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Nerdio Raises $8M To Bring Azure, Windows Virtual Desktop To More MSPs

The startup is looking to expand its resources and training for MSPs while also adding staff in partner-facing roles.

Nerdio on Tuesday announced raising its first outside funding, with an $8 million round to scale its efforts with managed services providers around Microsoft's Azure cloud platform and Windows Virtual Desktop solution.

The Chicago-based startup provides an Azure automation platform for MSPs and generates nearly all of its revenue through the channel. Nerdio has raised the Series A round to "continue on our mission of being the go-to solution in empowering MSPs to build successful cloud practices in Microsoft Azure," said Nerdio CEO Vadim Vladimirskiy (pictured) in an interview with CRN.

[Related: Microsoft's Windows Virtual Desktop Is Set To Drive Azure VDI Sales Explosion: Partners]

Windows Virtual Desktop, which has seen surging demand from customers since its debut in the fall, was a key driver of the funding, he said. Windows Virtual Desktop runs on Azure and aims to simplify deployment of virtual desktops while providing a less-expensive licensing model.

"No matter how optimistic I was about the size of this opportunity, I think we all underestimated how big it really was and how much interest it would generate," Vladimirskiy said.

While Windows Virtual Desktop is greatly simplified compared to previous options, the solution still requires an MSP to provision and deploy WVD environments for customers in Azure. Nerdio provides MSPs with tools that enable provisioning, deployment, management, cost optimization and pricing clarity.

With Nerdio, MSPs "need to know very little, if any, Azure--and very little, if any, WVD," Vladimirskiy said. "We help them get all of that off the ground without being an expert in WVD themselves."

Since its founding in 2016, Nerdio had been self-funded, he said. The $8 million Series A round was led by MK Capital and included investments from Vladimirskiy and Nerdio Chief Revenue Officer Joseph Landes. "Both Joseph and I are really putting our personal capital in to make this a reality because of how confident we feel about the market opportunity and our ability to capitalize on that opportunity," Vladimirskiy said.

The new funding will be put in large part toward bolstering resources and capabilities for MSP partners--such as training around Azure, sales and marketing support, sales training on cloud and Tier 3 engineering support on Azure, he said.

"We're definitely going to be scaling these out and making them available to more partners," Vladimirskiy said. "We'll be able to service more partners concurrently as a result.”

Ultimately, the opportunity for MSPs with Nerdio and Microsoft's cloud solutions is to provide an "IT-as-a-service offering," which "results in margins that MSPs can't really achieve with a bunch of point solutions that they're selling today," he said.

"A lot of MSPs are seeing the opportunity to take WVD and wrap lots of other services around it and bundle things together," Vladimirskiy said. "They then sell this IT-as-a-service offering on a per-user, per-month basis to their customers by bundling the desktop, the licensing, their help desk, monitoring, backup, AV, security--all the pieces of IT that a customer would need."

Nerdio, which employs 40 currently, is looking to expand its headcount later this year following the additional funding, though no specific hiring plans have been made yet. Along with investing in product development, the startup plans to add partner sales positions that are focused on working with MSPs, as well as support team positions geared around MSPs and Azure, Vladimirskiy said.

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