Database startup Redis Ltd. has named Rowan Trollope its new chief executive officer, effective Feb. 1.
Mr. Trollope was CEO of the cloud-based customer-service software firm Five9 Inc. until Nov. 28, and had served in the role since 2018. After Mr. Trollope’s departure, former Five9 CEO Mike Burkland returned to his previous post.
At Redis, Mr. Trollope will succeed Ofer Bengal, who co-founded the startup with Yiftach Shoolman in 2011 and has served as CEO since its founding. Mr. Bengal will become chairman of the board.
“The company was growing very, very fast and it got to a time when I think that after 12 years, we needed the next level of leader to take the company to the next stage,” Mr. Bengal said.
The Mountain View, Calif.-based startup had been targeting a public-market debut in previous years, but deferred its IPO plans in light of market conditions, Mr. Bengal said. The company will revisit the possibility of an initial public offering “once the market is open,” he said.
Still, Redis had been searching for a new CEO with public company experience for over two years, and interviewed about 50 candidates before selecting Mr. Trollope, Mr. Bengal said.
Mr. Trollope led Five9 through its plans to merge with Zoom Video Communications Inc. in September of last year. Zoom’s nearly $15 billion all-stock bid to acquire Five9 ultimately failed to gain enough votes from Five9 shareholders amid concerns about the videoconferencing company’s slowing growth.
Following the failed takeover bid, Mr. Trollope said he received a number of calls from companies seeking to hire him, but none piqued his interest the way Redis did. While he was able to be hands-on as CEO of Five9, the role wasn’t in the world of developers. “That is an area that I think is changing the world,” Mr. Trollope said.
Mr. Trollope said he began his career as a developer before leading a team of several thousands in Cisco Systems Inc.’s applications group. In joining Redis, Mr. Trollope said it was important to return to his developer roots and be part of a company he believes will “revolutionize the data layer completely.”
Redis has over 800 employees and offers an in-memory database, which relies on flash memory and RAM and can run faster than computer disk-based databases. It partners with the cloud-computing units of Amazon.com Inc., Microsoft Corp. and Alphabet Inc., which the company said helps it reach more customers.
In April 2021, Redis announced $110 million in Series G funding led by Tiger Global Management, bringing its total funding to $347 million. The company said it was valued at over $2 billion at the time.
A company spokesperson said Redis has nearly 10,000 paying customers.
“The current IPO market is observably very difficult,” said Kyle Stanford, a senior venture-capital analyst at research firm PitchBook Data Inc. “It’s difficult to see this situation changing in the near term as we head into 2023.”
Having IPO experience among executives is a benefit for startups in such an environment, but shouldn’t come at the expense of losing founders who have a strong vision for the company or its technology, Mr. Stanford said.
Instead, the focus for pre-IPO startups should be on shoring up corporate structure and governance to highlight stability and company development, Mr. Stanford added.
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