Value of deal lies in partnership more than the money, says founder John Fearon
Projects revenue of between US$7m to US$10m in 2013
“IT’S small money, in the six-figure range, but the key thing here is the partnership with them,” says John Fearon, CEO and founder of Singapore-based Dropmysite Pte Ltd, which operates the DropMyEmail portal that has just announced a tie-up with Japanese cloud service provider, GMO Cloud KK.
GMO Cloud will invest in DropMyEmail by taking part in the convertible note round of funding for an undisclosed amount. What is significant about GMO Cloud though is that it is part of a listed Japanese Internet company called GMO Internet Group. It closed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange Jan 15 with a market cap of US$81.3 million and a stock price of 618 yen.
Fearon tells Digital News Asia (DNA) that the partnership, which took three months to work out, is where the key value lies in the deal and not the amount of money they put in.
“We get to expand our presence into Japan with GMO Cloud offering our corporate email backup cloud solution, DropMyEmail Business, in their home market. They are also going to help us build a smartphone application that is tailored to the Japanese market,” he says.
According to Fearon (pic), the prospects for the business moving forward are exciting. “This partnership helps affirm our belief in the business and that our products will now be made available to millions more.”
This includes India and China, key markets for DropMyEmail. It has already appointed a country manager for India, based in Mumbai, to develop key relationships there. In the near future, it will be doing the same for the Greater China Area.
Even excluding these two markets, Fearon projects revenue for 2013 will be in the US$7 million to US$10 million range. The company won’t be looking for any more investors this year “unless something very strategic comes up.”
Dropmysite also operates the DropMySite cloud-based database backup service.
Commenting on the tie-up, GMO Cloud president Mitsuru Aoyama said he was confident that the partnership will create new opportunities and see the introduction of new and innovative services.
As an immediate step, DropMyEmail will relocate where it is hosting its cloud services, from Amazon to GMO Cloud. Fearon expects this to happen in the next month.
As a result, “our growth will help them get revenue as we are paying for their cloud hosting.”
While declining to reveal how much has been invested by GMO Cloud, Fearon does tell DNA that with the amount coming in now, it has raised "somewhere between S$1 million to S$1.5 million" so far, with the onus on organic growth this year.
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