Back in early 2014, the management of Paydiant, a 4-year-old mobile payments start-up, believed that it was still several years away from engaging with acquisition-minded bankers.
Nevertheless, when PayPal came calling, the Paydiant team decided that they were worth a listen.
“Even though it was still an early stage for us to be in to be thinking about exiting the business, it was just a super interesting opportunity,” remembers Melinda Smith, whose CFO resume today lists the 2015 sale of Paydiant to PayPal as her third early-stage exit.Read More
“If you had asked me when we first got acquired whether I was likely to stay inside a big, publicly traded firm like PayPal for long, I would have said ‘No,’” continues Smith, whose postmerger career with PayPal lasted more than 5 years and opened doors for Smith in surprising ways.
“What we determined was that our team, with all of its early-stage experience, could be really helpful in-house,” remarks Smith, who notes that at the time PayPal had only recently begun operating as a public company. It was felt that “noise from the Street” could become a distraction for PayPal’s smaller businesses like Paydiant, she adds, as well as for their mobile payment unit Venmo, which had joined the family in 2013 as part of PayPal’s acquisition of Braintree.
“We ended combining the teams, and I got the opportunity to be CFO of Venmo,” comments Smith, who would serve as Venmo’s finance chief for 3 years. –Jack Sweeney
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CFOTL: Tell us about ChaosSearch … what does this company do, and what are its offerings today?
Smith: ChaosSearch is a data lake platform that’s really revolutionizing data access at scale.
When you think about it, you realize that all businesses today are challenged with just the sheer volume of data that they are now generating on a daily basis. There’s also incredible demand building internally for data analytics and something that’s been important in my career, data insights.
What we are seeing out there is that the cost of data storage and of querying larger amounts of data is resulting in companies looking at their data retention policies and—quite honestly—deciding not to save some of the data that they should be saving.Read More
ChaosSearch helps companies to reduce the time and cost and complexity of getting access to their data by enabling search and analytical capabilities right on top of cloud data storage. So, you have your Amazon S3 storage, your Google Cloud storage, and we enable you to do analytics on this data right from a more cost-effective data store instead of dealing with what many companies do, which is to move your data into data warehouses and ultimately just create more data silos for everybody to have to handle.
We work with teams in the DevOps and security operations and with data scientists internally. We try to really free up their skillsets from just doing all of the administrative work for preparing and accessing the data in order to allow their skills to be used for the more important task of getting valuable data insights.
ChaosSearch | www.chaossearch.io | Boston, MA