Samsara: Real-Time Satisfying Thousands of Customer's Desires
This is a story of two people that didn't expect success to come to them - instead, they sought it with all their might!
Becoming billionaires from an academic side project, John Bicket and Sanjit Biswas left their cozy homes, stepped out from their comfort zones, and worked hard to create a truly revolutionary company.
The next thing they knew - Samsara popped into existence!
Looking into everything that the logistics industry was missing, the duo created numerous solutions to help their customers build stronger relationships with employees and consumers.
Although it all began with driver safety, the duo started offering asset tracking tools as well as industrial process controls. The best part? Everything integrated into a single cloud-based, real-time platform.
Read the whole story about Sanjit and John’s journey here:
Ambition on Fleek
Diving into the intimidating sea of entrepreneurship requires mastery of a particular problem, a strong desire to solve it, and utter dedication.
Little did Sanjit and John know these features were bubbling inside each of them with all their might - they just had to find something to spur them on.
Sanjit’s saga began two decades ago when he enrolled at Stanford University to pursue his BS in computer science and electrical engineering. After his graduation, he acquired his Master of Sciences at Stanford as well. Continuing relentlessly while aiming to set a milestone, in 2006, he jumped straight onto his Ph.D. at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Meanwhile, John was immersed in his computer science studies at Cornell University, where he graduated with flying colors in 2002. For the next three years, he pursued his major at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where he lingered to acquire his Ph.D.
It wasn’t until Sanjit and John took on a research project at the university that they saw tremendous potential in each other. Hitting it off immediately, they began fulfilling their joint goal - bringing free Wi-Fi to the city of Cambridge, Massachusetts. Taking a life of its own, this project led to the inception of what would turn out to be a unicorn company.
They just had to combine their powers and pour their blood, sweat, and tears - far before they got to reap the rewards from it!
The Unforeseen Project
The early 00s were a time when dozens of cities across the US were struggling to connect their residents wirelessly. Unfortunately, the technical malfunctions, as well as skyrocketing costs, backfired so fiercely that nearly all of the efforts swiftly fell short.
Working on their project, Sanjit and John saw an opportunity to enable people to log on to the Internet swiftly, wirelessly, and for free. Brilliant as it was, the duo began putting gateway devices called repeaters which bounced Wi-Fi to one another thus spreading the network in small San Francisco's neighborhoods.
As Sanjit and John were busy dealing with the problem, a whole new idea for a start-up was forming right in front of them. Namely, emerging out of a school project, they launched Meraki in 2006.
Surprisingly, Google caught sight of what Meraki was doing and purchased over a thousand repeaters for a citywide wireless network for Mountain View, the town where their headquarters are located.
The same year, Sequoia Capital invested $5 million in the company to fuel growth. From then on, Meraki extended its services: from enabling Wi-Fi technology and network switching, to security and mobile device management.
As fate would have it, in 2012, networking giant Cisco snapped up Meraki for an incredible $1.2 billion to develop its software-centered solutions.
When creating Meraki, Sanjit and John observed the process of combining hardware, software, and cloud computing within a single, integrated system. With their ability to look at the big picture, the duo realized that the industrial world lacked these IT solutions - so they got to work!
Revamping an Industry is Always a Good Idea
In late 2012, Sanjit and John joined Cisco, the former as VP of cloud networking and the latter as VP of engineering.
For the next two years, Sanjit managed the deployment, vision, and design of the whole cloud infrastructure. In the meantime, John managed a whole team of engineers and struggled with the role and the requirements imposed on him by the position.
However, the two entrepreneurs weren't born to follow any rules, instead, they were born to lead. In light of this, both Sanjit and John resigned from Cisco to pursue a different type of success.
A bit later, the duo sat together in order to brainstorm the right idea for a brand new start-up. Tossing ideas back and forth, Sanjit and John realized that industries such as manufacturing, transportation, and food and beverage, couldn't relish in the IT innovations that took the whole century by the storm.
Beginning a journey of a thousand miles with just a single step, Sanjit and John set out to revamp the whole logistics industry.
One Product Leads to Another
In order to gather distinguished engineers, Samsara was self-funded from the very beginning. Sanjit and John began their quest for technically-sound people to help them build their first product, Al Dash Cam, which would be a camera with integrated artificial intelligence.
The excitement was real: the concept could potentially prevent accidents on the road by just implementing a camera that detects traffic violations. Before they knew, their product was launched just a few months after the creation of their company. As one problem's solution brings another idea altogether, the duo decided to lower fuel costs in the transportation sector. The next thing Al Dash Cam focused on was helping owners coach truck drivers by marking which ones are operating the vehicles in an inefficient way and getting them to correct their wasteful ways.
By 2015, Samsara was launched - its name representing the indefinitely repeated cycles of rebirth.
Along with these products, the duo wanted to contribute to the food and beverage industry, so they started working on a reefer monitoring sensor. This real-time sensor alerts drivers when something goes wrong with the temperature in the vehicle, helping drivers avoid undesirable situations.
Immersed in building their products, Sanjit and John quickly saw some nice growth in their company. Customers were spreading the benefits of the company just by word of mouth, and they were joining their journey.
In early 2017, General Catalyst invested $40 million in Samsara to fuel the company's growth. Shortly after, Samsara secured $100 million in funding led by Andreessen Horowitz to hire employees. Last but not least, the company welcomed an incredible $700 million by an unknown investor!
Today, over 20,000 organizations globally use Samsara in order to prevent accidents, improve product quality and lower fuel consumption.
With offices in San Francisco, Atlanta, San Jose, and London, the company employs over two-thousand workers. During the past year, Samsara boasted an annual revenue of ravishing $252.9 million.
Sanjit and John's mission to increase sustainability, efficacy, and safety of all operations that fuel our economy is shaking the world from its core, and for the better! Their success certainly wasn't a huge step in the future, instead, they always took baby steps in the right moment!