Startup Zynstra's hybrid SMB cloud gets $3.8m injection

Targeting smaller firms, the pay-as-you-go hybrid cloud technology that software company Zynstra launched in July picks up fresh investment.
Written by Toby Wolpe, Contributor

Cloud startup Zynstra says it will use a $3.8m (£2.4m) funding injection to speed up development and deployment of its hybrid platform for smaller firms.

The Bath, UK, based company, which launched the hybrid system in July, will be putting money into cloud migration tools and developing the channel partners offering the Zynstra product to businesses with fewer than 250 staff.

"What we provide a small business is an option that currently really is only there for larger enterprises," Zynstra co-founder and CEO Nick East said.

"We give them an ability to be able to store their data and run their applications on premise as though it were in the cloud and then integrate it with any cloud services they choose."

Private cloud technology

The system consists of pay-as-you-go private cloud technology running on HP ProLiant servers installed at a small company's premises, managed via the cloud by a service provider, with Zynstra providing software updates.

"We deliver them on premise a miniaturised SMB-appropriate private cloud. The hybrid piece then of course is that we can link that into any public cloud services for them to be able to take advantage of services like Office 365, for example," East said.

That capability is clearly already being used in large enterprises, he said.

"But what typically happens is people try to use the larger enterprise tools and shrink them down. From a cost perspective but also from a scale and skills perspective, it just doesn't work."

Pay-as-you-go pricing 

Depending on service levels and additional services and support provided by the partner company, the Zynstra hybrid cloud should cost about the same as a local mobile phone contract, according to East.

"So it's in the tens of pounds per user per month, inclusive of the private cloud hardware and the private cloud infrastructure and the applications that sit on top," he said.

Zynstra will be focusing the new funds on developing a broader suite of integrated applications in a number of vertical sectors that firms can deploy either on premise or in the cloud, as well as tools for migrating data and backing up data on- and offsite.

"We're also looking at how you can take an SMB's local network and extend that local network securely into a remote cloud offering, either for disaster recovery or for enabling users who are in the office or on the road to get the optimal access to their IT," East said.

"There are a whole series of things that influence where [smaller firms] choose to put their IT and really what we're saying is that the cloud should not be seen as a panacea, particularly the public cloud services.

"Hybrid for us is about saying the business should choose where it makes sense to have data and applications, and we can give them the same tools that larger enterprises are now using to store data and applications seamlessly, wherever it's most appropriate to do it and deliver it all on a pay-as-you-go basis."

Zynstra is also looking to extend its network of service providers into Europe and other territories.

The $3.8m of series A funding, led by Octopus Investments, brings the total raised by Zynstra to just over $6m (£3.79m).

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