Support crucial to HybridCluster investment

Securing the early backing of some high profile support was key to Bristol technology business HybridCluster’s latest $1m (£650,000) fundraising, the company’s founder and chief executive has told Insider.

Luke Marsden said raising the capital was very challenging, but the support was crucial. The business provides software services to the cloud and hosting industry.

“Really it took a trip to California and Texas last summer to get things moving for us,” said Marsden. “Jason Seats, who co-founded the Slicehost cloud hosting service that was later bought by Rackspace, got behind us and things went from there.”

Marsden said his initial meetings with Seats were themselves made possible by the backing of Bristol incubator SETsquared and the advice he got from fellow SETsquared member Russ Ferriday, chief technology officer at Bristol’s Sponsorcraft.

“SETsquared’s support and community definitely opened doors for us when we headed Stateside,” said Marsden. “And even once we had that momentum it still took four more months of hard graft to get to the point where the funding round was oversubscribed.”

Other investors in the funding round included Eden Ventures partner Charles Grimsdale and Anil Hansjee, the former head of corporate development at Google EMEA.

Legal support on the fundraising came from Chris Crane of the Bristol and London based law firm Temple Bright.

Crane said HybridCluster’s funding was kick-started in practical terms by its raising of about $100,000 of convertible loan notes, which gave the company the platform it needed ultimately to attract the $1m it was seeking.

“To begin with HybridCluster went out to the angel investors in the US and was hoping for a bite. It’s amazing how far things have come – and how quickly. But really a lot of that is down to Luke’s energy, enthusiasm and insight.

“Now, with the credibility that comes with landing the kind of US investors HybridCluster has, the company can kick on – and, indeed, that’s already happening with the launch of the HybridCluster 2.0 software suite.”

This article appeared in Insider News on 20 May 2013.