This was a tough week for the team at Canadian Cloud Computing as we announced that we are suspending operation of our Trusted Canadian Cloud platform effective November 30, 2011. We will no longer be a cloud IaaS provider, but will instead become a cloud consulting company and re-seller of other cloud platforms in Canada.
We made this difficult decision for the simple reason that we were unable to fund the company.
We faced several challenges:
- Canadian angels are conservative, and for a variety of reasons we could not find one willing to fund us. US angels are uncomfortable investing in Canada and the latest economic troubles caused many to withdraw until the economy settles down.
- Canadian banks and finance companies have cut back their lending activities and raised requirements to the point where it is difficult for a start-up to arrange debt financing.
- Canadian businesses are more conservative than elsewhere in the world and the Canadian public cloud computing market is about two years behind the US.
We were actually selling well. As with any platform-based service provider, we needed a strategic investor to cover our early operating losses. Our business plan has a very attractive cash-flow-positive schedule.
That funding had proven tough to find.
We have benefited from the incredible teams at Communitech, the Accelerator Centre and The Hub. They opened many doors for us and mentored us as we built our company. Their support, and the support of the other start-ups around us, helped us get more done faster than we ever thought possible.
We accomplished a lot in our first year; building our cloud platform, arranging for the licensing and deployment of all the necessary software, launching commercial service and finally growing our customer base. We have an excellent team who put their hearts into the company.
However, without a clear view to sufficient funding to keep the company operating we were not prepared to aggressively load customers. We simply could not ask our customers to commit to us if we could not commit to them.
We are still bullish on cloud computing in Canada but it seems the public cloud computing market here will take at least another year to emerge.
Many prospective customers were more interested in deploying private clouds with a later growth to a hybrid solution, so that is the market that we will pursue. We have an excellent team with extensive technical, operational and business knowledge in cloud computing.
We are still going to offer the great architecture and deployment professional services that we did before, but instead of our own platform we will partner with other leading Canadian cloud platform providers to deliver a comprehensive cloud solution.
In start-up speak this is called a pivot. Our advisers tell us not to look at it as a failure, but as a learning experience. Personally, I hate “learning experiences“.
Whatever you call it, we intend to get through it and be successful at our new plan.
Hopefully you will join us for the voyage.
Wally Kowal is the president and founder of Canadian Cloud Computing Inc.