GigaOm broke the story this morning so I’m just piling on, but I wanted to share a little backstory on our latest Founders’ Co-op investment — Meldium –because it’s a great example of how we think and work here.
Last April I wrote a post (in the spirit of Paul Graham/YC’s periodic “request for startups“) titled: “Request for Startups: an open ‘federation layer’ for enterprise SaaS users + data“.
About a month later I got an email out of the blue from Meldium co-founder Anton Vaynshtok titled “response for startups”.
Anton’s email kicked off a year-long series of meetings and conversations with the Meldium founders about the future of Enterprise SaaS, their customer development process, hypotheses tested and rejected, and their first glimmers of customer traction and product/market fit.
I offered to invest in Meldium several times over the course of 2012, but every time the founders told me they wanted to spend more time really nailing the problem + initial solution before they took on outside money. I loved their answer for the discipline and confidence it showed, but I was sure the team was on the right track and really wanted to be a part of their journey.
When they told me they’d been accepted at YC and were moving to the Bay Area I was heartbroken — Founders’ Co-op is focused on helping amazing non-Valley teams make the leap to Sand Hill Road, a problem YC has wired like no one else.
Thankfully, Anton, Brad and Boris kept our conversation going during and after their time at YC, leading ultimately to our role as co-lead on the seed financing announced today.
It’s rare for us to invest in SF-based teams — that market is so saturated with seed investors of every flavor and description that it’s hard to see a differentiated role for us — but the Meldium team’s Seattle beginnings and our long working relationship made this an easy exception to the rule.
The team alluded to it in their own blog post about the financing today, but the vision for Meldium goes way beyond the “password management” capabilities mentioned in the GigaOm coverage — my “request for startup” brought us together for a reason, after all — and I’m incredibly excited that the team is now armed to attack it with conviction.
Thanks again to Anton, Brad and Boris for the opportunity to invest — this is going to be fun!