Startups should tap networks to go further

By Joy Lee

Good exposure: Arif took home some important lessons on marketing from the valley.

SOME say making the right connection makes all the difference. Arif Tukiman, chief executive officer of local startup Runcloud, found this to be true.

When Arif represented Malaysia at the Startup World Cup in Silicon Valley last May - where 28 companies from 24 countries vied for the main prize at the grand finale event - he notes that startups in developed countries had better access to global networks, which enables them to scale up faster in new markets.

“In terms of ideas and products, I think Malaysian startups are good. But in terms of connections, they (startups in the US) have global networks so they grow faster.

“For us, we always try to make it big in Malaysia first before we think of growing to other countries. But for them, cross-market is easier. They have a lot of access to venture capitals (VC),” he says.

While the VC network here is not as vibrant as that of the Bay Area, he adds that local startups have the option of participating in programmes by agencies such as Malaysian Global Innovation and Creativity Centre (MaGIC) and Cradle Fund.

“That will help with exposure,” he says.

Runcloud makes deploying, configuring, managing and monitoring cloud servers a painless process for developers.

Arif started his own venture to create websites and apps while completing his degree in computer science. In 2014, upon graduation, he registered Cool Code Sdn Bhd with two other partners to continue servicing his clients.

But Arif thought it’d be good to have their own product rather than merely provide services for its customers. One of his partners came out with the idea for Runcloud.

“We decided to test Runcloud with the developer community and we got good feedback. So we focused on this. When we put up the solution on the international cloud hosting platform, in four months, we got the most top views community project for 2016 and we got a lot of sign-up from the international market,” he says.

They released their product in January 2017 and the team decided to make Runcloud an entity of its own, as a sister company to Cool Code, which now focuses on research and development works.

Arif made a lot of effort to promote Runcloud among the international developer community and exposure on some media platform helped build credibility for the company and its product.

At the moment, Runcloud manages about 30,000 domains from a customer base of over 6,500 subscribers.

“This year, we want to focus on growing the user base. For now, we are growing organically about 20% to 25% every month in terms of paid subscribers. We’re not desperate for funding yet,” he shares.

Runcloud may look into Series A funding next year. For now, he is keen to raise about RM2mil through a 15% stake sale.

On the horizon, Runcloud is looking at a possible listing exercise in five years’ time. But they are open to any other opportunities to exit before that. — By Joy Lee

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Business , startup , Runcloud


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