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OCS 2020 Fireside Chat: Leah Solivan and Brian Leonard

Leah Solivan is currently a General Partner at Fuel Capital, an early stage venture fund located in Silicon Valley. She likes to invest across consumer, B2B saas, and technology infrastructure companies at the earliest stages. Leah has over 15 years experience building and creating technology products that have reached millions of people around the globe. She started her career at IBM as a Software Engineer, working on Lotus Notes and Domino. In 2008 Leah founded TaskRabbit, the leading on-demand service marketplace in the world. She spent nearly a decade involved with the company as CEO and Executive Chairwoman before she sold the company to IKEA in October of 2017. A vision for revolutionizing the way people work led Leah to pioneer the concept of β€œservice networking.” Leah has expanded TaskRabbit internationally, raised more than $50 million in venture funding, and inspired legions of startups to launch in the collaborative consumption space. Fast Company named her one of the β€œ100 Most Creative People in Business,” and her achievements have been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Wired, and Time.

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Brian Leonard is a leader and technologist who enjoys hanging out with his family, traveling, learning new things, and building software that makes people's lives easier.

Relevant Links
LinkedIn - Twitter

Tell us about the vision for Grouparoo. T Why was the company founded, and what was the motivation for starting the company? - 0:16

Leah, what were the compelling reasons that helped you get conviction on the investment? - 1:52

Talk about the open-source aspect. Why is open-source so critical to what you’re doing? -3:16

Talk about the community. How have you built out the awareness of open source? What techniques and methods have you used to get people to care about your project? - 4:35

Looking at different companies in data syncing and data integration workflows, whether it’s Segment and other Segment competitors, people describe this category as Customer Data Platforms. Is there more development in describing this technology in a categorical way, and how do you see this ecosystem evolving? - 6:20

It seems like a very workflow-specific problem for companies that are evaluating different approaches for data syncing across customer data. So it seems like customer data is at the heart of all this. What is the evolution of customer data? Where is customer data being stored, generated, and what are the more interesting sources in customer data these days? -8:49

I’m seeing in the documentation that you’re focusing on making it really easy to use Grouparoo without writing a lot of code. Is that a big value proposition for customer data people, and people that are managing a lot of business applications and workflows, not needing to be engineers themselves? - 11:00

I have to ask about business models. How do you think through that? How does Grouparoo think about adding value for customers and charging money? What is the future of monetizing platforms that interact with customer data? Are we going to see some evolution there as well? - 12:56

Concluding remarks - 17:45

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