Author: Philippe Botteri

Your cloud data needs a reality check: our investment in Cyera


This post is by Philippe Botteri from Cracking The Code


 

Yotam Segev (left) and Tamar Bar-Ilan (right), cofounders of Cyera


The complex equation of data reality


With AWS, Azure and GCP growing 40-50% YoY at massive scale (AWS’ run rate is more than $70B!), it’s fair to say that migration to the cloud is in full swing. That said, some large sectors like financial services and healthcare only started to migrate their core workloads and data to the cloud more recently. With less than a third of workloads currently migrated, there’s still a long way to go*.

 

One of the benefits of the cloud is that it gives development teams more agility and flexibility, but with increased flexibility comes the downside of a loss of control and visibility. This is a particularly acute issue for data, which is the most valuable and sensitive asset of many businesses.

 

On top of the move to the cloud, the volume of data continues to grow exponentially. Latest estimates are that the 65 zettabytes (1 zettabyte = 1 billion terabytes) of global data in 2020 will have nearly tripled by 2025**. With digital transformation accelerating and new AI based applications being created and perfected every day, this growth isn’t set to stop anytime soon. Add to this the constantly increasing compliance and privacy needs, including GDPR and CCPA, and the growth of cyber threats, and you end up with the following equation:

 

Data reality: 
cloud migration x growing data sets x increased compliance x cyber-attacks 
= big headache for CTOs (Read more...)

“Focus is everything” – Melio’s Matan Bar


This post is by Philippe Botteri from Cracking The Code


 


This post is part of Accel’s Secrets to Scaling series, where leaders from across our portfolio share their learnings and advice with the next generation of European and Israeli entrepreneurs building global winners.


The first time I met Matan, Melio's co-founder and CEO, he told me that his mission was simple: he wanted to “help small business stay in business” by making B2B payments fast, simple and flexible. Coming from PayPal, Matan saw no reason why small businesses couldn’t pay their bills as easily as consumers send money on Venmo - in just two clicks. He and his co-founders Ziv and Ilan have made this happen, with the company now processing multi-billion dollar payment volumes just over two years after launch. 


Back in September, the company announced its $250 million Series D. As well as tripling the company’s valuation to $4 billion since January 2021, the round came as the company grew its monthly processing volumes by 5,000% in 18 months. I sat down with Matan to discuss his tips for hyperscaling with teams across two continents, the importance of focus, why the team set up a bookkeeper in New York, and much more…


Let’s start with your journey before starting Melio. You were head of PayPal consumer products, which is where you experienced first-hand the digitization of payments for consumers. And then you realised that there was a gap for B2B. So, tell us more about the inspiration for Melio…

At PayPal, I led the group responsible for (Read more...)

Accel 2021 Euroscape: On the path to global dominance?


This post is by Philippe Botteri from Cracking The Code


 


The Accel 2021 Euroscape was unveiled earlier today at SaaStock EMEA and you can view the full presentation here.


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The European and Israeli cloud ecosystem is accelerating as never before.


Back in 2016, Europe and Israel had only four public companies worth less than $9B combined and local cloud companies had raised just $900M throughout 2015. Today, Europe and Israel have generated 23 public companies worth $231B and private cloud financing reached c. $30B. The $900M of SaaS VC funding in 2015 now represents less than Europe's largest financing round, with Celonis raising $1B in June this year.


And the milestones don’t stop there: 

  • Europe generated the largest cloud IPO of 2021, with UiPath closing its first day of trading with a $36B market cap
  • Europe and Israel minted the two fastest cloud companies to hit unicorn status, with Wiz (14 months) and Hopin (17 months)


So now feels like the right time to ask: “Are Europe and Israel on the path to global dominance?” 





Before answering this, let’s take a look at what happened in the global software and cloud market over the last year.


Global market snapshot

The world now has 10 software and cloud giants worth more than $100B, representing $4.1T of market capitalization. This world of giants is dominated by one colossus: Microsoft. The company weighs in at more than half (55%) of the entire group and grew its market cap by $600B+ - more than the nine other companies combined! In 2014, (Read more...)

“To build a community, you need to focus much more on the user than on the buyer” – Snyk’s Guy Podjarny


This post is by Philippe Botteri from Cracking The Code


 


Cybersecurity unicorn Snyk was founded in 2015 with the mission to help developers make their code secure. Just a few years on and Snyk has evolved from being an open source vulnerabilities scanner and to becoming the world’s first developer security platform that start-ups worldwide can build upon. Snyk customers and users collectively have run more than 300 million tests in the last 12 months and fixed more than 30 million vulnerabilities in the last 90 days.

 

As the company announces its $530 million Series F at a valuation of $8.5 billion, it’s clear that Snyk is driving the industry’s shift to a new developer-centric approach to security and is now the undeniable leader in this space. In 2021 so far, the company has:

 

  • Increased annual recurring revenue by 154% year-over-year
  • Grown its customer base to 1,200+ companies, including established enterprise leaders and emerging hypergrowth technology companies
  • Hired and onboarded 320 employees, projecting 800+ by year end
  • Delivered more than 40+ new product features
  • Acquired FossID to expand license compliance and C/C++ capabilities


I sat down with co-founder Guy Podjarny to get his tips on building a community, how to deal with hypergrowth, the importance of having people across multiple offices and continents feel like one team and more…

 

Let’s start with your entrepreneurial journey. You’re a serial entrepreneur - some of your companies have been acquired and Snyk’s a great success. What attracted you to entrepreneurship, coming out of the 8200 Intelligence Unit?

 

I’ve (Read more...)

Accel 2021 Euroscape submissions are open – apply now!


This post is by Philippe Botteri from Cracking The Code



- This article was co-authored with my colleagues Lucy Wimmer, Varun Purandare and Candice du Fretay. The Accel 2021 Euroscape will be presented at SaaStock in October.

You can now put your company forward for Accel’s 2021 Euroscape, the list of the top 100 SaaS companies across Europe and Israel. All information submitted is confidential and applications close on 31 August, 2021. If you want the chance to increase your company’s visibility across the ecosystem, APPLY NOW!

It’s now five years since Accel launched its inaugural Euroscape report - SaaS Wars: Europe Awakens. Back then, we could already see that SaaS was exploding in both quantity and quality of companies:

  • 50% of our 10 most recent investments in Europe were SaaS companies
  • The number of companies had grown 4x between 2007-09 and 2013-15
  • The amount raised by European SaaS companies had more than doubled 

However, the increased activity at the early stages had yet to translate into exits, with only four major exits as Qlik, Wix, Zendesk and Mimecast IPOed. The combined market cap of these companies was around $9 billion. By comparison, the US had seen around 60 SaaS IPOs with a combined market cap of close to $140 billion.

Five years on and Europe and Israel’s SaaS landscape hasn’t just awoken, it’s well and truly soaring at all stages. Last year saw an explosion of investment in private cloud companies founded in Europe and Israel, with funding hitting $13 billion. Not only is this a far (Read more...)

“Growth and scaling are the hardest things to get right” – Chainalysis’ Michael Gronager


This post is by Philippe Botteri from Cracking The Code



Earlier this year, Chainalysis announced its $100 million funding round, valuing the company at more than $2 billion and marking the fact that cryptocurrency is now mainstream. Since its Series C in November 2020, Chainalysis has increased ARR by more than 100% year-over-year, doubled its client base and now supports more than 100 digital assets across 10 native blockchains (around 90% of cryptocurrency economic activity). It’s been quite a journey getting here and there’s still a way to go as cryptocurrencies integrate with our global financial system.

I sat down (virtually) with Chainalysis co-founder and CEO Michael Gronager to discuss his learnings from almost seven years at the helm of a high-growth company. He shared his tips for building a global business, hiring, what he’d do differently and more…


The Chainalysis journey

PB: Let’s go back to the start. What was your career prior to founding first Kraken and then Chainalysis? What attracted you to entrepreneurship?

Before Kraken, I was planning and running public research infrastructure projects across Europe. Essentially, I was just doing politics and talking to research councils to get funding. I got to a point where I thought the purpose of the education and research systems we were creating was for people to build companies and that those who could do, should. After a conversation with a colleague, I decided to build something myself. I started coding iPhone apps and got one off the ground for a US company. This gave me some financial freedom, (Read more...)

Nicolas Brusson discusses BlaBlaCar’s journey from French success story to global winner


This post is by Philippe Botteri from Cracking The Code



“It was all about being practical and preserving culture” 

- BlaBlaCar's Nicolas Brusson

Last month, BlaBlaCar announced its $115 million funding round to support its growth strategy and continue its mission of becoming the go-to marketplace for shared travel. Since its founding in 2006, BlaBlaCar’s story has had many chapters. After rapid international expansion across several continents, as the founding team brought Silicon Valley’s global ambition into Europe, and the extension of its offering to buses and multimodal transportation, BlaBlaCar is preparing for the travel rebound expected as the world reopens. Throughout the pandemic, the company’s community-based model showed strong resilience while the importance of its culture and values shone through. Today, more than 90 million BlaBlaCar community members travel by carpool of long-distance buses across 22 markets. 

Co-founder and CEO Nicolas Brusson spoke to me about BlaBlaCar’s early ambitions to be a European rather than local country winner and its progression to global player. From the company’s approach to international expansion and encouraging entrepreneurship within the team to the importance of avoiding technical debt and setting aside time to “think, read, absorb, and rethink”, read on to find out more…

Let’s start at the beginning. How did you end up heading to Silicon Valley from France to join a startup?

It was entirely by accident to be honest! The original plan was to finish my master’s degree, do a PhD at Berkeley, and become a scientist. But the Valley in 1999 was a new world of startups, venture (Read more...)

Gloat: the marketplace unlocking workforce potential for Fortune 500 companies


This post is by Philippe Botteri from Cracking The Code



Fun fact: it seems that I end up investing in a cloud HR company every seven years. The first one in 2007 was Cornerstone OnDemand, the second one was Peopledoc in 2014 and the third one is Gloat in 2021. What all of these companies have in common is the ambition to create a category in the HR space: Cornerstone OnDemand pioneered talent management in the cloud, Peopledoc focused on HR Service delivery in the cloud and Gloat is launching a totally new but very high potential platform - an internal talent marketplace that unlocks the workforce potential of large companies. 

As companies are in the midst of adapting their teams to be more flexible and take advantage of remote working, new tools are needed to optimise productivity and ensure equality of opportunities. Gloat has pioneered the Talent Marketplace to solve that, and it’s now becoming a strategic tool for global enterprises. Some of the world’s largest, most forward-looking companies are already benefiting from the workforce agility enabled by Gloat’s AI-powered platform. As the company today announces its $57m Series C round led by Accel, I sat down with Gloat’s co-founder and CEO Ben Reuveni to discuss what inspired him to set off on this entrepreneurial journey, how he has seen approaches to talent change in light of COVID-19 and much more…

Please tell us a bit about founding Gloat, and what inspired you to start the company?

I was in Israel’s intelligence unit, surrounded by computer gurus, (Read more...)

Salto – Bringing DevOps to Cloud App Configuration


This post is by Philippe Botteri from Cracking The Code



Team Salto in their Tel Aviv office

Around 10 years ago, I was lucky(!) enough to have the task of configuring Salesforce for our London team. While a great tool for many organizations of all sizes and across all industries, “lightly” customizing Salesforce for Accel’s internal use cases was neither a quick nor fun experience. Far from it. Fast forward to today, and the pain point is still here, but we now have a technology team to implement and run our tech stack, which includes, Salesforce, Netsuite, Slack, and many others. And while Salesforce has made some improvements when it comes to user experience, it still requires quite specific knowledge of its rules and syntax.

You might well ask: why is this more of a problem today than it was a few years ago? The answer is the cloud. As cloud computing and applications have become more prevalent in every size and type of company, configuring these applications remains a pain point that business operations and IT departments know all too well. And the configuration headaches don’t stop following the initial integration, they continue over applications’ years of use. To give some examples, Salesforce, NetSuite, HubSpot, ServiceNow, Workday, Coupa, Zuora, Workato, Marketo, Jira, Zendesk, Oracle, SAP Ariba and SuccessFactors, MSF Dynamics, SharePoint, and many others, form the core infrastructures of large and small companies worldwide. And yes, they all need to be configured to different degrees in order to address specific business needs. Some companies have up to 250 of (Read more...)

From humble beginnings to market leadership: UiPath rings the NYSE bell!


This post is by Philippe Botteri from Cracking The Code




UiPath rings the bell at the NYSE

Sometimes the most surprising outcomes originate from unexpected beginnings and we are honored to be part of the UiPath story.  

Founded in Bucharest, and now headquartered now in New York City, UiPath rang the bell this morning at the NYSE, becoming the largest public cloud company born in Europe. Congratulations to Daniel Dines and the UiPath team for this incredible accomplishment!



UiPath was founded in Bucharest in 2005, selling computer vision technology to OEMs. It was a difficult time of exploration and iteration, as many founders experience, and it took 10 long years to build the company from $0 to $1mm in revenue, a difficult phase.  During those early days, Daniel and the team learned the importance of humility and it became the cornerstone of the company’s culture:


“Humility gives you the opportunity to course-correct fast. I think this is the most important business lesson that I ever had in my life”

Daniel Dines


The key breakthrough came in 2015 when Daniel and his co-founder Marius saw how computer vision could be used to emulate human behavior and automate repetitive tasks for every range of business processes. With this vision in mind and a small 10 person team, UiPath shifted course, launched its first robotic process automation (RPA) and went on to become one of the fastest-growing cloud companies of its generation.  After going $0 to $1mm in their first 10 years, UiPath has now hockey-sticked to over $600mm in revenue in (Read more...)