A better way to deploy SaaS on-premise

When I first met Grant Miller and Marc Campbell through my partner Eliot Durbin, they were maniacally focused on one thing; ensuring that their first customer was an absolute success. As founders of look.io , providers of mobile chat and screen sharing inside apps, they knew that if they delivered, they would be well on their way to more successful customer installations. 9 months later they proved consumers wanted mobile chat support and were acquired by LivePerson, where they headed up the mobile chat group and delivered their technology to some of the largest companies in the world.

Naturally, Eliot and I stayed close to the team, and when they recently told us they were leaving to solve another huge pain point, we were of course honored to have the opportunity to work with Grant and Marc a second time (first time we were advisors). Besides being technically astute and customer focused, Grant and Marc also witnessed an interesting problem while at LivePerson — despite being a publicly traded SaaS company with 17 years of history, there was still demand from some potential customers for a version to be installed behind the firewall and on-premise. The problem of course is that to do so would be a massive headache and require developing, maintaining and supporting a second product. This complexity would only increase as more customers were deployed on-premise.

As entrepreneurs, Grant and Marc asked the question, “what if we could help SaaS companies deploy to customers on-premise without changing the code base.” While not technically feasible a few years ago, Marc knew it was now possible as the rise of containerization and Docker took hold. This early platform shift has allowed for increased application portability that previously wasn’t possible. After bouncing the idea off of 20 or so other SaaS companies, they recognized that this was a problem most companies had faced. Given this unmet demand and ability to solve this problem in a unique way, they left LivePerson to start Replicated. Replicated is a software platform that allows SaaS companies to easily deploy their software on-premise with the same codebase. Replicated wraps a customer’s containerized cloud application with enterprise-grade features; enabling it to be deployed behind a customer’s firewall, into a corporate data center or into the private cloud. Some have even coined this new model Containers as a Service (CaaSi).

I was told a long time ago that sometimes the best investments are made when everyone is running right, and you run left. With Replicated, it is clear that the world will continue to move to the cloud and investing in hosted SaaS is definitely the way to go. That being said, Grant and Marc don’t think that these have to be two separate worlds. So they’ve set off to build a world where IT buyers have the security/control they need & end users get easy to use software that helps them be more productive day-to-day.

If Replicated can help SaaS companies serve these security-conscious customers and deploy on-premise without the headaches and while using the same code base, we believe that this could be a huge opportunity. If larger SaaS companies like Github, Atlassian, and AppDynamics have decided to not leave money off the table by offering both hosted and on-premise versions, then why shouldn’t every SaaS company, especially if they had a platform like Replicated to use?

We at boldstart are happy to announce that we led their seed round and are joined by some outstanding firms including Founder Collective, WTI, Mucker Capital, TenOneTen, WonderVC and alongside a slew of great angel investors like Tom McInerney, Tom Preston-Werner, and David Lee.