Mar 17, 2021

Our Second Year Selling - Superlinear Momentum


Posted by

Jeff Denworth

After closing out a banner second year, one that is punctuated by record-setting customer investment and product adoption, I wanted to take a moment to provide some context behind our superlinear growth.

Here’s the highlights:

  • Year over year bookings revenue growth of 350%

  • An early-stage sales record, exiting our fiscal year at a $150M booking run rate

  • Exited 2020 cash flow positive, setting the foundation for long term independence

As Chris Mellor mentioned - many startups talk about high growth in percentage terms, but the ones who actually are selling meaningful amounts of infrastructure shift their narrative to revenues and bookings dollars as they cross specific milestones. For us, $150M of run rate is a big deal, but run rate is only calculated from the last quarter of business and doesn’t show the full picture… As I’m a big fan of context, I wanted to take a moment to put our progress in perspective and compare our progress against some of the independent storage companies we respect and measure our business performance and company efficiency against:


What’s really interesting is how we’ve broken the mold for both growth and efficiency. VAST Data managed to sell nearly $100M of systems in 2 years time (a record in and of itself), and we’ve done so with a fraction of the headcount as compared to some of our high-growth peers.

Many customers look at startups with cash flow positivity as a sign of high product margins, and here we’ve achieved this not by overcharging customers but rather minimizing the overhead of the company and selling to customers who, on average, are spending over $1M on the VAST Data Platform. This large ticket investment has simply allowed us to minimize investments in sales and marketing - our lean team is focused on maximizing their impact by focusing on customers who provide the largest return. As I mentioned last year, we’re selling with the conviction of a unicorn - but we’re spending like a camel. Having a scalable architecture also helps… our systems like to be big. The market’s transition to at-scale data analytics and machine learning also helps - as scale-out flash is increasingly becoming a priority for data driven organizations who are swimming in petabytes.

Last year’s results were superlinear for VAST Data. We managed to beat the high-growth targets that we set for ourselves before the global lockdown. Despite the pandemic and a relatively conservative hiring agenda we imposed on ourselves, we managed to significantly exceed our targets as customers demonstrated an outsized demand for the VAST Data Platform.

2021 is an equally ambitious year for VAST Data, and we’re in search of the best and brightest to join our team as we take on legacy architectures, modernize customer data and ready for the world for the age of AI. We need to grow our team by over 200 people in 12 months.  If you think this mission might be right for you, learn more about our career openings and apply online at

More from this topic

Learn what VAST can do for you
Sign up for our newsletter and learn more about VAST or request a demo and see for yourself.

By proceeding you agree to the VAST Data Privacy Policy, and you consent to receive marketing communications. *Required field.