Sanjit Biswas and John Bicket, cofounders of Samsara (Credit: Samsara)
Sanjit Biswas and John Bicket, cofounders of Samsara, are newly minted billionaires following the company’s $300 million Series F funding round that values the Internet-of-Things startup at $6.3 billion.
New investors Tiger Global and Dragoneer joined Andreessen Horowitz and General Catalyst in the late-stage round, bringing the San Francisco-based company’s total funding to $530 million. The founders’ 25% stakes are worth more than $1.4 billion each, Forbes estimates.
The company conservatively earned $100 million last year, triple the prior year, by selling hardware and a monthly cloud-based software subscription that helps industrial companies collect and analyze data. Cowgirl Creamery, for instance, uses it to track cheese, monitoring its artisinal products’ storage and distribution with wireless monitoring and Samsara’s fleet-tracking platform, to help it understand where their trucks are in real-time and know if they’ve been kept cold. The average cost for Samsara is $130 per unit for their hardware and a $30 monthly subscription fee for the software.
Cofounder and CEO Biswas, 37, launched Samsara with Bicket, 39 and the company’s CTO, four years ago in 2015.
The two met as Ph.D. students at MIT studying computer science, and together they took on a research project that involved bringing free Wi-Fi to the city of Cambridge, Massachusetts.
The project “took on a life of its own,” Biswas says, and led to the inception of his and Bicket’s first company Meraki, a cloud-networking-device business that was later purchased by Cisco in 2012 for $1.2 billion.
Building Meraki, Biswas says he was able to see how combining hardware, software and cloud computing into a simple, integrated system could transform the IT industry, but he noticed similar solutions weren’t being created for the industrial world.
“I realized industries like transportation, construction and manufacturing weren’t benefiting from the innovation seen in IT,” says Biswas. “We’re now serving the world behind the scenes and modernizing an area that’s been overlooked.”
The latest funding round will go towards continuing to expand the company’s product portfolio, including new cameras and sensors, and will also be used to accelerate its expansion in Europe, Canada and Mexico. It’s currently in ten countries. Samsara will additionally use the funding to invest in sales and marketing as the company looks to gain more enterprise and small business clients.
“It’s incredible to see how fast Samsara is growing,” says Hemant Taneja, a managing director at General Catalyst and a Samsara board member. “Experts in building sophisticated solutions and founders who deeply care about their people and company culture—our investment is really betting on Sanjit and John. ”