and the key to the phenomenal growth in a very competitive industry.

Coalesce is a software that helps data engineers be exponentially more efficient than any other alternative in the industry.

Customers buy the product as a developer solution and pay an annual or multi-year subscription to license the product. They use it daily when delivering Snowflake data projects.

The Funding Odyssey: Navigating the Venture Capital Landscape

In the high-stakes world of venture capital, Armon’s journey was fraught with challenges and triumphs. From the early days of angel investments to the exhilarating highs of series B funding, he navigated fundraising with grace and resilience.

Armon’s encounters with investors offered valuable insights into the intricate dynamics of the venture capital landscape. With a clear vision and unwavering determination, Armon secured the funding needed to propel Coalesce to new heights of success.

Armon reveals they have raised close to $81M for Coalesce. He recalls that, being from Portland, he had no connections to the venture capital industry, financial institutions, or any type of investors that were focused on high-growth startups.

Storytelling is everything that Armon Petrossian was able to master. Being able to capture the essence of what you are doing in 15 to 20 slides is the key. For a winning deck, take a look at the pitch deck template created by Silicon Valley legend Peter Thiel (see it here), where the most critical slides are highlighted.

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Armon and Satish had to figure out these problems. Fortunately for them, they knew a lot of people who were familiar with the problem area they were trying to solve. This factor helped them raise close to $1M from close connections and people who believed in what they were going to build.

These entities had seen the problem firsthand, giving the duo a bit of fuel to build the Minimum Viable Product that they could then go and pitch to potential customers.

However, to kickstart the fundraising process from the venture capital industry, Armon had to move to San Francisco. Having no connections in the city, he had to start from scratch and figure it out.

As Armon quickly learned, there are many venture capital firms, some of which have well-known brand names that most founders are familiar with. Others may not have a strong brand associated with them but have the sharpest, most knowledgeable people managing the firms.

The Future Unveiled: A Testament to Resilience and Vision

As Coalesce continues to redefine the boundaries of data analytics and transformation, Armon remains committed to his mission—to empower organizations with the tools and technologies needed to thrive in an ever-evolving landscape.

For Armon, the journey is far from over; he explains that the biggest issue in the analytics industry today is the process of taking data, once it’s landed in its raw format, and getting it to the point that it’s consumable in a way that has proper governance.

Data needs to have proper documentation, minimal technical debt, and traceability or lineage, which are common terms in the industry, and that is a fractured approach. There’s a fractured architecture of different technologies.

There isn’t any clarity for people with varying technical skills, and, as a result, there isn’t any holistic view of what goes on in the manufacturing or assembly line of taking the parts of the data and getting it to the final product.

The Coalesce vision is for organizations that can produce data faster than the consumers of data could ever imagine. There should be visibility into how things were built and what was built with a level of modularity and standardization.

This allows them to make changes quickly in a world where analytics projects flourish, and insights are available at the snap of the finger for any decision anybody would want to make when driving their companies forward.

In Conclusion

From Portland to Silicon Valley and beyond, Armon’s journey is a testament to the indomitable spirit of the human spirit and the boundless possibilities that await those who dare to dream.

He advises founders to be disciplined and build habits that allow them to manage all levels of their lives healthily and sustainably–mentally and physically.

These habits will lay the foundation for robust entrepreneurship and help fortify them to navigate the roller coaster journey of starting a company.

Listen to the full podcast episode to know more, including:

  • Armon’s journey from Portland to Silicon Valley showcases the power of determination and resilience.
  • Armon’s immersion in China and Europe broadened his horizons and fueled his entrepreneurial drive.
  • Armon’s side hustle in short-term rentals provided the foundation for pursuing his entrepreneurial dreams.
  • Armon’s deep understanding of data analytics paved the way for Coalesce’s revolutionary approach to data transformation.
  • Armon’s journey from angel investments to series B funding underscores the importance of unwavering determination and clear vision.
  • Armon emphasizes the importance of building habits and systems to sustain a healthy and sustainable entrepreneurial journey.
  • Armon’s mission with Coalesce is a testament to the transformative power of perseverance, innovation, and unwavering belief in a bold vision.



For a winning deck, see the commentary on a pitch deck from an Uber competitor that has raised over $400M (see it here). 

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The Ultimate Guide To Pitch Decks

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


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Neil Patel

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