You don’t go out and buy a rack of servers these days when you’ve found a startup. And you’re not developing an in-house team for data centers. Instead, the big cloud platforms, namely Amazon AWS, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud, are farming out the technology needs.
That’s all well and well, but the cloud setup of any startup will become more complicated, varied, and maybe multi-provider over time. Throw in microservices, and with a huge muddle and an even larger bill, one may end up. The issue that Yotascale wants to attack is that.
And there’s money funding the growth of the start-up, including $13 million in new capital. Aydin Senkut, with participation from other capital pools, including Engineering Capital, Pelion Projects, and Crosslink Capital, led the round, a Series B, at Felicis. In total, Yotascale has now raised $25 million.
As I have heard startup CEOs talk about their public cloud spending in rather bitter terms, the funding event caught my eye; it is difficult for most startups to shift the course of infrastructure once they get off the ground, which means that as they expand, so does their outflow of dollars to the big tech companies, the same mega-caps that might turn around and compete with the same startups that aren’t.
So it will be good for startups to spend less on AWS or Azure. Yotascale aims to help more businesses better recognize and attribute those who spend on the right portion of their platform or service, perhaps reducing aggregate spending at the same time.
Let’s talk about how it came to Yotascale, where it is now.
Asim Razzaq, CEO of the startup, spoke to about the past of his venture, which didn’t start until after he had finished his tenure at both another startup and PayPal.
Razzaq didn’t fire up a deck, raise capital, and then get right to build when he set out to find Yotascale. He first went out instead to do consumer discovery work. The initiative led him to the view the existing strategies aimed at understanding cloud spending were ineffective and led to data being used in claims for lower spending against infrastructure teams when it was not a good idea (e.g. minimizing backup costs).
He also decided during that period that the target customer of Yotascale was, namely the head of platform engineering at a corporation.
For a while, the company self-funded, with Razzaq telling that before going forward, he wanted to be sure that he had conviction about the idea.
The business raised some money in 2016 after starting to work on Yotascale in mid-2015. According to Razzaq, it set out to solve the issue of spending attribution that companies with public cloud contracts contend with, including having to deal with modern architecture and its related problems while winning the confidence of engineers.
Yotascale raised a Series A in mid-2018 from its time of consumer exploration to working on a product-market fit after raising funds from Engineering Capital. As Razzaq told, as you build faith, you have to scale up your team. And, thus, more capital was required. It was clear during our conversation with the CEO how sequential his company-building approach has been.
Yotascale seems to follow the opposite of the ‘raise lots and spend quickly and aim to win instantly’ model that became very popular during the unicorn era, from talking to potential buyers, working to understand who his buyer is, to wait for the startup’s go-to-market efforts to scaling up until he was secure in product-market fit.