SkyKick Lands $3M In Funding, Won't Comment On Microsoft's Free Office 365 Migrations

SkyKick, a Seattle-based startup whose software automates Office 365 migrations, landed $3 million in new funding this week and plans to use it to double the size of its staff and tackle new markets.

SkyKick has emerged as an important technology for Microsoft partners since launching its first product last April. It helps them move customers from on-premise Microsoft software to Office 365.

SkyKick's software automates time-consuming technical parts of Office 365 migrations, but it also handles other parts of the process, like software provisioning and licensing, and communicating with customers, co-founders Evan Richman and Todd Schwartz said in an interview.

[Related: Microsoft Exec Discusses Plan To Offer Customers Free Office 365 Migration Services]

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Automating all these tasks helps partners complete Office 365 migration projects faster and build trust with customers, said Richman and Schwartz, who co-founded SkyKick in 2011 after spending several years as product managers at Microsoft.

"There is a lot of risk and complexity with Office 365 migrations and customers don't want downtime," Richman told CRN. "We're a key ingredient in helping them do that successfully."

For an average small business Office 365 migration of 30 seats, SkyKick can cut the time partners spend from 40 hours to 4 hours, according to Richman and Schwartz. SkyKick now has "thousands" of Microsoft partners using its software, they said.

Microsoft's plan to start offering free Office 365 migrations to customers this fall through its Fast Track program could take business away from Microsoft partners that provide these services.

As CRN first reported last week, Microsoft is hiring between 250 and 600 new engineers to provide "on-boarding" services for Office 365, which include Active Directory integration, cloud services activation and provisioning users.

SkyKick, as a Microsoft partner enabler, could also be negatively affected. But Richman and Schwartz declined to comment, noting that Microsoft hasn’t officially revealed its plans.

With the new $3 million, SkyKick has now raised a total of $7.2 million from angel investor Tim Ferriss and Ironfire Capital.

Richman and Schwartz said they plan to double SkyKick's headcount from 40 to 80 in the next year, the majority of which will be sales and marketing roles.

While SkyKick started out focusing on SMBs, it's also focusing on enterprise Office 365 migration work. Its Enterprise Migration Suite product can handle Office 365 projects of up to 500,000 seats, Richman and Schwartz said.

With more than 600,000 partners in the Microsoft channel worldwide, SkyKick sees lots of room to grow.

"The primary rationale for this funding is to reach more partners," Schwartz said.