One key to business intelligence company Domo’s fast growth: It doesn’t show its software to just anyone who stops by the website.
The company has been in stealth mode since it started in 2010. As a result, competitors can’t just copy the newest features in Domo’s software.
“We just want to extend the time period before they even start playing catch-up,” Josh James, Domo’s founder and chief executive, told VentureBeat in an interview.
You know what also helps a company grow? Huge investments. Today Domo announced a $125 million round of funding. To date, the company has raised a total of $250 million.
TPG Growth led the round, with participation from Dragoneer Investment Group, Fidelity Investments, Morgan Stanley, Salesforce.com, T. Rowe Price, and Viking Ventures. GGV Capital, Greylock Partners, IVP and Mercato Partners “supported the round,” according to Domo’s press release.
The new funding will help the company add many more sales people, James said. Currently the company has 300 employees. It has managed to sign up around 500 customers, including H&R Block, National Geographic, Nissan, Ogio, and Xerox — even while being in stealth.
James bristles at the association of Domo with the commonly used business intelligence (BI) term. “We’re not really doing BI,” he said. “It’s really a platform to manage your business, and, you know, see data and combine data from so many different sources in a way that’s really intuitive … .”
That kind of rhetoric could make some companies regard Domo in a fresh way and stop lumping it in a category with lots of other BI-in-the-cloud companies, like BIME Analytics, Birst, GoodData, and others.
The company carries a valuation of more than $800 million, and a public offering could come within two or three years, James said.
You might think the company would have a hard time convincing potential customers that running business-intelligence software, which handles precious internal data, will do fine in the cloud rather than an on-premises data center. But James said many customers end up coming around to the cloud.
“We offer it on premises if that’s really what they want, and we haven’t had anybody take us up on it,” James said.
Later this year the company will come out of stealth and unveil all of its capabilities, James said. That’s when business analysts will be able to see for themselves just how different it might be from other options on the market. For the time being, though, we don’t know all the features inside Domo’s software.
It’s not any one feature that might set Domo apart and get companies signing contracts worth multiple thousands of dollars, James said. “It’s really the combination of all the things we’re doing that’s so unique,” he said.