Japan’s OnLab / Digital Garage believed so much on this that it provided $150,000 funding.
Realizing the financial advantages of selling a virtual appliance to enterprise customer, Alexander Williams, co-founded Unscramble which brought the web service called Jidoteki with his bestfriend for 10 years. Both has worked with Github, a Git repository web-based hosting service before founding their own company.
Alexander and his best friend Patrice LaFlamme are originally from Montreal, Canada.Alexander worked at GitHub in the enterprise team, focusing on GitHub's enterprise virtual appliance.
“Working at GitHub allowed me to see the financial advantages of selling a virtual appliance to enterprise customers. A lightbulb moment occurred a few months after leaving GitHub, while searching for "something to do". I realized their model can be applied to other companies. My deep experience with enterprise software/sales process, virtual appliances, and automation were a natural fit to provide this solution to other companies,” said Alexander.
Alexander describe how this financial advantage works, “GitHub's least expensive 'paid' plan is USD $7/month/user. With their enterprise virtual appliance, they are selling a minimum of USD $5000/year/20 users. That's an incredible increase in recurring revenue for GitHub, and this is a yearly license instead of a monthly subscription. Anyone in finances can tell you it's a great idea, despite the added cost of providing enterprise support.”
Jidoteki, is mostly concerned with automation, security and privacy in the IT industry. Jidoteki’s service helps SaaS providers package and sell their web application as a virtual appliance (one file download). SaaS providers can then sell their virtual appliances to Enterprise customers, so they can use it on-premises, behind their corporate firewall.
“What makes us unique is our ability to provide a service which helps our customers increase their revenue, without increasing their workload. A lightbulb moment occurred a few months after leaving GitHub, while searching for "something to do". I realized their model can be applied to other companies. My deep experience with enterprise software/sales process, virtual appliances, and automation were a natural fit to provide this solution to other companies,” said Alexander.
According to Alexander, with Jidoteki, they are solving two problems at once. The first is the problem of Enterprise customers who are not able, can't, or will not use SaaS/cloud-based applications due to security, privacy, and even government regulations. The second is the problem of SaaS providers who can't sell their service to Enterprise customers, for the reasons mentioned above.
How it works
After signing up, customers fill a few forms for Jidoteki to automatically create and customize their virtual appliance. Jidoteki will allow them to upload their SaaS application which is added in their virtual appliance. They will then create download links which can be shared with enterprise customers (for a fee + yearly subscription cost). Their customers, generally, already have a demand from enterprise customers, so they turn to Jidoteki to help them create the final distributable product.
“We bootstrapped through IT consulting for 2 years, started on 2012 Then we joined Japan's most famous seed accelerator: OnLab / Digital Garage. They provided us with JP¥2M (~HK$150,000) and more importantly, some great mentoring. We also won a special award during our Demo Day presentation in April,” said Alexander.
Alexander also presume that a SaaS/Cloud provider will save a lot of time building and updating virtual appliances with Jidoteki. It is orders of magnitude simpler, quicker, less expensive, and less painful than doing it yourself. He also adds, that they are looking to acquire more customers - SaaS providers.
Name of the company: Unscramble
Founders: Alexander Williams and Patrice LaFlamme
Major Investors: OnLab / Digital Garage
Total funding at hand: ~HK$150,000
Start of operation: October 2012
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