C3 IoT, an almost failed startup founded by a colorful billionaire who was trampled by an elephant, has raised another $100 million

Tom Siebel, founder, chairman and CEO of C3 IoT.Delivering Alpha

  • C3 IoT has raised $100 million from investors that come with U2 singer Bono and movie mogul Jeff Skoll.
  • C3 IoT began by billionaire Tom Siebel right before he was attacked by an elephant.
  • As Siebel wheel-chaired himself to meetings, his company nearly died.
  • He pivoted, restructured, which round of funding is a second triumph inside the company’s come-back story.


If it’s factual that it will take money to generate, then it’s no great surprise a startup called C3 IoT has investors drooling, nevertheless had comments its near catastrophic start.

On Wednesday, C3 IoT announced it raised a $100 million round of funding from its existing investors including TPG Growth, Breyer Capital, Sutter Hill and its particular founder and CEO Tom Siebel.

Thats liable to bring the full raised to nearly $243 million. C3 IoT didn’t say just what company’s current valuation is but at its last round, 10 months ago, it absolutely was worth $1.41 billion.

C3 IoT may be a major second act for Siebel who’s last company, the self-titled Siebel Systems, made him a billionaire and cemented his name forever during the annals of enterprise software. Siebel was an early on employee and top salesman at Oracle who parted ways with this company when its founder CEO Larry Ellison didn’t like Siebel’s idea for any new style of software. Siebel were going to create software to help companies manage their interactions with customers.

So he founded his very own company and invented a software market now generally known as customer relationship management, or CRM. Whilst grew it right multi-billion dollar business, Ellison delivered checkbook on hand, and purchased the company in 2006 for $5.8 billion.

Only one Oracle executive to determine an opportunity

Interestingly, Marc Benioff, the billionaire founder of Salesforce, was inspired by Siebel’s success to make a CRM company when he, too, was a professional at Oracle. His idea ended up assemble it as cloud software. In Benioff’s case, he left Oracle with Ellison’s blessing and $2 million of Ellison’s money for angel investment. Brand new show after, Oracle launched unique CRM software and Benioff famously kicked Ellison off his board. When Oracle bought Siebel in 2006, the competitive antagonism heated up forwards and backwards frenemies that days Ellison and Benioff are at complete loggerheads.

Meanwhile, Siebel took his earnings from the sale and have become a philanthropist and investor. His investment company, First Virtual Group, funds many techniques from agriculture to housing to tech.

Nevertheless it had been a charity effort around sustainable energy that helped birth the idea that would eventually be C3 IoT.

Siebel was thinking a good deal about energy together with philanthropic effort Siebel Energy Institute whilst made a decision to build software to help electric grids manage energy flows to homes. In 2009, he contacted several wealthy friends $20 millions over the single weekend to found C3, kicking in $6 million of his personal money, reports Forbes Alex Konrad. He hired former Siebel systems executive Patricia House as his CEO.

Don\’t use elephants

Nine months later, he was trampled by an elephant whilst on Safari in Africa, which badly injured him.

On a nearly two-year recovery, he attended meetings within a wheelchair, the Mercury News reported. By the time he was fully recovered, oil prices were in tatters through the global economic meltdown and energy companies wasn\’t buying software. C3 was nearly bankrupt, Siebel told Forbes.

But Siebel saw an easy method out: all of the data which had been captured from sensors in wind turbines and around the grid. He restructured the organization, fired 110 of 150 employees including many individuals he’d known his whole career. With the remaining team, mostly engineers, C3 spent a couple of years re-writing its software to collecting and analyzing data from sensors and industrial machines, as companies were beginning to commit to online of Things (IoT).

He relaunched C3 as C3 IoT in 2016 and so, with Siebel as CEO and House for a board member, it counts organizations much like the US Dod, 3M, Pella, together with energy companies as customers.

Perhaps the new $100 million investment was on the Rise Fund, a socially responsible fund managed by TPG’s Bill McGlashan and founded by U2 frontman Bono and movie mogul Jeff Skoll who produced “An Inconvenient Truth.”

Siebel intends to utilize the cash to flourish into new industries and new countries.

Business Insider also named C3 IoT one of many 51 startups to bet your job on in 2018.

Learn more:

  • What will be the Internet of products? Definition, Industries and Companies
  • IoT Ecosystem – Forecasts and Business Opportunities
  • IoT Market Size, Share & Growth Forecasts
  • IoT Trends, Growth & Predictions
  • IoT Devices, Applications & Examples
  • Top IoT Companies to observe & Invest In
  • IoT Wearable Devices & Technology
  • How IoT Will Affect Security
  • IoT Reports

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