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The company has developed Cloudbox — what it calls an “all-in-one” IT cloud solution in a box for SMEs. The solution incorporates email, email backups, file sharing, computer backups, antivirus and communication into one simple package to take the complexity out of IT.
Trent says everything is taken care of under one roof by one vendor on a per-user, per-month basis for a flat monthly fee.
He says the company has signed up 170 SMEs so far — most of which have between five and 50 users. The company has also sold solutions to larger clients, including Citadel Wealth Management.
SA’s Alto Africa backed by venture capitalist Michael Jordaan saw 85% growth in revenue in 2017, after a 50% growth in revenue in 2016
Trent founded the company in 2011 together with Oliver Potgieter, after the two returned from London where they had both spent 12 years running an IT business. That firm was focused on the financial sector and the work, says Trent was “hell of intense” as the business was a seven-days a week, 24-hour operation.
In 2015 venture capitalist Michael Jordaan’s Montegray Capital invested a then undisclosed amount in the business. Asked by Ventureburn, Trent would not disclose the amount or stake that Montegray has in his business, other than to say that it was on the “upper end” of between 10% and 20% in the business.
The deal came about, says Trent, after a former UK client of Potgieter and Trent’s former London business — Nick Watkins — ended up emigrating to South Africa. Watkins introduced Jordaan to the duo. Trent says Jordaan was just there at the “right time and right place”.
The company also has a number of other minority shareholders. Currently it has 11 employees, including four staff in Johannesburg.
Trent says despite the recent growth, the company is not looking for further funding, adding that they are “happy how things are going” currently. And while the product could have significant potential if rolled out into the rest of the continent, it is something he admits that “we haven’t actually focused on it yet”.