Why Glean?

Tamar Yehoshua

President, Product and Technology

After over a decade leading Google Search Experience teams and Slack product teams as the CPO, I spent the past 10 months as a Venture Partner. At IVP I had the amazing opportunity to invest in startups alongside a world-class team, meet with founders of AI companies, evaluate new technologies and products, and launch an AI-focused newsletter to understand how people are thinking about AI. 

I’ve loved being in venture, yet I decided to join Glean as President, Product and Technology. Why? 

My path to Glean has been a long time in the making.

I’ve known Arvind Jain, Glean’s CEO, for over a decade, when we first met working at Google. He was a technical lead on Search Infrastructure and I was a product lead on Search Features. I remember being in a meeting with Arvind when he was tasked with resolving a complex technical issue on the search results page. He was a dedicated engineer with a quiet confidence - people listened when he spoke.

In 2019, I learned that Arvind was building a new company, Glean. As the Chief Product Officer at Slack, Arvind came to pitch me his idea for a new enterprise search solution. While Arvind is a natural leader and a great technologist, enterprise search had been tried before, many times. It’s hard to build a great product and even harder to get people to pay for it. “It will be a slog,” I thought.

The next time I met with Arvind was in 2023, when IVP was exploring companies in enterprise AI. Alongside one of the partners at IVP, Somesh Dash, I began researching investment opportunities. 

For years, Glean had been perfecting its core search and retrieval augmented generation (RAG) technology which was now the bedrock of its AI work assistant. Who better to build it than a distinguished engineer who built Google’s search infrastructure?

I had not thought of Glean initially as an AI company, yet I learned that Glean had been using AI technology as a part of their solution from the beginning. Arvind and his team had adapted the advances in AI to add a chat interface and created a conversational assistant. Seemingly overnight, the value proposition for Glean became obvious to investors and customers. Turns out that Arvind had been patiently working on the right thing at the right time.

As a part of IVP’s diligence process, I spent time talking to Glean customers and was increasingly impressed with the feedback I heard. Overwhelmingly, customers loved the product, finding it fast, easy to use, as well as a big booster when it came to productivity. My favorite customer quote was: “During the great software culling, we fought finance to keep Glean.” 

At the same time, I became convinced that AI will change how we interact with software and make us more productive. AI will enable us to solve problems that we couldn’t solve before - providing a natural language chat interface, easily finding answers to complex questions, generating content, and much more. I wanted to build a product using AI technology, not just invest in a company that did.

AJ Tennant, Glean’s head of sales, and me from the Glean company kick-off

I’ve spent my career building software that improves people’s lives. The more time I spent learning about Glean and talking with Arvind about his vision for the company, the more I realized that Glean was a fit for me–and that my experience working at Google and Slack could help Arvind better realize his vision.

Ultimately, two investments came out of IVP’s conversations with Glean. IVP invested in Glean’s financing, and I went on to make an investment in Glean of my own, as a builder.

Many people ask me if all the hype around AI is overblown. I think we’re on the cusp of a transition in which every knowledge worker will soon have an AI-based assistant, and there will be a few iconic companies that will change how we work. I’m confident that Glean will be one of those iconic companies.

Related articles

No items found.
The AI-powered work assistant. Across all your company's data.
Get a Demo
CTA Section Background Shape