When I first met Ann and Bobby, it was in their living room in Palo Alto. They had just gone through YC and I emailed Paul Graham directly to ask for an introduction - I was so blown away by the caliber of the team and the power of the product they'd built, but they weren't responding to my emails. That's because at the time, Fuel didn't really exist; it was March of 2013 and I had just left Ignition. I don't blame them for not taking a meeting with a relatively unknown former associate at a new VC firm! Luckily, shortly after Paul emailed them, they responded!
I arrived for the meeting at their house a little early. Ann's mom answered the door and offered me a cup of coffee. Bobby and Ann come in shortly after from the back of the house where the rest of the team was busy coding, and they walked me through their backgrounds and what they were building. Ann and Bobby met at Caltech and married shortly after graduation. Ann went on to work at Intel, while Bobby worked for Facebook for six years as the site scaled from millions to billions.
Bobby's team solved difficult scaling and infrastructure challenges and built technology such as Hive and Cassandra. He personally wrote Scribe. The third founder, Lior Abraham, created SCUBA, the most popular internal analytics tool at Facebook. By helping solve some of the hardest scalability and infrastructure challenges at Facebook, Interana’s founding team saw the benefit of bringing these solutions to the broader market and empowering everyone to be data-informed.
I was even more excited after meeting the team in person and asked if Fuel could invest in the current round - but Ann leveled with me that they were likely going straight to a Series A. I was disappointed because when this happens, it's often difficult to join a Series A, as the new larger investor will want to maximize their ownership and founders will want to minimize their dilution. Ann could see that I was disheartened and she reached over and shook my hand and said, 'You have my word that we'll make room for you.' And she did.
Interana was Fuel's first investment. Before we even had a fund, the team took a leap of faith on us. Over the years, we've built a great relationship with the founding team. We're thrilled to be part of the journey, and to see the company working with amazing brands like Microsoft, Uber, Reddit, Tinder, Sonos and more to deeply understand their user's behavior. Thank you for having us be a part of the Interana story!