CloudTP Comes Out of Stealth, With $1M in Equity Seed Funding, to Help Big Companies Move Data to Their Own Private Clouds
Serial IT entrepreneur Chris Greendale is taking a crack at another company, which is involved in what he calls “carbon reduction by cloud computing.
It’s not exactly the most commonly thought of means to sustainability, but his new firm, Boston-based CloudTP, is focused on helping firms reduce the need for their own physical data centers in favor of doing their data storage and processing on private Internet clouds, which provide computing services for a particular enterprise behind a secure firewall. The startup’s business is a mix of software and services, much like Cambridge Technology Partners, a consulting firm for client server systems integrations that Greendale helped found in 1991.
Cambridge Technology Partners went public in 1993 and hit a market cap of $5 billion, and is the inspiration for his new company’s name and mission. “It’s a major asset for us to be using this name,” Greendale says. “People get it, they say, ‘You’re Cambridge for the cloud.'”
With CloudTP (which is officially launching today), Greendale and his team are looking to help mostly large enterprises move their computing applications from running on their own physical data centers over to private cloud infrastructures managed by CloudTP. “It’s a fundamental shift in the way enterprise computing is going to be done,” he says. Most of CloudTP’s customers will have to be early adopters, as cloud computing for big enterprise data hasn’t hit the mainstream yet, due to security concerns. Setting up private cloud systems for these customers is important because existing, public cloud computing infrastructures such as Amazon Web Services don’t enable the customers to fully protect their data or work within company firewalls, he says. CloudTP is looking for each of these clients to bring in about $1 million each year for the company.
The startup, which first came together about a year ago, has nabbed $1 million in seed funding from Greylock Partners’ Discovery Fund, John Littlechild of HealthCare Ventures, and three other angel investors. CloudTP has been working with clients for a few months and also has a $500,000 line of credit from Silicon Valley Bank and potentially a $3 million debt-based investment from a customer coming through. It’s hoping to bring in enough client work that it won’t need to raise any big institutional funding, says Greendale, who also founded Breakaway Solutions, an Internet enterprise software company that went public in 1999, and worked as a general partner at Kodiak Venture Partners prior to launching CloudTP.
CloudTP’s team is heavy with Cambridge Technology Partners veterans and now has 15 employees, but should hit 40 by the end of February, Greendale says. The firm is also eyeing desktop virtualization as a service later on down the line, he says. “When you have private cloud, it’s natural that you can virtualize,” says Greendale.
As CloudTP implements and builds private cloud systems for particular clients, it will also be developing software that can be applied to future projects, he says. “If we can develop some IP to make that efficient, it’s obviously in everyone’s best interest,” Greendale says.