R&D, a spin-off, awards, a €2.3m funding (a huge sum for an Italian startup) and now the expansion abroad. These are some real facts behind Cosenza-based eco4cloud. Co-founder Raffaele Giordanelli joined us and answer our questions about the company and the innovative solution they offers.
FinSMEs: Hello Raffaele, thank you for joining us. First, can you tell us a little bit more about you?
Raffaele: “I’m Italian, 28. I graduated in computer engineering at Università della Calabria in 2009. Following the degree, I started working together with Carlo, Agostino and Giuseppe, researchers at ICAR-CNR, the Institute of High Performance Computing of the Italian National Research Council (http://www.icar.cnr.it/).
“Three years later we all became the co-founders of eco4cloud. I am also an amateur basketball player, I love travelling (my new job makes it easy to visit new places) and rock’n’roll gigs“.
FinSMEs: What’s eco4cloud? Which problem do you you want to solve?
Raffaele: “eco4cloud is a software solution for energy savings in the data centers. The data center industry is responsible of the 3% world power consumption (like the aviation industry, just to give an idea).
“This huge consumption is due to high demand, but also to great inefficiencies, tackled by eco4cloud“.
FinSMEs: Tell me something more? How does it work?
Raffaele: “Average usage rate in a data center is about 30% of the resources. This means that the vast majority of the servers in a data center is underutilzed, but consuming power. We executes the consolidation process, that is eco4cloud moves the virtual machines around the data centers in order to run them with the minimum number of physical servers possible, and power down the remaining ones, consuming no power“.
FinSMEs: What’s your business model?
Raffaele: “We are getting paid by a cut of the energy savings we obtain. It is an aggressive strategy that helps us selling more quickly and it is a sign of how much we are confident in our results“.
FinSMEs: Could you introduce us to the other team members?
Raffaele: “The idea was started by a group of 4 researchers, Carlo Mastroianni, Giuseppe Papuzzo, Agostino Forestiero, and me. That’s why we have the “4” in the eco4cloud name, while “eco” stands for both ecology and economy, as we reduce the power consumed by the data centers and “cloud” stands for the major technology using data centers nowadays.
“The team soon included Ivana Pellegrino, CEO of e way Enterprise Business Solutions, and Domenico Talia (Director of ICAR-CNR at Cosenza) as a scientific advisor”.
FinSMEs: You raised funds from well known Italian investors. What can you tell us?
Raffaele: “We are very happy because of their strong belief in our idea. DPixel and Principia are the first and only VCs we talked to, as we got financed straight by them. I don’t know how many startups have had this luck. Having VCs on board gives the project another dimension, because of their assets in terms of resources and networking“.
FinSMEs: how are you using the funds?
Raffaele: “Basically, we are hiring, both in product development and sales“.
FinSMEs: And now…future plans?
Raffaele: “Over 60% of our market is in the USA, we are going to hit that market after a validation phase in Italy“.