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Wasabi CEO David Friend Talks New Funding, Growth Plans, And How To Compete With AWS And Microsoft

‘We tripled in revenue and the amount of storage and everything else this year, the same as we have for the last three years. So it looks like a sort of a triple-every-year kind of growth path. It can’t go on forever, but right now we’re just struggling to keep up with demand,’ says Wasabi CEO David Friend.

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You have a new investor in this round, Fidelity.

We’re pretty thrilled with it. We got what I think is the best possible investor in the whole country to lead this round. [Fidelity is a] huge, highly respected, obviously one of the world’s largest financial institutions, and so we were delighted that they came into the mix. And unlike VCs (venture capitalists), they don’t want to come in and tell you how to run your company. They just make an investment. That’s all there is to it. A very, very good investor from my perspective.
And is this the first time they invested in Wasabi?

Yeah. It’s the first time that we’ve been big enough to attract any interest there.

Given the economic recovery happening now, does that make things easier for you to fill positions, or are you seeing a tightening of the labor force that you need to grow?

You know, we haven’t seen an impact so far. We’re now in the position of being probably one of the most attractive IT companies in New England because a company that’s growing 3X every year provides a lot of opportunity for advancement for anybody that joins the team at this point. And obviously stock options have the opportunity to grow. And you know, we always get one of these ‘best places to work’ kind of awards from the Boston Business Journal. So we’ve been fortunate in being able to attract really good people. And as long as things are going well, I don’t expect that that’s going to be too big a problem. Unlike Silicon Valley, your options in New England are more limited since the economy here is more driven by biotech these days than it is by IT. Microsoft has a big operation here, Google has a big operation here, and so forth. You can work for a big company, but certain kinds of people really like the idea of working for a company that’s in hyper-growth mode. And so we’ve been able to attract good people.

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