Diary of a builder: How we got to $4.2B and where we go from here

At the end of 2019, I did something few senior leaders ever do: left my comfortable corporate job at a global, multi-billion dollar software organization to join a little known Series E analytics startup called ThoughtSpot. 

The jump came with its fair share of fears (and tears!) What if I did not succeed in this new environment? What if the company did not succeed? Ever since childhood, I’ve felt the need to seek new knowledge and test my limits. So instead of letting these fears get the best of me, I focused on what attracted me to the opportunity in the first place: ThoughtSpot’s mission to build a more fact-driven world. You see, I may be many things — an engineer, a product leader, a strategic executive — but at my core I am a builder. It’s what I do. It’s what gives me purpose. 

I knew I couldn’t pass up this chance to join a team whose entire mission revolved around building the future of analytics. What I didn’t know was that all our plans and timelines for building it were about to be thrown completely out the window by COVID-19. 

Building for the cloud era

It has been an absolute sprint from the start of 2020 until now. We grew our engineering team by 80% and significantly added to our product/engineering leadership team to increase product velocity. We acquired Diyotta to rapidly expand integrations with best-of-breed data services. We launched the Modern Analytics Cloud, our first ever SaaS product, to help businesses turn insights into action. We acquired Seekwell to make operationalizing those insights back to business apps more efficient. And we transformed our software stack to be completely API-driven, enabling acceleration of our integration with the cloud ecosystem (across cloud based applications, data systems, data modeling tools, and data science services) so we could focus on becoming the business intelligence reporting layer of choice for the modern data stack. All this, while customers were banging down our doors for more capabilities, more quickly, to navigate the thrash of the pandemic. 

Fortunately, our bet on the cloud paid off. In the last year, we secured our first 100 enterprise cloud customers, grew ARR from cloud products by 250%, and today announced $100 million in Series F funding at a new valuation of $4.2 billion — Making ThoughtSpot one of the largest  analytics companies in history.

While these milestones are exciting in themselves, what excites me most is how this funding will accelerate our product growth. The building never stops. And here’s what our customers have to look forward to in the quarters ahead. 

Expanded capabilities for business users

ThoughtSpot was built with a focus on the common knowledge worker. Our vision for analytics is that it should be easy for everyone in your organization to use and get value from. Our consumer-grade UI and intuitive search capabilities make this possible. But we are only 2% done. 

The next phase of our efforts will see us leverage the cloud ecosystem to solve even more business challenges, ranging from increasing data fluency to keeping a pulse on business-critical data KPIs. And we don’t just want to help you track these KPIs, we also want to automatically alert you to why changes are occurring so you can take action right in the moment. 

A new mission control center for analytics

At the same time, we will continue to invest in being a powerful platform for analysts. With the launch of the Data Workspace, we are excited about ThoughtSpot’s integration with the open source ecosystem and DBT. And with support for custom SQL models, the entire SQL-savvy community is welcome to try ThoughtSpot with their own SQL-based models. 

The flexibility to work with either DBT, custom SQL, or ThoughtSpot Modeling Language (TML) based models, means analysts can develop, share, re-use, and maintain analytics-as-code using the software principles and tools that are right for them. And as we evolve our capabilities, you can look forward to deeper cloud services integration enabling you to implement advanced analytics in software by bringing your own functions or leveraging cloud based ML services. 

Embedded analytics made simple

As data continues to eat the world, we believe insights must be available to users wherever they are. ThoughtSpot Everywhere makes it easy to embed analytics into any data app or product, and we will continue to build on this by integrating SeekWell’s reverse ETL technology within ThoughtSpot so you can push insights back to your favorite business applications and collaboration platforms. 

Additionally, application developers can look forward to an industry-leading API playground, public APIs, and advanced customizable, low-code capabilities within ThoughtSpot Everywhere. It’s an exciting way to enrich your modern application with embedded reporting and analytics and engage users to take actions on business insights.

Building the future of analytics together

Thinking back on my decision to join ThoughtSpot, I’m so glad I did not let fear of change get in the way of pursuing this once in a lifetime opportunity. I get to work with an incredible team of builders every day (did I mention we’re hiring?) and it brings me so much pride to know that we’re not only building a more fact-driven world, but fundamentally changing it for the better. 

There is a saying that goes: If you want to go fast, go alone, but if you want to go far, go together. I believe the same is true for us as product builders. No one engineer can build the future of analytics alone. Ours is a story of many courageous entrepreneurs, leaders, and analytics heroes. I want to thank everyone who has helped us get to where we are today. 

And if you want to see what we’ve already built, you can get started with a free trial of the Modern Analytics Cloud today. I’d love to hear your thoughts, so we can continue building the future of analytics together.