EIR Success Story: Oded Horovitz
CEO and Co-Founder, PrivateCore
Oded Horovitz had a vision to develop an innovative private computing platform that would allow individuals to safely use cloud computing resources without ceding control of their software or data. Horovitz’s vision was out of reach to most of the people he pitched the idea to. In fact, most engineers didn’t think it was possible. But Horovitz wanted to try anyway.
Horovitz met Ashmeet Sidana of Foundation Capital, who was looking for a solution to this problem. He immediately understood the ramifications of Horovitz’ invention and invited Horovitz to become an entrepreneur-in-residence at Foundation Capital. The EIR program at Foundation Capital has served as a launch pad for the creation of PrivateCore, which would build software solutions to address the privacy concerns surrounding public cloud computing infrastructure.
“My belief was that if I could solve this hard problem, I could build a valuable company,” Horovitz said. “It was about building the product and finding markets who would be interested in a solution for this problem. I was confident then that I could make progress and get funded.”
Despite his entrepreneur-in-residence status, there was no promise that Foundation Capital would fund PrivateCore. Similarly, Horovitz wouldn’t commit to working with Foundation, but did pitch the partners at Foundation Capital before going elsewhere.
In addition to taking advantage of the Foundation Capital partners and other EIRs to discuss ideas and the operational aspects of starting a business, Horovitz made himself at home in the office. To help conduct his research, he bought a server and installed it in Foundation Capital’s server room. Although peculiar, this allowed Horovitz to fine-tune the software that would become PrivateCore.
Ultimately, Foundation Capital did invest in the company – “a fundamental advance in virtualization” – as Sidana called it – with a $2.25 million investment in June of 2012. PrivateCore has since lined up nearly 30 customers and anticipates launching its first product later this year. With tens of millions of servers in existence, Horovitz one day hopes to have PrivateCore running on many of them.
“Cloud computing is a booming market with high-growth opportunities,” he said. “We are excited about Foundation Capital because they believe in our story and look at this problem the same way, and they helped me turn my vision into a product and a company.”