In 1997, Suresh Katta left Silicon Graphics , the computer graphics company where he was an engineer for nearly nine years, and founded Saama Technologies Inc.
Mr. Katta imagined that corporations would want to be able to find, aggregate and analyze large volumes of data, like the kind that SGI’s technology was able to visualize, to make business decisions.
It was an unusual idea at the time, and with almost no sales or marketing and no venture capital, which he repeatedly turned down, he built a company that has been profitable every quarter and claims more than 50 large customers, including Cisco Systems Inc. and Delta Dental.
Now he thinks Saama has a chance to get significantly bigger. The company, which has less than $100 million in revenue, is finally “coming out of stealth,” as Mr. Katta put it, and has raised $35 million from Carrick Capital Partners.
Hundreds of startups and hundreds of millions in venture capital are now chasing Mr. Katta’s idea, which is labeled big data, but he believes Saama has an 18- to 24-month head start over the competition.
Saama is Mr. Katta’s third startup. Previously he co-founded GVI, which developed the groupware application XTeleScreen and was acquired by Netscape Communications, and Multisoft, which he said marketed and distributed high-end graphics products for the Indian market.