13 Nov 2017 | 12.50 pm
Cloud With Me Developing A ‘Crowd Cloud’
Gianni Matera backs Israeli entrepreneurs Asaf Zamir and Gilad Somjen
13 Nov 2017 | 12.50 pm
There is some serious tech expertise fuelling Cloud With Me. When he was six years old, Asaf Zamir started programming, going on to build large-scale software systems for US and German media companies, and one of Switzerland’s biggest retailers. Co-founder Gilad Somjen is an online marketing expert, serial entrepreneur and tech investor.
The Israeli-born pair were living in Dublin and were strangers to each other until Zamir advertised an apartment rental. “We met to discuss the lease but ended up talking about the difficulty for non-techies of working with cloud services, as well as how the technology seemed to be getting more complex,” says Zamir (28). Out of that chat came Cloud With Me, which was launched in October 2016 and has been growing rapidly.
Cloud With Me is an on-boarding solution for SMEs to install Amazon Web Services or Microsoft Azure cloud servers within minutes. “The automated service removes the need for technical expertise and about a day’s worth of work, even for a tech expert,” says Zamir. “Over 22,000 enterprises and businesses from across the world have installed servers through our platform.”
Customers are mostly SMEs and subscription packages range from $40 to $800 per month. The founders are also trying to launch a decentralised cloud, using blockchain technology, and they created their own digital currency, ‘Cloud Token’, to monetise it. Charging $10 per token, an initial coin offering was launched in August and trading began in September.
“We are in the process of building the tech to allow millions of servers to contribute redundant computing power to one communal cloud, called the Crowd Cloud,” Zamir explains. “Anyone who signs up as a contributor can donate spare computing power from phones, laptops, and computers. When the devices are idle, they can be used to help power the Crowd Cloud. Cloud Tokens will be used to monetise the Crowd Cloud by paying people for their contributions, and making cloud services available for a fraction of the cost.”
Zamir believes that the Crowd Cloud idea will take off because it removes the risk of network outages, as there is no one point of failure. It also provides enhanced security and privacy, using blockchain technology for its decentralised setup. “By reducing costs by an initial 50% with Cloud Tokens, it’s an immediate saving,” he adds. “In three years, we believe we can reduce the price of cloud services by over 90%, while providing earning opportunities to the Cloud Crowd community all over the world.
“We’ll be able to provide all cloud services (storage, computing, power, bandwidth, content management etc) through our GridNodes infrastructure. The Cloud Token is also key to the business model. In peer-to-peer solutions you do not have just one provider that you pay monthly. There are thousands of providers, but how do you split $10 into 300 pieces? This is where our cryptocurrency comes into play.”
Gianni Matera’s Growing Capital has invested €500,000 in Cloud With Me and two Israeli investors have invested another €1m. US internet entrepreneur and VoIP champion Jeff Pulver is on the company’s advisory board, as is Michael Ngai, former MD of UBS Investment Bank.
The business employs ten people and is looking for more. “We take on only the best and brightest people,” says Zamir. “Dublin is considered to be a high-tech centre with a lot of unique talent in our space, so we can recruit top-notch personnel. High-profile executives also bring valuable wisdom to a young, growing company.”
Photo: Asaf Zamir (right) and Gilad Somjen