Ayasdi is transforming how the world uses data to solve complex problems with an automated insight discovery platform that helps organizations operationalize insights from their data. The company was founded in 2008 after a decade of research at Stanford, funded by DARPA and NSF. Ayasdi’s Insight Discovery platform uses Topological Data Analysis (TDA) which combines a large number of machine learning techniques to enable business people, domain experts and data scientists to achieve value from their data without the need to invest man-years writing code or fruitless queries.
IN HIS OWN WORDS
FOUNDER/CEO, Gurjeet Singh
Build, accelerate and march towards the future
When we took financing from KV, we had competing term sheets from three other VCs, but we turned them down. In my discussions, I found that there are two types of venture capitalists. The first is the accounting type who worries about execution and quarterly numbers; they’re focused on the short term. The second type, of which there are not many, are people who care about the future and how to build, accelerate and march towards it. Of all the people in the second category, Vinod was the best, which is why we started working with KV even though it was not the best possible financial terms.[KV] knows how to bring new technology to market and what the challenges associated with that are. That’s a rare expertise to find.
Assembling the best team
I’m a first time CEO with an academic background in computational math. It was very important to assemble a team with a business focus and experience in a lot of things that I do not. At the beginning, the problem was that I didn’t have credibility to hire these people, but KV and Vinod, in particular, were very useful in helping me hire the very best people and convincing them that Ayasdi is a good opportunity.
Infrastructure over the long term
Vinod helps us focus on longer-term problems – how to build the right sort of infrastructure over the long term. For example, our company is centered around discovering knowledge from data, so one debate we have is whether we should own data or not. He helps us see clearly what the long-term focus should be and many decisions we’ve made around product have been influenced by KV.
Bringing new technology to market
The company would have been very different without KV’s involvement. In fact, I believe it would have been hard for Ayasdi to survive without KV. It boils down to the fact that the technology is something that’s never existed in the past. Very few VC firms understand that. The benefit of working with KV is that they know how to bring new technology to market and what the challenges associated with that are. That’s a rare expertise to find.