With Seed Funding, ParkMyCloud Plans To Help More Cloud Customers Spend Less

Businesses don't leave the lights on after employees leave the office, but many don't think twice about running the Amazon Web Services meter during the hours when they're not consuming public cloud resources.

Such common and wasteful spending led Jay Chapel to found ParkMyCloud just more than a year ago, a startup that offers a Software-as-a-Service tool designed to enable cloud users to save money by flipping the switch on their AWS accounts.

ParkMyCloud, based in Dulles, Va., Tuesday announced completion of its first round of seed funding, raising $1.65 million to expose its product to more customers by building market awareness of its cost-optimization technology, extending the solution to more public cloud providers, and expanding its channel, Chapel, the company's CEO, told CRN.

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The seed-round investors, led by Cofounders Capital, will help the startup "get on the map" with their industry connections, Chapel said, in addition to shouldering the high expense of scaling a SaaS business.

ParkMyCloud will invest in its sales and marketing teams to broaden distribution while simultaneously expanding the capabilities of its technology, which can schedule times that cloud services are available, allowing users to avoid paying for idle compute resources.

ParkMyCloud will add either Microsoft Azure or Google Cloud Platform functionality to the mix in the fourth quarter; then the other hyper-scale cloud in the following first quarter, Chapel said. An IBM SoftLayer integration will likely follow, he said.

Chapel said about one-third of customers using ParkMyCloud to control AWS expenses are interested in seeing the product extend to Azure because they are also running Microsoft services as part of multicloud environments. Many are also asking about compatibility with Google Cloud Platform, he said, though it seems those customers more often are assessing Google as a provider, rather than managing active accounts, he said.

But the primary focus will remain on Amazon, Chapel told CRN, because the size of its customer base eclipses all those other providers combined.

ParkMyCloud will seek to innovate by creating new optimization services around AWS products beyond EC2, Amazon's basic compute service, he said. The company will also develop greater analytics capabilities so it can provide data to customers that better informs their spending decisions.

Rick Geary, president of Channel Systems, a VAR based in Raleigh, N.C., that's focused on cutting-edge data center infrastructure technologies, told CRN that ParkMyCloud is an easy pitch to customers because it delivers an immediate return on their investment.

"Many cloud users don't realize the billing of cloud services is always on," Geary told CRN. " It's so easy, you immediately see cost savings. Developers work 9 to 5. Why are you paying 24/7?"

Geary offers a simple analogy when talking to C-level execs: "It's like telling your kids to turn the lights off when they leave the room," he said.

Customers can see cost savings from 20 percent to 60 percent using the software, he said, and that money can go back into other infrastructure elements, such as security.

While the premise of ParkMyCloud is simple, Geary, who prides himself on working with the latest-and-greatest solutions, has never encountered a similar technology, he said.

Geary expects the startup's first funding haul to primarily be invested in gaining exposure for the product.

"With that money, [Chapel] can start to build true channel partnerships and relationships that drive his company with a lot of revenue," Geary said.

ParkMyCloud has signed about eight channel partners so far, Chapel said, giving the company a global presence.

Many of them are using the service as a "land-and-expand tool," he said, accessing new accounts by promising cost savings, then upselling to managed services and other channel offerings.