BitTitan seeking Canadian expansion after landing first external funding

Rocco Seyboth, vice president of marketing at BitTitan

Rocco Seyboth, vice president of marketing at BitTitan

BitTitan is going a good deal of the $15 million (U.S.) it just raised by landing its first ever external funding to support international expansion, and Canada is high on its priority list.

The Washington State-based company, which started out as a maker of cloud migration tools for channel partners, and has more recently recast itself as a broader cloud enablement provider for the channel, announced the series A funding last week, with financing led by San Diego-based TVC Capital and Tao Capital Partners.

Rocco Seyboth, vice president of marketing at BitTitan, called international expansion a top priority for the company, which to date has only had significant presence at its headquarters in Kirkland, Wash., and an office in Singapore. In all, the company aims to add 100 new employees over the next 12 months, with “a disproportionate amount in international markets,” Canada included. In many international markets, again, Canada included, the company has had one person on the ground. That’s already changing in Canada, as the company will add a partner technology strategist focused on Canada later this month, with further expansion of its Canadian staff to come as the business grows. While Canada has been a major part of BitTitan’s business outside the U.S., owing largely to its proximity (both geographically and culturally) to the States, Seyboth said there’s more than convenience to the company’s decision to look to the Canadian market for growth.

“Canada’s been a great market for us already, but with the addition of Microsoft data centres locally in Canada, that’s going to grow even more. Office 365 and Azure are massive money-making opportunities for the channel, and Microsoft has had great growth in the cloud in Canada with its data centres in the U.S. But with those local data centres starting up, we think it’s going to be explosive,” Seyboth said.

And while BitTitan’s heritage is in helping partners transfer customers from on-premise locations to Microsoft cloud-based alternatives, it’s taken a broader look at vendors of late. And that suits Seyboth well, as he says he believes the expansion of Microsoft’s Canadian cloud business, fueled by the new Canadian data centres, will cause other major cloud players to either establish or ramp up their own in-country presence in Canada as well.

That maturing view of cloud around the world may go a long way to answering the “Why now?” question on the timing of BitTitan’s series A funding. After all, the company has held the fact that it’s been heretofore “bootstrapped” on its own money as a badge of honour. But if it believes cloud is set to expand even more rapidly, more money and through it more resources to support its own expansion in that time seems a logical move. The timing is also key, Seyboth said, because the company has the right platform to move forward with in its MSPComplete architecture. MSPComplete was introduced about nine months ago, and since then, Seyboth reports the company’s base of solution provider customers has exploded from about 4,400 partners worldwide to almost 7,500.

“The fact that’ve added so many partners so quickly is proof that partners are looking for a more holistic approach to transforming from VARs to MSPs, not just helping them migrate their customers, but helping them sell and service their customers in that transition,” he said. “We want to pour fuel on that fire.”

He adds that the company still believes cloud uptake hasn’t been as rapid as it should be, and says the financing BitTitan has received is an indicator that not just the vendor, but investors as well, view the MSP community as key increasing rates of cloud uptake.

Also on the Canadian front, Seyboth hinted that Microsoft’s Worldwide Partner Conference, slated for next month in Toronto, will see some major news from the company, including the launch of a new managed services automation offering, and “a new major cloud player” being added to the growing MSPComplete platform. WPC is slated for July 10 to 14 in Toronto.