20VC: The Memo: Why Salesforce, SAP and Concur Will Die | Scaling 3x and Raising at a $9.2BN Valuation in COVID | How OpenAI is Changing the Travel Industry Forever | Never Before Revealed Margins on Travel and Expense Management with Ariel Cohen, Co-Founder & CEO
Posted on 8th February 2023 by Harry
Ariel Cohen is the Co-Founder and CEO @ Navan (formerly TripActions), the #1 travel management super-app used by over 8,000 companies. Ariel has raised over $2BN for Navan from some of the best including a16z, Zeev Ventures, Lightspeed, Greenoaks, and Elad Gil. Prior to TripActions, Ariel co-founded streamOnce, a business multimedia integration platform that was successfully acquired by Jive Software, where Ariel had previously served in a senior position following his time at Hewlett-Packard.
In Today’s Episode with Ariel Cohen We Discuss:
1.) Why Education is Outdated and Wisdom to People Entering the Working World:
Why did Ariel not really attend many classes when he was a student?
What would be his biggest advice to young people leaving school today? Where would he focus?
Why does Ariel believe that traditional education is more outdated now than ever before?
2.) Why SAP and Salesforce Will Die:
Why does Ariel believe that SAP and Salesforce have not innovated for a decade?
Why does Ariel believe that Slack is a disaster inside of Salesforce?
What are the single biggest advantages that startups have over these large incumbents?
What can startups do to retain innovation and speed as they scale into becoming an incumbent?
Why are the best founders willing to kill their own projects?
3.) Growing a Business 3x and Raising at a $9.2BN Valuation in COVID:
How did Ariel grow the business 3x with all travel being banned?
What were the tactics to blitz scaling during COVID?
How did Ariel approach his investors for a new round in the middle of COVID? How did he get such a high price in the midst of a global pandemic?
What is the bull case for how Navan can be a $40BN company?
4.) Margins Matter: Gaining Leverage Through Additional Margin:
With Navan’s 80% margin, they have 30% higher margins than other competitors, how do they have such high margins?
With the additional 30%, how does Ariel plan to scale Navan’s reach and use the margin to do so?
How does OpenAI play a role in helping Navan increase its margin even further?