Why we invested in C3.ai

July 25, 2017

PUBLISHED BY Wildcat Venture Partners

Every appliance, widget and device we own or use—even ones we haven’t yet imagined—will one day be connected to the Internet via sensors. In fact, the IoT (Internet of Things) revolution, is already well on its way.

The IoT market could reach $11.1 trillion a year by 2025, according to a recent McKinsey report.

That’s a lot of money. That’s a lot of sensors. Perhaps most importantly, that’s a lot of information. Those sensors will generate an almost unfathomable amount of data.

Think about it this way: each time a sensor is connected to the Internet, it generates its own world of information. That data could become digital oil—if it is tapped, mined, and monetized.

Otherwise, it’s, well, useless.

There are only a handful of enterprises that have cobbled together an end-to-end digital oil solution they can use to not only understand their current business better, but potentially to predict their future.

But none of these internally-developed solutions have matched—or even come very close to—the advanced solutions developed by C3.ai, a Silicon Valley-based company that offers a comprehensive platform for the Internet of Things.

That’s just one of the reasons we at Wildcat chose to invest.

As early stage investors, we look for large, addressable markets, disruptive technology and applications, and—where we can—tried, tested, and proven teams.

C3.ai has all the elements for success: an experienced leadership team, disruptive technology in a booming market, and market leadership.

The company

C3.ai offers a technology stack for the rapid design, development, deployment, and operation of next-generation IoT applications that unlock data-driven insights and transform business processes.

Its top-to-bottom IoT platform includes infrastructure and services. Most importantly, C3.ai’s system allows complete interoperability among different programs, algorithms and data structures.


We also have faith in C3.ai’s CEO, Tom Siebel, the former founder, CEO and Chairman of Siebel Systems.

Siebel and his team built one of the most successful enterprise software companies in US history. Siebel Systems created the CRM market and grew at a staggering rate of 782,978% over 5 years, from $8 million to $1.8 billion and a market cap of $30 billion.


Seven years in development, we believe that C3.ai is at least two to three years ahead of its competitors. The company has nearly two dozen large-scale IoT implementations under way in both the United States and Europe.

Quantified another way, C3.ai has more than 100 million sensors and devices under management, making it the world’s largest provider of large-scale big data, predictive analytics and IoT applications. And given the expected growth of the market, they have a lot of room to grow.

Beyond the Traction Gap

We often strategically invest in companies that are well within the Traction Gap so we can help them during that critical time between launching a minimum viable product (MVP) and achieving minimum viable traction (MVT), on their way to scaling.

When we initially invest, many of our portfolio companies fail between MVP and MVT. C3.ai has moved well beyond the Traction Gap. The fact it has passed this crucial stage gives us confidence that the company is poised for success.

C3.ai has dozens of customers, tens of millions of dollars in revenue, and recently reported record results for its 2017 fiscal year, ending in March.These included:

  • Revenue that increased 65% year over year.
  • Bookings that grew approximately 600% year over year.
  • Cash-positive operations for fiscal year 2017.
  • Expansion into new vertical markets and geographic regions.
  • 100 million sensors and devices under management.

“C3 is seeing dramatic growth globally across all industry sectors driven by CEO-led corporate digital transformation mandates that encompass big data, AI, machine learning, and IoT,” Siebel said. “We are expanding our delivery, strategic alliance, and customer service capacity to serve this growing market demand.”


Clearly, C3.ai is well on its way to establishing a global market leadership position in an enormously important and growing category. Already, its growing list of customers includes Global Fortune 500 companies such as: ENGIE, Enel, ConEdison, Origin Energy, Cisco, and Pella, among many others. Winning the confidence of these companies is not easy; C3.ai has proven it can do so even though it is still a young and growing startup.

We’re expecting great things from C3.ai, and you should too. The company has an experienced and competitive leadership team, a Who’s Who board of directors, and a market that is possibly one of the largest technology markets in the world it is uniquely qualified to address.

We believe C3.ai will be the category leader in Industrial IoT platform solutions and applications. That is why we made an investment.

For more information, go to C3.ai