Secure and intelligent Private Cloud as a Service solution backed by leading German seed investors.
- Hamburg, Germany
Categories: SaaS/PaaS Digital Mixed B2B/B2C
Every company needs to store and share files. Unlike other solutions we consider that cloudplan covers almost all possible storage scenarios. The intelligent product design enables companies to store, sync and share files on every type of infrastructure and network layout while retaining 100% data sovereignty.
cloudplan has an experienced team that has built up other companies in the past, e.g. Broadnet AG, founded in 1995 with a tradesale in 2006 to QSC offering wireless local loop, DSL and VoIP addressing the same target market.
The product is available in the cloudplan online shop for Windows, Windows Server, MacOS, iOS and Android. We intend for Linux to follow shortly. We have already acquired more than 700 customers.
cloudplan is backed by leading German seed investors HTGF and IFB innovationsstarter and other private investors.
The idea for cloudplan was born when we sold Broadnet AG, a telecom carrier, in 2006. The company offered internet access through DSL and WLL and a large range of other products such as VoIP or VPNs. Our main goal was to provide customers fast and always available access to their data. We have learned that accessing file data within the company's premises, branches or home offices is technically demanding when it comes to availability, security, fast access, low costs and project time. With Broadnet we experienced a catastrophic 10 days outage time of our data servers ourselves almost jeopardizing the existence of our company.
File storage should be very simple to handle without IT knowledge. It should be very secure, highly available and needs to offer best performance at a low cost. We believe that our next-gen private cloud product will change the way companies or even individuals think about file storage!
Substantial accomplishments to date
We developed the “Peer-to-Peer” and “multi master synchronization” technology between 2013 and Jan 2016 when we first launched a beta version of our product.
The first commercial version for windows platform has been available since July 2016. We currently have over 700 customers through direct sales. We expect our customer base to increase much more when Linux is available since companies mostly have heterogeneous IT landscapes. We intend to launch this by Q4 this year.
Cloudplan was financed by the founders from end of 2013 until Aug 2015 when High-Tech Gruenderfonds and another private investor invested.
In March this year we completed another round of 0,8 Mio EUR with existing and new investors. The round was led by Innovationsstarter Fonds Hamburg.
In the beginning of August another private placement of 190k EUR has been concluded with existing investors.
For the next round here on Seedrs we are able to offer the same conditions used during the rounds in March and August, technically as a "second closing".
The product is offered as Software as a Service (SaaS), a subscription based model based on users/ nodes.
Customers have the choice of a monthly or yearly subscription. cloudplan has relatively low direct related costs for each customer using the product itself, since the customers run their own storage devices on-premise or virtually. We are designing the global cloudplan infrastructure to handle thousands of customers on the platform with the ability to simply upgrade for further customers virtually. Our plan is that these infrastructure costs will only have a minimal relation to customer numbers thus enabling us to scale and build a large margin.
We have planned with monthly ARPUs (average revenue per unit) ranging from 12 EUR for a micro enterprise, 181 EUR for a small and 1.132 EUR for a medium size company. We are building our sales pipeline in line with these assumptions.We intend for the product to be offered globally.
Use of proceeds
The product design and testing for first release took about 1.5 years.It is now our intention to scale up the business case and offer the product in a global market. We have brought together a highly professional team of 5 full time employees along with a number of freelancers to cover all aspects of the business such as programming, website creation, graphics and sales. They have been motivated by phantom stock, but only 5 are working full time, only one person is covering sales.
In order to roll-out the product and start a professional sales approach we have to increase the sales and development team. We do not believe we need many people, but just a few more, always in relation to the growth expected.
Based on our past experience as entrepreneurs we are realistic and conservative planners, always expecting the “unexpected”: It is absolutely necessary to plan for aggressive growth, but be prepared for drawbacks that are part of the usual enterprise life!
Please note that Cloudplan currently have a convertible loan outstanding from an institutional investor worth €307k. The loan will mature in August 2022 and accrues 10% interest. This convertible loan acts as an anti-dilution mechanism for the investor as part of it converts on each equity funding round at the prevailing price in order to keep the investor with a 12% stake in Cloudplan. Please be aware that this would lead to additional dilution to existing investors on future funding rounds.
Please note that the share price for this round is €118.40. Due to this share price, we have decided to allow investors to hold fractional shares. This means that we have reduced the investment multiple to €11.84 (representing 0.1 of a share). As these shares will be held via the Seedrs Nominee, fractional entitlements are possible. In the event that shares were to be transferred out of the nominee structure, Cloudplan would take the steps required to subdivide its shares so that fractional entitlements result in whole shares.
We are targeting Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) with PC workplaces. First target countries are the US, UK and Germany. Rest of Europe and Canada will follow. We consider that the potential user base in DE, FR, IT, US, CA total up to 100 million.
The cloudplan solution adds well known cloud storage and collaboration features to the company network as well as it completes the backup and disaster recovery strategy. Lean deployment specifications and simplified IT tasks meet SME requirements.
Regulatory compliance issues such as the new EU General Data Protection Regulation (http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/H...) are forcing enterprises to evaluate more secure alternatives such as our solution.
We expect that the lack of high internet bandwidth for data transfer will also drive the adoption of cloudplan's peer-to-peer cloud product.
Companies from different industries like biotech, consulting, marketing, law firms, real estate etc. are already using cloudplan.
Characteristics of target market
It is essential for companies to securely share, sync and remotely access any data at any place – internally or with partners.
According to the "Cloud Storage Market Global Forecast" by Markets and Markets, the cloud storage market size is estimated to grow up to USD 74.94 Billion by 2021, at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 25.8% from 2016 to 2021.
The key forces driving the cloud storage market include the increasing adoption of hybrid cloud storage, growing need for enterprise mobility, the flexibility to scale up or scale down the storage capacity, and need for easy deployment.
With the increase in the adoption rate of cloud storage among Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) due to benefits such as reliability, accessibility, disaster recovery and reduced IT administrative tasks, the cloud storage market is expected to gain major traction.
The experience gained at Broadnet AG in the acquisition of small and medium-sized companies is driving cloudplan's marketing strategy.
Direct Online Sales.
Using SEO and PPC with a light touch inside sales model. The acquisition is done via online processes, followed by a direct sales contact for contract closing.
The channel sales strategy is divided into three areas:
Internet/IaaS service providers, telecom carriers with a B2B customer focus.
Companies such as Salesforce already have a large group of users from our target group. cloudplan could offer additional value to these customers when they use the platform.
In the future we would look at pre-installing cloudplan on NAS devices and SME servers. The vendors would supplement the functional package of the product and this would open up additional groups of buyers for cloudplan.
There are 2 different types of competitors: Cloud storage and private cloud vendors.
Cloud storage vendors offer storage solutions in public cloud environments. We consider the following as issues with this model:
- Not secure: no data sovereignty.
- Low usability: Syncing via a cloud server takes much longer than working on a local server.
- Technical limits: Not enough disc space.
- No control: Management does not want all files to be spread all over employee computers.
- Low performance: access to internet cloud server very slow.
Private cloud vendors.
We consider that the solutions available on the market can be summarised as “not simple to handle”, “various products needed”, “long term project”, “not secure enough”, “not fast enough”, “not highly available”, “too expensive”.
Market leader: we consider this to be Sharepoint by Microsoft.
- External file sharing: In the case of Sharepoint you are stuck with “OneDrive”, which can be considered restrictive.
- VPN is hard - additional software is needed to connect to different locations and home offices.
- Extra cluster and backup software needed.
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