HPE Pathfinder’s ThoughtSpot Investment Illustrates Company’s ApproachOctober 19, 2016
When it comes to Hewlett-Packard Enterprise’s Pathfinder investments, the old adage applies: Many are called, but few are chosen.
Pathfinder is in active dialogue with category leading companies in data center, cloud, analytics, cyber, and IOT, and only invested in about 15 since HPE started the venture capital and partnership arm last year. The latest recipient of such investments is ThoughtSpot, a 4 year-old company that provides a Google-like search for numbers.
As part of the investment, ThoughtSpot’s technology will soon be available on HPE infrastructure. “You can go into ThoughtSpot and ask ‘How many cans of tuna did we sell in Estonia this quarter and how did it compare to what we sold last year?’ said Lak Ananth, VP of strategy and corporate development at Pathfinder. “You can actually type that kind of question and get the answer instantaneously.”
Since launching Pathfinder, a variety of investments and partnerships have been formed. Just this week, ThoughtSpot announced its partnership with Pathfinder and the week before that the announcement from Shape, a provider of advanced security technology for the web and mobile apps. In each case, Pathfinder has looked for companies that can help HPE build an ecosystem of companies that can solve critical problems for customers.
Pathfinder’s Raison D'être
Pathfinder doesn’t just make venture investments; it also partners with portfolio companies and takes them directly to customers, leveraging HPE’s reach and customer trust. “The partnership aspect is a big differentiator for us,” he said.
Pathfinder’s website reflects this approach. HPE uses its global footprint to connect startups to a new audience. Those partners trust HPE to curate the best ones. Then the companies are able to quickly scale up. “When you work with us, we can give you the speed and access you need to scale,” Ananth said.
Ananth said the impetus for Pathfinder was that HPE makes innovation a high priority and is also at the center of an innovation ecosystem. “We are right here in the middle of it,” he said. “We have the ability to evaluate it, we have the partner DNA to take the best of it and take it to our customers. One of the core goals of Pathfinder is to use our strength to identify cutting edge innovation that fills gaps and compliments HPE.”
“We look for companies that have a real product, that are demonstrating real wins and business value,” he said.
“[HPE CEO] Meg [Whitman] keeps saying she’s never seen the world move this fast,” said Ananth. “So if the world is moving this fast, by definition you can’t do everything that customer needs inside HPE. Pathfinder curates the best innovations and puts them to work solving problems for customers.”
For more details on the annoucnement, click to read the press release.