A Letterkenny startup has been scooped up by a well-funded US tech firm

CloudRanger had gained more than 300 customers and now plans to expand its business.

By Jonathan Keane Reporter, Fora

DONEGAL TECH STARTUP CloudRanger has been acquired by US-based cloud firm Druva.

CloudRanger was founded in 2014 in Letterkenny by chief executive David Gildea. It provides cloud backup and recovery solutions for users of Amazon Web Services (AWS).

“I originally worked in a startup that used Amazon Web Services. In their day-to-day exposure to the cloud, there was a lot of gaps in what Amazon offered,” Gildea told Fora on the genesis of the company.

“We identified backup and disaster recovery as a weakness in the Amazon platform.”

The buyer, Druva, is an Indian-founded cloud management company – now based in California – and has raised nearly $200 million to date from backers including Silicon Valley heavyweights Sequoia Capital. No financial terms for the CloudRanger buyout were disclosed.

The Letterkenny company has previously raised €1 million from Enterprise Ireland and a Chicago-based photo processing company called George Street Photography, which was looking to improve the way the studio was using AWS.

As part of the acquisition, CloudRanger’s tech will be integrated into Druva’s platform while the company will remain based in Letterkenny.

“CloudRanger will become one of the integrated apps on the platform over the next several months,” Druva chief executive Jaspreet Singh told Fora. “Our customers will get access to it. This is very synergistic to the way we were headed.”

Singh added that he expects CloudRanger’s customer numbers to “probably triple in the next coming quarters.”

“They’re building a very strong product engineering (team) in Letterkenny,” he said.

“We were the same size as CloudRanger about six years ago so we’ve grown rapidly in the last six years. We’re almost 550 employees globally.”

Rural tech

Unlike many Irish tech startups, CloudRanger was founded outside of the obvious hubs of the country’s largest cities.

Gildea said he essentially lived on the road to Dublin, regularly travelling to the capital to network. This ultimately led him to shift CloudRanger’s focus from Ireland to the US.

“For funding and customers, in Ireland it’s very Dublin-focused, so really we took the opinion that if you’re going to be travelling and trying to get partners in Dublin, why not just do that in the US?” he said.

The company has amassed 300 customers including HP and US insurer MetLife and has a small sales presence in Chicago.

Gildea said that by being outside of the scramble for talent in Dublin, he was able to find people who were attracted to “the idea of building a global tech company in a rural area”, although he would not disclose staff numbers.

“One of the missions from the very start was I’d love to start a company that was going to be known globally and do it from Letterkenny.”

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