Startup Role Model for Entrepreneurs: Jyoti Bansal !

Indian born techie sells startup and gets hundreds of millions !

A generation of hi-tech entrepreneurs fantasized over the story of Sabeer Bhatia, an Indian born techie who sold his startup to a tech giant (Microsoft) and netted tens of millions of dollars. (link to stories) This was during the first dot-com boom over 15 years ago. In a replay of the story, the current generation of startups and entrepreneurs have found yet another role-model, Jyoti Bansal.

Many of entrepreneurs are now aspiring to develop or build the next AppDynamics, perhaps be the next Jyoti Bansal!

News such as the acquisition of AppDynamics by global behemoth Cisco this week for $3.7 billion comes as a ray of hope in the otherwise overcast skies of the Indian startup ecosystem.- says YourStory

The buyout

On January 24th, 2017, Networking tech giant Cisco announced the intent to acquire AppDynamics.

“Cisco (NASDAQ: CSCO) announced today its intent to acquire AppDynamics, Inc., a privately held application intelligence software company based in San Francisco. AppDynamics’s cloud application and business monitoring platform enables the world’s largest companies to improve application and business performance. Cisco will acquire AppDynamics for approximately $3.7 billion in cash and assumed equity awards.”

Cisco snapped up his company at twice the value determined by public markets on the day before his San Francisco-based startup was due to list its shares on the bourses. “On Thursday, we would have been ringing the bell on Nasdaq, about 40 of our employees were planning to be there, some of them bought expensive suits for the IPO event,” said Bansal in a telephonic interview with Economic Times a day after the deal was announced.


Jyoti Bansal – AppDynamics

Jyoti Bansal

1999 – Jyoti Bansal graduated from IIT Delhi
2000 – Reached US and works for various Silicon Valley startups
2007 – Bansal receives employment based Permanent Residence (U.S Green Card)
2008 – Bansal founded AppDynamics
2017 (Jan) – Cisco acquires AppDynamics for $3.7 billion in cash and assumed equity
Jyoti Bansal’s share – with a 14 percent stake in AppDynamics, Bansal will make $520 million from the sale!

So, who is Jyoti Bansal, and how did he manage to develop and sell AppDynamics to the tech giant Cisco?

After the buyout announcement, I began browsing the obvious go-to source for details about Jyoti Bansal; but it turns out, Bansal doesn’t have a Wikipedia page to his name (yet!). I’m sure that will be rectified by the digirati soon.

Jyoti received his B.S. degree in Computer Science from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Delhi. Before founding AppDynamics in 2008, Jyoti held engineering roles at various Silicon Valley startups, including Wily Technology, Inc. (acquired by CA, Inc.), Datasweep, Inc. (acquired by Rockwell Automation Inc.), and netLens Inc. (acquired by NextPage Inc., and subsequently acquired in part by FAST Search and Transfer ASA, later acquired by Microsoft Corporation).

The company was in an upward trejectory even before the announcement. It had an IPO planned, and was scheduled to be a publicly listed company just the week the deal was announced. It had signed up over  20 customers and signed deals worth more than $1 million last year. The company has over 1,600 customers, doubled from the year before. AppDynamics’s customers include Barclays, JetBlue, Expedia, and Cisco.

In a recent Pulse blog post, Jyoti describes his early passion for small business and startups:

From a personal perspective, for as long as I can remember, I wanted to be an entrepreneur. I grew up in a small town in India, and on weekends I’d help my Dad with his small business. I loved it. My other passion was software, and so I went to college (IIT Delhi) to get my degree in Computer Science. As a software engineer, I’ve always felt like software was like “magic clay” and I could use that magic clay to sculpt solutions to so many different problems. I wanted to build companies that would leverage the power of software to make a difference in the world. I brought that dream to Silicon Valley as a 21-year-old fresh out of college and AppDynamics for me was the beginning of fulfilling that personal dream.


Bansal tells it’s been a wild, wonderful and “scary” ride growing a company from $0 to $1 billion valuation under seven years. This is his first startup and he did it on his own, with no co-founders. – Business Insider

So, what’s next for Mr. Bansal?

There is a lot of debate among the digerati and the media over Jyoti Bansal

 “Too young to retire,” is how Jyoti Bansal describes himself as he basks in the afterglow of the $3.7-billion deal that he clinched for his startup App-Dynamics on Wednesday. A portion of his share of the bounty will be invested in startups, says the 38-year-old, with the primary focus on Silicon Valley, besides, of course, his upcoming ventures.  – says Economic Times


Links of interest

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