Explosive growth to become a global category leader, five transformative pivots, and the largest exit ever for a Spanish deep-tech company. This is 10 years in the life of Julio Casal, his AlienVault team, and their partners at Adara.
It began when we met Julio and his team. Immediately we saw their vision, extraordinary talent, and a product positioned to disrupt the significantly growing Security Information and Event Management market.
Adara’s Alberto Gomez joined the board of AlienVault in 2008 and helped guide its founders through the five critical transformations that would reshape the business forever:
- Creating a scalable business model — transforming a service-based model by productising the platform.
- Crossing the Atlantic — building a bold and ambitious sales team in the heart of Silicon Valley, developing the US market, and relocating AlienVault’s headquarters.
- Building the organisation for scale — introducing strong US investors, improving credibility, contacts, and industry knowledge in the executive team, as well as navigating the balance of cultural differences with US leadership and Spanish heritage, R&D, support, and legacy client base.
- Shifting from ‘red ocean’ to ‘blue ocean’ — going back to AlienVault’s roots, targeting the mid-market and avoiding the highly saturated market at the top, combined with further product simplification.
- Pivoting to a cloud-based subscription revenue — even as the clear mid-market leader, and with little competitive threat, choosing to show initiative and responding to the rapidly changing world before a competitor could.
Courageous leadership, intellectual rigour, and a commitment to long-term results. These were the characteristics the team brought to bear on each transition point, whether recruiting executives, launching products, adapting the sales strategy, or modifying the revenue model.
And, though these transition points seem inevitable in hindsight, at the time none were obvious. But, with the conviction that the team was the best and most capable in the market, each step edged closer to the groups’ end-goal.
Adara joined with AlienVault at the seed stage. We remained a trusted partner all the way through, helping them scale, refine, and seize opportunities to realise their ambition.
More than 100 people earned a six-figure return from AlienVault. In the years to come, we anticipate several successful startups from AlienVault alumni.