Build Welcomes New Brunswick’s AirVM to Portfolio

By: 2nd September 2015 Portfolio


Rob and I are happy to welcome AirVM to the Build portfolio. We recently took part in the company’s $8 Million Series A round, which was led by RHO Canada Ventures, ourselves, as well as previous investor Wesley Clover.

AirVM was founded in Saint John, New Brunswick by Josh Vautour and Jamie Pitt as an Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) provider, hosting virtual machines for enterprise clients. Josh and Jamie became intimately aware of the pain points IaaS vendors had in running their businesses and transitioned to a product company with the launch of  AirSembly in 2013.

Jamie heads up the R&D team based in Saint John while Josh, the CEO, is based in Ottawa where he leads the sales and marketing team.

The problem that Josh and Jamie lived as service providers was the difficulty in provisioning infrastructure and enabling customer self-service. This led to frustrated customers and revenue leakage. That core problem became even more complex as they began selling through channels.

The only alternative was either an in-house tool set that would be expensive to develop and maintain, or a time-consuming and inefficient manual process. Josh and Jamie built their own system and quickly saw an opportunity to provide this platform to others.

The value proposition for AirSembly is clear: it’s built for the cloud, easily used and deployed, and a cost effective platform for the sale, billing and provisioning of cloud services. A big part of the story is that AirSembly was built for channel and multi-tier distribution. By empowering trusted advisors (Resellers and Distributors), service providers are able to grow their business exponentially.

We loved the founding team’s deep experience with the problem they were solving. There is also a lot of upside in the market. The growth of the public cloud driven by vendors such as Amazon (AWS), Google (Cloud Platform), and Microsoft (Azure) is well understood. While large enterprises use the public cloud for their cloud native applications, the majority of their business applications still run on-premise. The transition of these applications to the private cloud will continue to drive strong growth in the market.

AirVM is closely integrated with Palo Alto-based VMWare (NYSE: VMW), including zero day support for service provider integrations. VMWare has more than 500,000 customers. The company unifies private, managed and public clouds into one hybrid cloud, enabling customers to accelerate innovation and create engaging mobile-cloud applications, while controlling risk.

AirVM also recently announced a deal with Rackspace, the world’s largest managed cloud company, to help expand Rackspace Private Cloud powered by VMware vCloud. Rackspace will use AirSembly software to help speed up delivery of VMware cloud services to customers and increase operational efficiency.

With this kind of traction, it’s no surprise that we see a bright future for this New Brunswick company. We look forward to seeing what Josh, Jamie and the team will do next.