For a company that is in a constant state of growth and evolution, putting a label on VAST at any point in time can be a bit difficult since that label becomes immediately outdated as soon as it’s applied. Having said that, it has become something of a tradition for us to check in on our corporate progress by way of a press release and an annual blog post, so without further ado let me try to encapsulate the last 12 months in a few select words.
The Magic Threshold
This last year has been a special one for VAST because we have achieved a significant milestone that separates us from many of the world’s most successful software companies. Within three short years, we’ve managed to secure customer commitments such that our Annual Recurring Revenue (ARR) has grown from $1M to cross the $100M threshold. Much of this business comes from existing customers who continue to expand their investments with VAST, and we are so appreciative of these customers/partners.
ARR grows as sales grow, and we’re not stopping since we closed out last year. Having said that, there are two interesting metrics I’d like to point out.
1. VAST’s ARR growth is rapid. As we compare our efforts to some of today’s leading high-growth software companies, our early push into the market is distinguished by an especially fast time-to-$100M.
2. Additionally, as we eclipse $100M in ARR, we enter into an elite club of software startups called “Centaurs”. The term, coined by leading startup venture capital firm Bessemer Venture Partners, is a label applied to software companies who have achieved a ‘critical mass’ of success in the market by demonstrating a scalable go-to-market, solid product-market fit and a strong customer base that propels large ARR and ARR growth. It is believed that there are only about 160 Centaurs in the market, a small fraction of the startup ‘unicorn’ community.
A Sustainable High-Growth Trajectory
I’ll say it. We’re a cheap bunch 😀 We spend on what matters to customers, partners and employees, and nothing else.
Our unique business model combines a very high average selling price ($1.2M+), rapid ARR growth and a team of over-achievers that are punching well above their weight. In short, we do more with less. The net result is that we’ve now closed our third year of operating cash flow positivity and have squarely put the business on a trajectory where it should never be in need of external working capital. That makes us relatively recession proof, and allows us to weather storms like the Silicon Valley Bank fiasco with calm. We’re here to stay, people.
An Intense Focus on Data
We’re now happy to count hundreds of customers worldwide, many of which are some of the most data-driven organizations in their class. These customers understood early-on that a new architecture can provide a step-function improvement in scale, simplicity, resiliency and savings. What these customers are now also starting to appreciate is that our vision is broad and our Platform is evolving extremely rapidly to provide greater utility for data-intensive pipelines.
If you blinked, you might have missed a recent announcement we’ve made to highlight the feature payload delivered by our engineering team in our 4.6 release train. What we announced this last February represents the culmination of effort from nearly 300 engineers and what is without question our biggest software release ever.
Our Data Catalog adds the semantic layer to unstructured data to create information.
We’ve released a rich Policy-Based Quality of Service engine to power next-gen clouds.
We’ve fortified the system for Zero Trust, with new layers of encryption and audit-ability.
Global Snapshots start to bridge together multiple clusters into one unified cloud.
And, we’ve added ML to our cloud monitoring platform to intelligently manage capacity.
So, them’s the highlights.
It takes a great effort to build a company that our team, our families and peers can be proud of. There’s a vibe in VAST that’s tough to describe, but it feels like we are building one of those one-in-a-million companies and the results we announced today help put some definition to that.
While the work is hard, there have been many reasons to celebrate this last year and I personally just want to recognize all of the dedication, ingenuity and heart that comes from our global team.