Former Nutanix execs launch new startup with $50M seed round

Today a new software company from two former Nutanix executives called DevRev emerged from stealth with a $50 million seed round from Mayfield Fund, Khosla Ventures and several industry luminaries. The company, which aims to bring the coding and revenue processes closer together, already has 75 employees working on the new software platform, which they hope to have ready to launch later this year.

It’s not every day you see a $50 million seed round, but perhaps the fact that former Nutanix co-founder and CEO Dheeraj Pandey and his former SVP of engineering Manoj Agarwal are involved, could help explain the investor enthusiasm for the new project.

Pandey says that he has seen a gap between developers and the revenue the applications they create are supposed to generate. The idea behind the new company is to break down the silos that exist between the front of the office and the back of the office and give developers a deeper understanding of the customers using their products, or at least that’s the theory.

“Dev and Rev are Yin and Yang to each other. In today’s world they are really far apart with tons of bureaucracy between these two parties. Our goal to bring dev and rev to get rid of the bureaucracy,” Pandey told me

The company intends to build an API to help developers pull this information from existing systems for companies already working with a CRM tool like Salesforce, while helping gather that customer information for younger companies who might lack a tool. Regardless, the idea is to bring that info where the developer can see it to help build better products.

The way it works in most companies is customer service or sales hears complaints or suggestions about the product, and tickets get generated, but putting these issues in front of the people building the software isn’t always easy or direct. DevRev hopes to change that.

Navin Chaddha, managing director at Mayfield, whose firm is investing in DevRev, sees a need to bring these different parts of the company together in a more direct way. “The code that developers work on today is used by support as well as marketing and sales. By bringing the world of issues and tickets closer to the world of revenue and growth, DevRev’s unified platform bridges the gap between developer and customer and elevates the developer to a business leader,” Chaddha said.

With 75 employees working on the problem, DevRev is already a substantial startup. As experienced founders Pandey and Agarwal certainly understand the importance of building a diverse and inclusive company. Pandey sees the top of the employment funnel really being focused on engineering, design and business schools and the company is working to bring in a diverse group of young employees.

“[We are looking at ways] to search for talent and to promote talent, to make them into leaders. I think we have an empty canvas by the way, and we have this idea of COVID, and being able to do remote work has really grown the top of the funnel, the mouth of the funnel now can be anything and everything. […] [Colleges and universities] are I would say the real source of all diversity at the end of the day. We have seen how engineering schools, design schools and business schools are actually getting so diverse,” he said.

The company is working to build the product now and reaching out to developer communities on Discord, GitHub and other places that developers gather online to get their input, while testing and improving the product in-house and with design partners.

Nutanix, the founders’ previous company, launched in 2009 and raised over a $1 billion before going public in 2016. Pandey and Agarwal left Nutanix at the end of last year to launch the new company.


What Nutanix got right (and wrong) in its IPO roadshow

Back in 2016, Nutanix decided to take the big step of going public. Part of that process was creating a pitch deck and presenting it during its roadshow, a coming-out party when a company goes on tour prior to its IPO and pitches itself to investors of all stripes.

It’s a huge moment in the life of any company, and after talking to CEO Dheeraj Pandey and CFO Duston Williams, one we better understood. They spoke about how every detail helped define their company and demonstrate its long-term investment value to investors who might not have been entirely familiar with the startup or its technology.

Pandey and Williams reported going through more than 100 versions of the deck before they finished the one they took on the road. Pandey said they had a data room checking every fact, every number — which they then checked yet again.

In a separate Extra Crunch post, we looked at the process of building that deck. Today, we’re looking more closely at the content of the deck itself, especially the numbers Nutanix presented to the world. We want to see what investors did more than three years ago and what’s happened since — did the company live up to its promises?

Plan of attack

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