With the advent of the internet, there has been an almost paradigm shift in nearly every sector of the economy. This should not come as a surprise because integrating technology and machines into everyday tasks turns them from mundane and demanding tasks to becoming more and more tolerable. Moreover, technology has been able to increase the effectiveness, efficiency, and accuracy of certain objects and tasks. The quintessence of this can be seen with the new startup Samsara Inc. The American company, over the last couple of years, the same period in which it has been in existence, has been able to revolutionize the way fleets of trucks are monitored, and how their operations are managed. Though it has been in existence, as mentioned, for a couple of years now, and the number of users that use its platform is increasing by the day, there are still those that do not know about it. So, here are Twenty things that you might not have known about Samsara Inc.
1. About the company
Many consider Samsara to be the pioneer of Connected Operations with Cloud integration, according to LinkedIn. This company, and the platform that it has been able to create, makes it possible for businesses that are in one way or another dependent on physical operations to be able to harness the Internet of Things, commonly known as IoT, data. The said data is used to develop business insights and thus helps the people running the business make informed decisions and improve their operation regarding effectiveness and efficiency.
2. It has offices in Europe
Though a bit nascent, the company has set up operations in both Europe and North America. While doing so, it has also been able to build its consumer base and has more than 20,000 customers all over the world. The said customers are present in several industries, including utilities and energy, logistics, government, field services, construction, wholesale and retail trade, healthcare, education, manufacturing, transportation, and food and beverage. The company has its headquarters in San Francisco, though the Europe division also has its headquarters in London. The company also has offices in Atlanta and San Jose.
3. Its history
The company was founded in 2015 by John Bicket and Sanjit Biswas. The two of them met while they were students at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. After selling their previous company, named Meraki, they founded Samsara. Meraki is an IT company that is cloud-managed and is based in California. According to Software Advice, the products include security, wireless, switching, security cameras, enterprise mobility management, EMM, and a whole load of other services. After the two had founded the company, they sold it to Cisco Systems, completing the deal in December 2012.
4. Its founder, Sanjit Biswas
When he was founding Samsara, Sanjit wanted to make sure that businesses, regardless of their size, could deploy sensors on any scale they wanted. Before he became the founder of Samsara, he was the co-founder and CEO of Meraki. He was the one that helped guide Meraki to become one of, if not the, most successful networking company in over ten years. He was able to do this after he grew his Ph.D. research into real life and into an enterprise networking company that used cloud management. From inception, the revenues that Meraki put out doubled every year, and the company was able to earn thousands of customers. When Cisco took over Meraki for over one billion dollars, he remained in the company’s leadership for some time. While he was in leadership, he helped the company maintain its 100 percent growth and was able to make Meraki Cisco’s fastest-growing acquisition in history.
5. Sanjit Biswas’ achievements
As a result of this, he was recognized by MIT Technology Review as an honoree TR35 and has also received a plethora of awards from academic research with regard to Computer Networking. He is also on the boards of HighFive Technologies and ThousandEyes. He is also an investor and has put some money into several companies. He holds an undergraduate degree from Sanford in Computer Systems Engineering. He also holds an SM in Computer Science and Electrical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
6. Its founder, John Bicket
In many ways, John is the one responsible for developing Samsara’s distractive technology. The said technology can make millions of sensors both secure and simple to use and install. Before he became the founder of Samsara, he was the co-founder of Meraki. There, he was the Vice President of Engineering and the Chief Technology Officer. While working at Meraki, he was the one that built the cloud-based platform that was able to combine big data, security, and analytics.
7. John Bicket’s achievements
Meraki was started out of the Ph.D. research that he had done. He and his team were thus able to integrate software, hardware, and computer-based infrastructure. This triumvirate was solely responsible for ensuring that the company maintained 100 percent annual growth in sales for many years. He holds an undergraduate degree in Computer Science, studied at Cornell University, and has an SM from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Computer Science.
8. Change is raison d'etre
Originally, when the company, Samsara, was founded, it was created so as to be able to create wireless sensors. However, over time, they changed their reason for existence and eventually settled in tracking fleets of vehicles.
9. Investments and early success
Andreessen Horowitz, which is a private venture capital firm whose legal name is Capital Management, was a Series A early investor. This was huge for the company at the time, because Andreessen Horowitz is known to have been an early investor in some of the largest companies in the world while they were still startups.
10. General Catalyst is an investor
In March of 2018, the company received unicorn status, a fancy term to mean that it has achieved a 1-billion-dollar valuation. This was after a round of funding had taken it over the mark. After another round of funding, the valuation of the company again grew to 3.6 billion dollars. This was after another venture capital firm, known as General Catalyst, decided to back it.
In 2018, the company decided to expand internationally. Initially, they opened an office in London in 2018, and then a year later they expanded to their European headquarters. Additionally, they expanded domestically after setting up their office in Midtown Atlanta. This was their new east coast office location.
12. Further funding and expansion
When the company embarked on their series F round of funding, they have the backing of a couple of the other heavy hitters in the industry. Dragoneer Investment Group and Tiger Global Management, both of which are at the apogee when it comes to funding startups, decided to join the company for the first time. After the Series F round of funding, the company was able to attain a valuation of 6.3 billion dollars.
13. The impact that COVID had on their operations
In 2020, after the coronavirus pandemic hit the world, a lot of companies were forced to implement drastic measures to ensure their continued survival. Some of these measures included furlough schemes, downsizing, and even moving operations from physical spaces and implementing work-from-home policies. For Samsara, this was not different. They had to make sure that they reduced their staff.
14. Moving forward
In February of 2021, the company announced that there had surpassed 300 million dollars in subscription revenue. This came as no surprise to many who understood the workings of the company, its ads over the years, being able to get a following of over 20,000 customers. Additionally, the company has been consistently working on creating and securing new patents for their products to make sure that they always stay ahead of the curve.
The pricing of the service that the company offers is first divided by the type of vehicle you have. You have to state whether they are buses, vans or trucks, cars, electric cars, trailers, or any other automobile. Next, you have to specify the number of assets you have. Are they over 50, between 3 and 50, to lower than there? Since the company offers a myriad of features that help with the running, operation, and management of your assets, you have to specify which one, or which ones you are interested in. They are either routing, maintenance, dash cams, GPS, ELD, or others. Once you have finished this, you will have to hand your email address to them. Within a short period, they will mail you all the information you need.
In July of the same year, it was also announced that the company would be entering into a partnership with EVgo, also known as NRG Energy Inc. This partnership aims to try and expedite the process of electrification and thus make sure that the commercial fleet customers can get what they are paying for. In addition to making sure that companies with large assets get the best charging networks, the partnership will also make it possible to facilitate dedicated charging hubs. This will ensure that the companies get dedicated charging stations and hubs, and thus do not need home bases to plug in their cars.
17. Implementing fast charging
Moreover, the partnership aims at making sure that public fast charging is not a thing of the future but one for the present. The partnership will make sure that the companies and their trucks are able to access the already existing and ever-expanding network created by EVgo fast chargers. These chargers are public and have an uptime rate of nearly 98 percent. The companies’ partnership also ensures that fleet depots are made possible. These depots will span the entirety of the chain of fleets. The solutions they offer will cover equipment provisioning, software and networking, transition planning, ongoing maintenance, and infrastructure deployment.
18. An electric future
The main reason that the two companies, EVgo and Samsara, decided to form the partnership is that both believe that an electric future is at hand, and they want to be the ones that provide it. For example, the EV monitoring goods that Samsara has been able to produce, including the fleet electrification report, has helped many customers identify through proper assessment the vehicles in their fleet that need to be replaced with more effective and efficient Electric vehicles. These products combine greatly with the charging solutions that EVgo offers. A combination of the two makes it easier to electrify their already existing fleets while also being able to attain the stability goals that the company has set out.
19. Going public
In September 2021, rumors began circulating that the company wanted to go public. The grapevine suggested that the company had actually filled in a Form S-1, which is the first step taken when a company intends to become a public company. The said form is a form of registration into the Securities Exchange Commission.
20. What the future looks like for the company
At the moment, Samsara is looking for the best way to recover from the effects of the pandemic, and trying to maintain, and increase, productivity amongst its employees. They have stated that they will be implementing a hybrid working mode, with some of its employees working full time at home, while others will be working full time in the office. This will give the employees more of a say when it comes to when and where they are most comfortable to be working. They have also stated that they will try to make their offices a bit more work-friendly to match the newly implemented style. The company has also stated that it will be putting in place co-working space programs for the people that will be working more than fifty miles from the office. For those that are based in the field, as is the case when traveling, meeting new clients, and such, this option will be available for them too.
Written by Allen Lee
Read more posts by Allen Lee