Cohesity: winning the $40B+ data security & management market

Ideas / News / Cohesity: winning the $40B+ data security & management market

02.16.2024 | By: Ashu Garg

I attended the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) longer ago than I’d care to admit. It was formative in my journey into technology and eventually venture capital. So when I joined Foundation Capital, I wanted to give Bay Area IIT alumni a place to connect. Through regular gatherings, we’ve both strengthened bonds within this community and welcomed more than 20+ ex-IIT founders into our portfolio. 

Mohit Aron and I had some crossover at IIT, and after reconnecting at these events, we became close friends. He was a former Google engineer who, at the time, was the Founder and CTO of Nutanix, a pioneer in hyper-converged infrastructure (that would go on to become a decacorn). In conversations, it became clear that Mohit and I shared similar ideas on the importance of data for enterprises: data was becoming the new gold. Every company would need infrastructure to manage, protect, and extract value from its data. 

At the time, data management was so fragmented. Enterprises were obtaining valuable data at exponential levels with no one place to store it, creating sprawl. As a result, ransomware boomed. This was also the dawn of AI, which would bring new value to an enterprise’s data. Companies could use it to train their GPTs, as well as use generative AI to more efficiently extract insights from that data.  

Mohit started Cohesity—the leader in AI-powered data and security management—to solve these problems. He was the lead on the creation of the Google File System (GFS) and founded Cohesity to build something similar for data management, giving all enterprises Google-like data capabilities. 

That vision strengthens today. Cohesity recently announced its intent to merge with the data protection business from secure, multi-cloud data management platform Veritas. Together, Cohesity and Veritas address both the challenge of data protection and the opportunity to leverage AI to gain valuable insights from that data. Post the merger, Cohesity will have over 10,000 customers (including 96 of the Fortune 100!) and $1.6B in annual revenues. As a clear market leader in its segment, other than Databricks to scale to over $1B ARR, this merger positions Cohesity as one of the iconic and enduring companies in enterprise software. 

Foundation Capital has been investing in AI companies since 2010. Early in that journey, it became clear to us that for AI to be pervasive, a new and more secure datastack would be required. We invested in Cohesity in that context. As part of the same AI thesis, I also led investments in Databricks, Fortanix, Skyflow, and Anyscale, while my partner Steve Vassallo led our investment in Cerebras

The investment in Cohesity, in part, was forged by the relationship I developed with Mohit over years of getting to know each other. He’s brilliant and tenacious (just listen to my interview with him on my podcast, B2BaCEO, to hear his framework for evaluating ideas). He’s also so unique, possessing a rare blend of product and consumer-facing chops you don’t often see. I developed a personal and familial relationship with Mohit where I got to experience many of these traits in a setting outside the boardroom. 

I’m proud to support Mohit and Sanjay Poonen on this journey, and we at Foundation Capital are proud to play a small part in Cohesity’s vision.

Published on 01.31.2023
Written by Foundation Capital

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