when Nexus La Introduced at TechCrunch Disrupt Battlefield in 2017 as a data operations platform, building applications on top of data isn’t necessarily a well-understood concept. Over time, however, the company has matured as the machine learning market has matured, and it is now able to help customers build applications based on the data managed and processed by Nexla.
In doing so, it grew slowly and steadily, achieving cash flow positive status earlier than most startups. As founder and CEO Saket Saurabh told TechCrunch, the company did so at a time when it was burning through a significant amount of venture capital.
Saurabh chose to grow his company differently, and as we turn to 2023, when investors start focusing on efficiency over growth, Nexla is well positioned for that change. Today, the company has raised $18 million in funding.
Getting the data to work in his software is now the ultimate goal, he said. “So we ended up with this very strong concept of data products, and the data products have become core, enabling you to integrate data into Nexla to share data and collaborate with it,” he told TechCrunch.
The app approach has become core to what companies do, and they’ve begun to provide an organized way to distribute them. “We recently rolled out the ability to take these data products across the organization and put them into an internal marketplace where employees can discover and use them,” Saurabh said.
He noted that his company generated a lot of cash through sales and didn’t spend much in its last funding round, but he has to pay attention when investors come knocking, especially at a time when many startups are having a hard time raising money. He had no trouble saying the company had already received an oversubscribed round.
Perhaps that’s because the startup reports high-profile clients like DoorDash, Johnson & Johnson, LinkedIn, and American Express. The company’s workforce is also growing, with nearly 100 employees now and plans to hire 150 over the next eight to nine months.
He said that through a combination of remote and hybrid work, he was able to create a more diverse employee base rather than being limited to one geographic area. “It has improved our diversity tremendously, especially internationally, where (many) of our employees are from. So both gender diversity and overall background diversity have actually improved significantly with this approach,” he said.
Today’s $18 million round was led by Shield Capital, with participation from existing investors Blumberg Capital, Engineering Capital, Storm Ventures, Industry Ventures and Liberty Global. Under the terms of the agreement, Shield Capital partner Mike Brown will join Nexla’s board of directors.