AirVM, a 7-year-old company backed by Canadian telecom mogul Terry Matthews, today is announcing an $8 million Series A round and a customer win with Rackspace, while also releasing version 2.0 of its AirSembly software, which it plans to show off at VMworld next week.
It adds up to a big day for the startup, which has spent the last two years pushing a management platform for VMware-based cloud environments — which, at this point essentially means vCloud Air.
Think of AirSembly as a skin for vCloud Air. Service providers can give it to enterprise customers as the user interface for the hybrid cloud.
The need for such a thing arises because while service providers can license vCloud Air and offer it on a white-label basis, the license doesn’t include VMware’s own management system. So, service providers are left to develop or apply their own tools, and to tie them into back-office functions such as billing, says Josh Vautour, AirVM’s CEO.
“This is absolutely going to help accelerate VMware’s vCloud Air MSP [managed service provider] growth and, within those MSP customers they have, allow them to ramp,” Vautour says of AirSembly.
Ottawa-based AirVM started down this path seven years ago as a bootstrapped company offering its own VMware-based infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS). As part of that business, AirVM had developed its own management platform, which became AirSembly. Interest began stirring a couple of years ago for AirVM’s competitors to license that platform, and that’s when the company figured it was onto something.
At that point, Matthews — chair of Mitel and head of investment group Wesley Clover International — invested in AirVM to start commercializing AirSembly. The product was launched two years ago, but it was about 12 months ago that the company really “put the pedal down,” Vautour says.
The $8 million funding round was led by RHO Canada Ventures and included Build Ventures and, of course, Wesley Clover. With the money, AirVM intends to expand its scope to include Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, and OpenStack and Hyper-V-based environments.