Vultr formally launches partner program with higher margins than offered by big hyperscalers

Vultr competes with the big cloud providers, focusing on core compute, storage and networking services, and offering customers lower prices and partners higher margins.

J.J. Kardwell, Vultr’s CEO

Vultr, a cloud infrastructure provider with 22 cloud data centres around the world, has announced the general availability of their first partner program. The Vultr program is designed to offer higher margins and better benefits than the programs run by the large cloud hyperscalers. More than 500 partners have joined the program to date.

Vultr is the primary user-facing brand of parent company

“The name comes from an understanding of the uniqueness and power of a short memorable name,” said J.J. Kardwell, who is CEO of both Constant and Vultr. “Developers also like names that are less commercial, and developers have been critical to our Go-to-Market.”

Vultr is a large independent provider of cloud infrastructure, which offers cloud compute, cloud storage, and bare metal services. They have cloud infrastructure services in 22 cloud data centres around the world, including Toronto, and have over $125 million in annual recurring revenue [ARR].

While Vultr is not new – they were founded in 2014 – they are not that well known in the channel, and Kardwell said that is because of their sales model and limited outbound presence until recently.

“I joined full time as CEO in late 2000,” Kardwell said. “Before that, we had zero people in sales and zero people in marketing, Our Go-to-Market was 100% developer-led, and took place though our website. This all reflected the fact that the company culture was fairly introverted, being 100% owned by the owner and completely bootstrapped.”

The reach out to recruit and support a channel really began in 2021, when Vultr added approximately 350 channel partners.

“This is an extension of the operating efficiency that got us to 100 million ARR with no sales and marketing, Kardwell stated. “Small partners are treated terribly by the bigger companies in this space. We aren’t into stealing partners’ business.   We are focused on the really long tail of partners who help give us global reach, as well as the very large VARs and tech distributors who need our tech capabilities and global footprint.” A significant proportion of the company’s business is already outside the U.S. and they have a significant global presence.

Kardwell said that their channel partners fall into three broad categories, and reflect the fact that they now are a partner-centric company.

“One is resellers, VARs and CSPs who make their principal living reselling,” he indicated. “One is MSPs who put us on top of their managed service infrastructure. The third is tech innovators – cloud native businesses who have built some software or cloud infrastructure that needs to be deployed on an instance. Those are the three big pillars. In the reseller bucket, we are focused on resellers who are multi cloud already, but who aren’t Platinum Partners with one of those clouds.”

Kardwell emphasized that they have no need or intention to get into a feature match game with AWS.

“We are not trying to feature match with them,” he said. “We are focused on compute, storage and networking, and don’t need all the extra services. We find that what we offer meets the needs of 95% of companies – and that maybe 1% need all those features AWS provides. We still take a lot of business from bigger providers.”

Kardwell also stressed that while Vultr is significantly less expensive than the big clouds, they never lead with price.

“We never do that because this is such a high performance platform, with ease of use, simple transparent pricing, and an unrivalled level of automation, as well as our global accessibility footprint,” he said. “We are a market disruptor when it comes to price because we deliver it so efficiently. We have more locations than all the U.S. independent clouds combined. Digital Ocean, for example, has eight. We offer a set of enterprise capabilities like Threat Connect that appeal to bigger companies and offer bare metal, which most companies in our space don’t. It’s not a discount operation.”

The Vultr Partner Program was soft launched in 2014, and is formally being announced now. With the new Vultr Partner Program partners can earn industry-best margins on cloud compute and cloud storage, and can build profitable value-added services and managed services on top of Vultr’s platform. Vultr partners receive high margins, channel-friendly packaging (including annual SKUs), up to 50% lower prices than the Big Tech clouds, and enterprise features like VPC and direct connect. Multiple tiers have already been built into the program.

“This program is best suited for those frustrated with limited margins to cloud providers,” Kardwell said. “The cloud has been massive and high growth, but the  industry has not been a channel-friendly environment. This is the first channel friendly company in the cloud.”