Listen Here

| |

Conversation
Highlights

 

Welcome to another episode of Category Visionaries — the show that explores GTM stories from tech’s most innovative B2B founders. In today’s episode, we’re speaking with Suresh Mathew, founder and CEO of Sedai, an autonomous cloud management platform that has raised over $18 million in funding. Suresh shares his journey from leading innovation and platform teams at eBay PayPal to starting Sedai, the challenges and opportunities of launching a startup pre-pandemic, and Sedai’s vision for making cloud management autonomous.

  • Origin Story: Suresh discusses his transition from eBay PayPal to founding Sedai, emphasizing the decision to jump into entrepreneurship and how the pandemic provided a surprisingly favorable environment for starting a new company.
  • Vision for Sedai: The inspiration behind Sedai was to create an autonomous system for cloud management, akin to autonomous vehicles, aiming to enhance safety and comfort without replacing human operators.
  • Market Adoption and Traction: Sedai’s journey from building the first MVP alone to securing over 20 enterprise customers, illustrating the shift in market perception where autonomy in cloud management is now seen as safer and more efficient than mere automation.
  • Defining a New Category: Suresh outlines how Sedai is pioneering the autonomous cloud management category, a concept organically tied to the evolution of microservices and the intrinsic need for autonomous systems in modern software architecture.
  • Competitive Landscape and Unique Value Proposition: The discussion navigates through the plethora of tools in the cloud management space, highlighting Sedai’s distinct approach to uncovering efficiencies and opportunities that are often overlooked by traditional systems.
  • The Future of Sedai: Looking ahead, Suresh envisions Sedai expanding its autonomous management capabilities across all cloud-native platforms, aiming to become the go-to solution for autonomous cloud management.

Actionable
Takeaways

Embrace Unfavorable Conditions as Opportunities:

Suresh's decision to start Sedai right before the pandemic showcases the value of launching a startup during uncertain times. For B2B tech founders, this highlights the importance of resilience and finding opportunities in adversity. Consider leveraging difficult market conditions as a catalyst for innovation and growth.

Making the Engineer to CEO Transition:

The transition from being an engineer to a CEO involves shifting focus from solutions to problems. Tech founders should cultivate a deep understanding of the problems they aim to solve, rather than being overly attached to their initial solutions. This mindset fosters adaptability and ensures that your venture remains aligned with market needs.

Category Creation Through Vision Clarity:

Suresh's journey underscores the power of clear vision in category creation. When defining a new market category, clarity and conviction in your vision are essential. This not only helps in internal alignment but also in communicating your value proposition to customers and stakeholders, thereby establishing your company as a leader in the new category.

Customer-Centric Product Evolution:

The evolution of Sedai from its MVP to serving over 20 enterprise customers highlights the importance of customer feedback in shaping product development. Tech founders should prioritize direct engagement with customers to gather insights and feedback, ensuring that product evolution is driven by real user needs and problems. This customer-centric approach is critical for scaling in a B2B environment.

Recommended Founder
Interviews

Romaric Philogene

CEO of Qovery

Romaric Philogene, CEO of Qovery: $4 Million Raised to Help You Deploy Your Apps on AWS in Seconds

David Siegel

David Siegel of Glide

David Siegel, CEO of Glide: Over $20 Million Raised to Power the Future of No-Code Application Development

Alan Shreve

CEO and Founder of Ngrok

Alan Shreve, CEO and Founder of Ngrok: $50 Million Raised to Help Devs Deploy SItes, Services, and Apps

James Evans

Co-Founder and CEO of CommandBar

James Evans, Co-Founder and CEO of CommandBar: $24 Million Raised to Build the Leading AI-Powered User Assistance Platform

Ramiro Berrelleza

Founder and CEO of Okteto

Ramiro Berrelleza, CEO of Okteto: $18 Million Raised to Build the Future of Cloud Development

Matthew O’Riordan

CEO of Ably Realtime

Matthew O’Riordan, CEO of Ably Realtime: Over $82 Million Raised to Build the Future of Realtime Experience Infrastructure

Gil Feig

CTO of Merge

Gil Feig, CTO of Merge: $75 Million Raised to Help B2B Companies Build Customer-Facing Integrations via It’s Unified API Platform

Tom Tovar

CEO and Co-Founder of AppDome

Tom Tovar, CEO and Co-Founder of AppDome: Over $26 Million Raised to Build the Future of Mobile App Security

Joshua Aaron

CEO of Aiden

Joshua Aaron, CEO Aiden, $3 Million Raised to Build the Future of Software Packaging and Deployment

Sophie Novati

CEO and Founder of Formation

Sophie Novati, CEO and Founder of Formation: $9 Million Raised to Build a Virtual Fellowship Program for Software Engineers

DeVaris Brown

CEO and Co-Founder of Meroxa

DeVaris Brown, CEO and Co-Founder of Meroxa: Over $19 Million Raised to Empower Engineering Teams with Better Stream Processing

Tim Kraska

Co-Founder of Einblick

Tim Kraska, Co-Founder of Einblick: $6M Raised to Build the Visual Data Computing Category

Tommy Dang

Co-Founder & CEO of Mage

Tommy Dang, CEO of Mage: $6.3 Million Raised to Build a Modern Replacement For Airflow

Paul Kim

CEO of Notifi

Paul Kim, CEO of Notifi: $12 Million raised to Build the Future of Web3 Communication Infrastructure

Omri Gazitt

CEO & Co-Founder of Aserto

Omri Gazitt, CEO & Co-Founder at Aserto: $5 Million Raised to Build the Future of Authorization

Benjamin Wilms

CEO and Co-Founder of Steadybit

Benjamin Wilms, CEO and Co-Founder of Steadybit: $7.8 Million Raised to Build the Future of Chaos Engineering

Ravi Parikh

CEO and Co-Founder of Airplane

Ravi Parikh, CEO and Co-Founder of Airplane: Over $40 Million Raised to Build Better Developer Infrastructure For Internal Tooling

Tomas Reimers

Co-Founder of Graphite

Tomas Reimers, Co-Founder of Graphite: $22.5 Million Raised to Build the Future of Code Reviews

Eden Full Goh

Founder & CEO of Mobot

Eden Full Goh, Founder & CEO of Mobot: Over $17 Million Raised to Power the Future of Mobile App Testing

Matt Butcher

CEO of Fermyon

Matt Butcher, CEO of Fermyon: $26 Million Raised to Power the Future of WebAssembly

Casey Rosenthal

CEO of Verica

Casey Rosenthal, CEO of Verica: $17 Million Raised to Build the Future of Chaos Engineering

Yana Welinder

CEO and Founder of Kraftful

Yana Welinder, CEO and Founder of Kraftful: Over $3 Million Raised to Help Product Builders Create Better Products and Communities

Yingjun Wu

CEO and Co-Founder of RisingWave

Yingjun Wu, CEO and Co-Founder of RisingWave Labs: $40 Million Raised to Make Stream Processing Simple, Affordable, and Accessible

Paolo Fragomeni

CEO of Socket Supply

Paolo Fragomeni, CEO of Socket Supply: $3.5 Million Raised to Build the Future of P2P Computing

Yadhu Gopalan

CEO and Founder of Esper

Yadhu Gopalan, CEO and Founder of Esper: $100 Million Raised to Build the Future of Android Device Management

Lasse Andresen

CEO and Founder of IndyKite

Lasse Andresen, CEO and Founder of IndyKite: $10 Million Raised to Empower Teams to Move Beyond Legacy Identity and Access Management

James Hawkins

CEO of PostHog

James Hawkins, CEO of PostHog: $21 Million Raised to Build the Future of Product Analytics

Egil Østhus

CEO and Co-founder of Unleash

Egil Østhus, CEO of Unleash: $16.5 Million Raised to Build the Future of Feature Management

Marcin Wyszynski

Co-Founder and CPO of Spacelift

Marcin Wyszynski, Co-Founder and CPO of Spacelift: Over $22 Million Raised to Build the Future of IaC Management

John Li

CEO and Co-Founder of Vimcal

John Li, CEO & Co-Founder of Vimcal: $7 Million Raised to Build the Future of Calendar Productivity

Mike Long

CEO and Founder of Kosli

Mike Long, CEO and Founder of Kosli: $3.5 Million Raised to Deliver Secure Software Changes at Scale and Deploy to Production with Speed

Pascal Weinberger

CEO of Bardeen

Pascal Weinberger, CEO of Bardeen: $18 Million Raised to Build the Future of No-Code Automation

Andrew Wolfe

Co-Founder and Co-CEO of Bloomfilter

Andrew Wolfe, Co-Founder and Co-CEO of Bloomfilter: $7 Million Raised to Power the Future of Process Mining

Liam Randall

CEO and Founder of Cosmonic

Liam Randall, CEO and Founder of Cosmonic: $8.5 Million Raised to Power the Future of WebAssembly

Martin Mao

CEO of Chronosphere

Martin Mao, CEO of Chronosphere: $250 Million Raised to Build the Future of Observability

Derric Gilling

Co-founder & CEO of Moesif

Derric Gilling, CEO of Moesif: $15 Million Raised to Build the Future of API Analytics

Johnny Dallas

CEO and Co-Founder of Zeet.co

Johnny Dallas, CEO & Co-Founder of Zeet.co: $6M Raised to Power the Future of CI/CD & Deployment

Evan Kaplan

CEO of InfluxData

Evan Kaplan, CEO of InfluxData: Over $170 Million Raised to Build the Leading Time Series Provider

Gary Hoberman

CEO & Founder of Unqork

Gary Hoberman, CEO & Founder of Unqork: Over $400 Million Raised to Pioneer the Codeless as a Service (CaaS) Category

Ben Kliger

CEO and Co-Founder of Zenity

Ben Kliger, CEO and Co-Founder of Zenity: $21.5 Million Raised to Build the Future of Security and Governance for AI, Low-Code, and No-Code Development

Ayal Yogev

CEO and Co-Founder of Anjuna

Ayal Yogev, CEO and Co-Founder of Anjuna: $42 Million to Build The Future of Confidential Computing

Honey Mittal

Co-Founder, CPO & CEO of Locofy.ai

Honey Mittal, CEO of Locofy.ai: $3 Million Raised to Build the Future of Frontend Development

Anish Dhar

Co-Founders of Cortex

Anish Dhar and Ganesh Datta, Co-Founders of Cortex: Over $52 Million Raised to Improve Developer Productivity

Ori Keren

CEO and Co-Founder of LinearB

Ori Keren, CEO and Co-Founder of LinearB: Over $70 Million Raised to Build the Future of Software Delivery Management

Paul Stovell

CEO and Founder of Octopus Deploy

Paul Stovell, CEO and Founder of Octopus Deploy: Over $170 Million Raised to Build the Future of Deployment Automation

Zach Lloyd

CEO and Founder of Warp

Zach Lloyd, CEO and Founder of Warp: $70 Million Raised to Build a Better Terminal

Chetan Venkatesh

CEO of Macrometa

Chetan Venkatesh, CEO of Macrometa: $38 Million raised to Build the Hyper Distributed Cloud for the Next Generation of Applications

Michael Corr

Founder and CEO of Duro Labs

Michael Corr, CEO of Duro Labs: $4 Million Raised to Power the Future of Hardware Engineering

Prakash Chandran

Co-Founder and CEO of Xano

Prakash Chandran, Co-Founder and CEO of Xano: $5.4 Million Raised to Build the Next Generation of No-Code Backend Development

Dylan Etkin

CEO and Co-Founder of Sleuth

Dylan Etkin, CEO and Co-Founder of Sleuth: $25 Million Raised to Make Engineering Teams More Efficient

Costa Tsaousis

CEO and Founder of Netdata

Costa Tsaousis, CEO and Founder of Netdata: Over $30 Million Raised to Power the Future of Infrastructure Monitoring

Harpreet Singh

Co-Founder and CEO of Launchable

Harpreet Singh, Co-Founder and CEO of Launchable: Over $12 Million Raised to Build the Future of Software Testing

Lukas Gentele

Co-Founder & CEO of Loft Labs

Lukas Gentele, CEO of Loft Labs: $5 Million Raised to Build the Virtual Kubernetes Category

Stoyan Zulyamsky

Co-Founder of Costimize

Stoyan Zulyamsky, Co-Founder of Costimize: $5 Million Raised to Revolutionize Cloud Finance Management

Hersh Tapadia

Co-Founder & CEO of Allstacks

Hersh Tapadia, CEO of Allstacks: $16 Million Raised to Build the Value Stream Intelligence Category

Mike Malone

CEO and Founder of Smallstep

Mike Malone, CEO and Founder of Smallstep: $26 Million Raised to Build the Future of Certificate Lifecycle Management For DevOps

Tom Hacohen

CEO and Founder of Svix

Tom Hacohen, CEO and Founder of Svix: $10.5 Million Raised to Power the Future of Webhooks

Ron Efroni

CEO and Co-Founder of Flox

Ron Efroni, CEO & Co-Founder of Flox: $28 Million Raised to Empower Developers with Reproducible Environments That Span the Enterprise SDLC