Virtualization Startup Cameyo’s Sales Surging Amid Coronavirus Crisis

The startup is just over two years old, but it’s taking on Citrix and VMware with a quick and affordable offering for app virtualization. Revenue has tripled over the past four months as enterprises scramble to implement work-from-home initiatives.

In the first weeks and months of the coronavirus crisis, amid the scramble to implement remote work environments, “the gut reaction of a lot of organizations, especially with how fast everything happened, was go with what you know,” said Robb Henshaw, co-founder and chief marketing officer of Cameyo.

In that frenzied rush, many enterprises decided to “double down” on VPNs or virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) to quickly comply with work-from-home mandates, thinking they faced a short-term problem, Henshaw said.

But the current pandemic has been anything but short term, and those enterprises soon discovered their “Band-Aid fixes” weren’t viable in the long term—the performance hit of scaling VPNs, or cost and complexity of full-blown VDI, presented entirely new problems.

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[Related: How Scale Computing Rapidly Delivered A Remote Desktop Solution To Customers Grappling With Coronavirus Crisis]

The need for more durable fixes has driven a wave of new customers to Cameyo, a virtualization startup founded in 2017 near Raleigh, N.C., that provides an offering geared toward quickly and cost-effectively getting Windows applications up and running in the cloud for delivery to any remote device.

The startup’s channel of 17 partners have had a field day “redirecting” enterprises away from VPN and VDI to the Cameyo platform, Henshaw said.

Thanks to that channel, revenue has tripled over the past four months as the young company has grown to 157 enterprise customers.

After Cameyo launched its platform two years ago, the predominant use case, delivering some 70 percent of revenue, was application modernization and delivery. Companies used Cameyo to bridge what Google has dubbed the “app gap” in cloud migration projects—a small number of legacy workloads that can’t easily be shifted.

The secondary use case—at least before the pandemic—was supporting workers who needed a simple way to access all their applications outside a corporate network.

“Now [the balance has] completely flipped to enabling remote work, delivering these digital workspaces to employees,” Henshaw said.

And even after the pandemic hopefully ends, many companies believe they won’t bring all employees back to the office or they’ll take a phased approach to re-entry.

“You’re going to have a larger percentage of your workforce working from home than before COVID,” Henshaw said.

With the enormity of the COVID-19 crisis having set in, and most organizations accepting remote work is here to stay, “we’re in this cycle for a deeper evaluation process,” he said.

That’s been a boon for the channel.

“For every one of our channel partners, this has become a big focus, everything about enabling remote work,” Henshaw told CRN.

Their strong selling point is drawing a contrast between Cameyo’s offering and VPNs and VDI.

VPNs are fine to support a small segment of an overall workforce, Henshaw said. But virtual networks weren’t designed to scale from 1,000 to 75,000 users, and when attempted it causes a huge bottleneck that results in lagging performance.

VDI, on the flip side, is overkill for the problem most companies are trying to solve—and the cost can quickly become untenable.

“Most employees don’t need a complete virtual desktop experience,” Henshaw said. “They just need to access a few applications.”

With that dynamic, Cameyo is already taking on industry leaders like Citrix Systems, VMware and Nutanix.

Unlike those name-brand solutions, Cameyo provides a “quick and easy way to SaaS-ify your app,” he said. “With us, all the stuff to manage servers and a VDI environment, that all goes away.”

More than 20 percent of Cameyo’s revenue since July has come from ISVs looking to quickly turn their legacy solutions into web-based apps to satisfy their customers.

Unlike its competitors, Henshaw said, Cameyo can pack up to 100 users on a single VM, or a dozen for more heavy-duty workloads, making its virtual workspace significantly less expensive than Citrix or VMware.

Security is also a big focus, Henshaw said, and it can’t be an add-on.

The startup’s founder, Eyal Dotan, had several previous ventures in the security space that sold to companies including Microsoft and LANDesk, and Cameyo built security into the foundation layer of its platform, Henshaw said.

Because Google was an early partner, as Cameyo offered a good solution to enterprises buying Chromebooks but not sure what to do with their old Windows apps, Cameyo is prominent in the Google ecosystem. The fully managed version initially required hosting on Google Cloud, but has now expanded to Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services.

Cameyo currently offers a channel program with somewhat ad hoc pricing and tiering it hopes to formalize more with a revamp in about a month.

Aaron Cooke, founder of Helio Summit, told CRN that Cameyo has uniquely enabled the Austin, Texas-based professional services provider to help customers respond to a rapidly changing business environment and transition to remote work.

“For Helio Summit’s midsize customers, Cameyo’s simple installation process removes IT as a bottleneck by enabling technical teams to self-serve the cloudification of older Windows applications, which we find are still heavily used for engineering teams,” Cooke said.

And for larger customers, “Cameyo’s easy integration with SSO [single sign-on], private clouds and corporate security tools has been the most significant differentiator,” he added.

Those capabilities combined with extremely competitive pricing have allowed Helio Summit customers to transition to remote work without incurring the heavy licensing costs of traditional application virtualization offerings, Cooke told CRN.