Reltio: Making Data Management Cool Again
By Rajeev Dham, principal, Sapphire Ventures, and Nino Marakovic, CEO and managing director, Sapphire Ventures
Master Data Management. If that doesn’t make you jump out of your chair, we understand. After all, compared to the buzz surrounding robotics, AI/ML, drones and the rest of the “cool” areas within technology, data management may not come to mind as the next exciting area of disruption. But, for better or worse, we dig categories that may be deemed less cool — look no further than the enterprise service bus and our investment in MuleSoft.
As such, we’re excited today to announce our Series C investment in Reltio, a modern cloud-based data management platform provider. We’re particularly enthusiastic about partnering with companies that are either creating or re-inventing large categories of enterprise software, especially those that do so by introducing paradigm shifts that go beyond solely moving on-premises software to the cloud — enter Reltio. Further, we’re always looking for great entrepreneurs that demonstrate deep domain expertise, execution capabilities and a clear, strategic vision, and we think there is no one better than Manish Sood, CEO of Reltio, in this regard.
Before we delve into our investment thesis, it’s worth noting that my colleague Nino and I have invested in this space before. In fact, look no further than our investment in Krux, which was subsequently sold to Salesforce.com for last year. The idea that Krux could play the role of a B2C CRM by combining first and third party datasets to enable smarter, on-the-fly segmentation at a massive scale in order to direct more effective marketing for large enterprises is analogous to Reltio in many respects. Reltio is also coupling first party master entity data with third party datasets to provide a modern data management platform that can ingest and resolve data entities — customers, products, etc. — in order to allow workflow systems, such as a company’s CRM, to operate better. After all, we’re constantly reminded of the acute need for cleaner data in order to actually leverage it for better business outcomes. Reltio does just that. But it doesn’t stop there…
Reltio goes beyond providing master data management (MDM) in the cloud. First-generation solutions were largely characterized by long implementation cycles and had zero to limited exposure and interaction with business users. MDM as we had known it was relegated to IT and oftentimes purchased to simply “check the box” for purposes of compliance and governance. Reltio, on the other hand, uniquely allows both IT and front-line business users to interact with and derive value from their data-driven applications and interfaces. We’ve invested behind the theme of “democratizing analytics” before, with companies such as Alteryx and more recently Looker, and now we’re seeing Reltio democratize data management, collaboration and basic exploration, which ultimately generates a multiplier on business value.
Following Through And Building Trust
Finally, and perhaps most compellingly, Manish has done what he said he would do. We first engaged with Manish, Ramon Chen (CMO), Bob More (SVP Sales), Anastasia Zamyshlyaeva (VP PM) and Jeffrey Schlesinger (CFO) over one year ago and were immediately impressed with Reltio’s technology and early traction with large enterprises. At the time we noticed that Manish was able to attract and retain key executives from his prior experience at Siperian / Informatica, which gave us a second-hand sense for the trust others had in Manish. He laid out a plan for us that he, one year later, beat and raised. We rarely see this in our line of work so we came away impressed and ready to invest dollars behind the first-hand trust we had now developed in him by tracking the company over time. Finally, Manish’s understated and poised, yet intensely driven and competitive demeanor is remarkably aligned with the values that we at Sapphire strive to embody.
We’re incredibly happy to partner with Manish and the Reltio team on their journey of making data management cool again!
The information set forth herein is not intended to constitute investment advice and under no circumstances should any information provided herein be used or considered as an offer to sell or a solicitation of an offer to buy an interest in any investment fund managed by Sapphire Ventures. Sapphire Ventures does not solicit or make its services available to the public and none of the funds are currently open to new investors. Past performance is not indicative of future performance.
Any portfolio companies referred to above do not necessarily represent all of the investments made or recommended by Sapphire Ventures, and were not selected based on the return on Sapphire Ventures’ investment in them. It should not be assumed that any specific investments identified and discussed herein were or will be profitable. Not all investments made by Sapphire Ventures will be profitable or will equal the performance of any of the companies identified above. View all of Sapphire Ventures’ investments here.