What is ThoughtSpot, and why does it raise so much money?

Tom Paine

Update 8/26/19: ThoughtSpot has a new $248M Series E Round, per PrimeUnicorn Index.

ThoughtSpot is a huge bet.

A $543 million bet on the California-based startup, after today’s Series E.

It is a combination search engine & business intelligence platform. Which makes sense, since the major BI platforms are spending much time and money recently on seeing that customers have the data they need to feed their analytical engines. The search results ThoughtSpot aims to produce are more in the form of relevant data sets rather than individual query results. AI is definitely a big part of the program

There is a law (mine among others ) that says the more moving parts a venture has, the greater the risk. But I’m not being negative; rather I’m hopeful ThoughtSpot is successful. It would be a major advance to the state-of-the-art.

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And it has a Philadelphia presence, with an 8 person office that appears to include some national & regional sales leadership. My guess is its mostly targeting Pharma and Healthcare in this region. John Tecce, manager of North East Sales, is a veteran Philly area account manager.

Also, Central Jersey resident Cindi Howson, creator of the website BI Scorecard, left her VP role at Gartner to join ThoughtSpot as Chief Data Strategy Officer.

By the way, SAP-related Sapphire Ventures co-led ThoughtSpot’s previous round, a $145 million Round D one year ago. It also participated in this latest round.

Comcast is also a user, according to a new help-wanted spot.

One year ago, ThoughtSpot appointed Sudheesh Nair as its new CEO.  Nair joined ThoughtSpot from Nutanix, where he was President.

ThoughtSpot said in today’s release that it was approaching a $100 million annual revenue run rate.

Read ThoughtSpot CEO Sudheesh Nair’s post: Evolution & Rebirth: Why Consolidation Signals a New Era in Analytics

As to why ThoughtSpot has raised so much money, it seems like a considerable amount for a BI startup, though compared to some its not that much an outlier. But Tableau only raised $15 million pre-IPO, and it sold for $15.7 billion. This post by CEO Nair helps explain ThoughtSpot’s mission::

And while most of Sapphire Ventures’ investments aren’t acquired by SAP, its certainly conceivable that SAP might eventually have interest in ThoughtSpot. As one source told me, SAP wants to help customers unlock the value of the huge amount of data they have in their SAP systems (particularly as customers transition to SAP 4/HANA), and it sees ThoughtSpot as a tool to help do that.

Here Nair answers the question, why so much money?

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