Australian startup Maestrano may not be well known, but it is well-funded and growing fast. It may be positioned to be one of the next breakthrough IT service companies after receiving $1 million from investors including former Microsoft executive Gary Jackson, according to a report by BRW.
Founded in October, Maestrano sells cloud business apps, but is set apart by its focus on small and medium sized enterprises and its pricing model.
Maestrano offers 33 open-source cloud apps, such as Front Accounting, SugarCRM, Collabtive and WordPress. Customers sign up for each app at one of three levels of service, paying either hourly or monthly rates depending on usage.
Each package includes an unlimited number of app users registered, with all bandwidth and memory needs included in the subscription. A premium service package with 12-hour turnaround time is available for monthly plans at a 25 percent markup, and Maestrano will also customize packages.
By offering the apps without fixed contracts or limited licenses, Maestrano seeks to address the problem of small businesses locking into a siloed contract for each different area of need, according to BRW.
“It is our technology which hosts, secures, integrates and dynamically prices them that adds value. When a small-business owner has to go and install an application themselves they haven’t solved the problem of having to pay for an IT guy,” co-founder Stephane Ibos tells BRW.
By targeting the same kind of business apps service to SMBs that companies like Salesforce provide to large companies, Maestrano has attracted heavyweight investors. Former Microsoft executive Gary Jackson and eServGlobal founder Ian Buddery bought in after the company pitched The Indus Entrepreneurs.
Maestrano uses 128 bit SSL encryption and is level 1 PCI compliant, and offers a free one-month trial.
If SMBs see the promised savings from running everything through apps on an as-needed basis, then Maestrano will take some of this large market.