How It Feels When Your Business Takes a Dive

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business diveHow does it feel? Sad.

But at the same time, it can be exhilarating — especially if you founded a startup that competes with your old company.

Welcome to the life of Gaurav Dhillon, cofounder of two enterprise software companies in the same space: Informatica and SnapLogic.

Earlier this week, Informatica announced it was going private in a $5.3 billion leveraged buyout deal. It’s a modest win for investors who will get $48.75/share, about a 6% premium.

“I founded that company out of my garage 1992, $0 to $300 million in revenue. I was its first employee and its first CEO for 12 years and created a global company,” he told Business Insider.

“As an individual I feel incredibly mixed,” he says. “I feel bad for the single mom who I hired 15 years ago who put her kids through college working for that company. I feel bad for all the customers who are going to get squeezed through this private equity leverage, the debt payments. Wall Street will do alright, as will a certain set of people at the tippy-top of that company.”

He added, “It’s that old recipe of how do you make lemonade from lemons? Squeeze, squeeze. You know how private equity is. Its a well studied spectacle. It’s not a charity.”

Dhillon left Informatica about 10 years ago over disagreements with the board about the strategic direction of the company, he told us.

A “clean break”

 About a year later, he founded SnapLogic, a competitor to Informatica that offers its products as a cloud service. (It’s a similar story to Dave Duffield, PeopleSoft and Workday, without the huge ugly hostile takeover by Oracle.)

Dave Duffield of WorkdayInformatica was founded before the internet and is a key player in data warehousing, which stores mega amounts of data for business analysis, and in “middleware,” which connects computer systems together to fill the warehouse with data.

Today data warehousing is being replaced by faster, cheaper “big data” technologies and middleware is taking a beating from cloud integration services such as those offered by SnapLogic and MuleSoft.

Read more at Business Insider