When Domo, a start up formed by Omniture co-founder Josh James launched in 2011, it was backed by a healthy $43 million dollars, plus another $10 million from two angel investors — Salesforce.com CEO Marc Benioff and John Thompson, chairman of Symantec Corp.

And there was plenty more where that came from, James said at the time, quite presciently as it turns out. "We could raise another $100 million tomorrow if we wanted to," he boasted. "It's just a question of dilution and trying to get the right value for the shareholders.”

And so today, at the Silicon Slopes, Utah-based company’s annual business conference, Domopalooza, it came as little surprise that the company announced it secured $131 million in series D funding following earlier rounds in the intervening years to reach a $2 billion valuation. All told, in the past few years Domo has raised more than $330 million, bringing its total funding to $590 million.

Another Slacker

It also came as little surprise to many when the company added that it was launching a $50 million investment fund to back third-party companies building apps on Domo — a strategy that is working out very nicely for Slack, incidentally.

What did raise a few eyebrows was the $100 million in billings it also announced. Domo, you see, has taken care to fly under the radar for much of its existence only coming out of stealth mode this time last year.  The market knew it had access to money, but what its end goal was exactly, for that funding was an open question.

And as a point of fact, Domo didn't quite come out of stealth mode last year, David Thompson, Domo's newly appointed chief strategy officer, told CMSWire.

All it shipped last year was a visualization engine that is the core of what Domo has launched this week, he said. "Josh felt we weren't ready to ship the full self-service ecosystem that we launched this week," Thompson said.

A Business Cloud Empire

All this mystery ended this week at Domopalooza, when the company announced:

  • Its core offering of Business Cloud, an analytics platform that provides the necessary data to run an entire business and make intelligent decisions
  • The Domo Appstore, which is equipped with more than 1,000 business management apps, both free and premium
  • Buzz, a free social collaboration platform for the Business Cloud that incorporates business data into an organization’s social fabric and can be used by non-Business Cloud customers
  • Domo Mobile, the mobile experience for Business Cloud, available in iOS and Android native apps and Mobile Web

So, to answer the question of Domo's mystery years: It had been building a multi-cloud infrastructure that, with the appropriate data delivered via Domo's 400 connectors, provides one of the more detailed, real-time views of a company’s operations, sales, supply chain and financials possible in the market.

Those 400 connectors are for the most used cloud service providers, databases and business applications, such as Salesforce, SAP, NetSuite and of course, Omniture. They are essentially APIs that connect to Domo’s Business Cloud to pull in the data, Thompson said. Domo’s SDK means companies can write their own connectors if they have a proprietary database or use an application that is not part of the 400 connectors, he also said.

Learning Opportunities

Domo automates the data collection from these companies and normalizes its presentation by inserting it into Domo’s management dashboard. The various apps augment its usefulness even further. 

Think about a typical process in which a company runs numbers out of a traditional BI tool and then inserts them in massive spreadsheets for analysis. That is what Domo does. But the process is automated and multiplied by, say, 50 (or however many different apps and data sources the company uses to run its operations). Then the data is enhanced with such features as alerts and pre-built templates and the social data overlay that is available via Buzz.

How It All Comes Together

The visualization engine then drills down to answer whatever questions the company has, such as how is the current marketing campaign driving, or not, sales?

Or, If that marketing campaign is delivering higher than expected number of conversions, when will those conversions show up in the sales pipeline? In account receivables? Will they impact the supply pipeline?

Or, perhaps a company wants to know why sales in one city are unusually low. The overlay of social data might show that a local bloggers has been posting very negative reviews about an experience she had with the company.

How, exactly, the company makes this all work is its secret sauce.  "Our engineering team is flat out amazing," Thompson said. "From my perspective, I was astounded at the system’s capabilities. You have to understand – I come from a company with a BI effort that included Tableau and Hadoop – and it resulted in nothing happening."

An Aggressive Glide Path

Getting to this point was worth the wait, Thompson said, and $100 million in billings suggests that he is correct. 

Thompson said the company is on a glide path to doubling its billings every year for the next five years. And indeed, like that original $43 million in venture finance, one suspects that $100 million will be regarded as chump change by Domo in a few years.