If you’re running a SaaS company, you want to get your product out to your customer as fast as you can, but actually deploying quickly to your customer can be another issue when considering the use of fragmented firewalls, corporate data centers, and various cloud presences. Replicated is the startup that enables your company to take enterprise versions of your software and ship an installable version to your customer that can easily integrate with existing infrastructure; saving you and the company on the receiving end a whole lot of time, money, and effort. The Replicated founders have a successful exit under their belt to LivePerson and are back to change things up by building a trusted developer tool for enterprise applications.
LA TechWatch spoke with Replicated cofounder Grant Miller about the startup and the company’s latest round of funding.
Who were your investors and how much did you raise?
Our $5M Series A investment was led by Amplify Partners and Webb Investment Network. We had participation from our earlier investors, which included BoldStart Ventures, Founder Collective, TenOneTen, and Mucker Capital.
Tell us about your product or service.
Replicated is a platform that enables SaaS providers to ship an installable version of their application on premise, this means into their customer’s private data center or private cloud. Alongside providing the platform to deliver the application, Replicated also provides Enterprise features, i.e. Single Sign On and Audit Logging.
What inspired you to start the company?
My Cofounder, Marc Campbell and I previously started a company that we sold to a large enterprise SaaS company, LivePerson (NASDAQ:LPSN). We ended up running the mobile product team for LivePerson and we had a first-hand look at the software procurement processes of some of the largest companies in the world. An interesting request that we would occasionally see would be for an on-prem version of the software that they could manage in their own datacenter or private cloud. This was sort of against conventional wisdom that all software would move to the Salesforce model of multi-tenant SaaS. However, the demand was real and when we dug into the reasons we started to understand it more (as it turns out many things have changed in the 20 years since Salesforce started). In particular, we knew that the evolution of devops and the introduction of containers was ensuring that modern SaaS applications were more portable than ever before. We thought a platform might be able to help software developers go on-prem a lot faster so we put our heads down and built an early prototype.
How is it different?
On-premise installations have been around for a long time. But the process of going on-prem hasn’t really changed with the modern standards of software development. We took a look at all the cutting edge technologies and found a way to take an archaic process and make it modern, easy to install, update, backup, configure etc, etc… no one else in the space was doing anything like it.
What market you are targeting and how big is it?
We are targeting B2B SaaS providers that are looking to take their products to larger enterprise organizations. This could include Fortune 500 enterprises and organizations that have stricter compliance around how they use 3rd party software. We’ve currently seen success inside of the developer tool space. We are powering on-premise deployments for over 20 SaaS companies, delivering their applications to over 300 organizations, 20 of which are in the Fortune 100.
What’s your business model?
We take a percentage of our customer’s revenue for each deployment they make through our platform. There are no upfront costs, it’s all success driven. When our customers succeed with their on-premise product through the Replicated platform, we succeed.
How have your previous experiences helped you run the company?
As I mentioned above, my co-founder and I previously started a company that had a successful exit, so we were able to establish a solid chemistry with each other.
What was the funding process like?
Raising money is never easy, it’s a lot of talking about how you got to where you are today and how that sets a trajectory for the future. We were lucky enough to find investors early on that believed in that trajectory.
What are the biggest challenges that you faced while raising capital?
As a company, we hold some contrarian beliefs on the future of the cloud and enterprise software. Our funding process was primarily focused on finding like-minded investors, folks who saw the future of our market just like we see it.
What factors about your business led your investors to write the check?
The most important factor was that we had customers who were paying us. Other factors were our strong technical products alongside unique way of approaching the problem that many SaaS and enterprises have faced for a long time.
What are the milestones you plan to achieve in the next six months?
Growing our customer base and hiring the best possible people for our team. Those go quite hand in hand as if we can continue building a strong team our product will continue to be world class.
What advice can you offer companies in Los Angeles that do not have a fresh injection of capital in the bank?
Focus on understanding the metrics that you believe make your company unique. Then spend all of your time building a company and product that drive those metrics in a positive direction.
Where do you see the company going now over the near term?
We are very focused on hiring and continuing to invest in the product.
Where is the best place in LA to watch the sunset?
On a paddleboard in Venice.