You can’t pick up your phone and not read about an IT security breach or some form of cyber-attack. And there’s no letting up. We should expect more attacks as the world moves from hard drives on desktops to cloud services.
And while we read about the largest companies in the world facing cyber attacks and breaches, small businesses are also dealing with similar IT challenges. This helps explain why a start-up out of Israel, Atera, has secured a $77 million round and now carries a $500 million valuation.
It’s not just the world’s largest companies that have sent many of their people to WFH. So too have many small and medium-sized businesses. As workers log in from anywhere and at any time, the security challenges mount. That’s the market opportunity Atera is focused on. And it seems to be having some success.
We’ve written about opportunities in the vast market of IT support and the thousands of Managed Service Providers who provide it to small businesses. Think help desk for the SMB market.
Enter Atera. The company offers a low-cost, predictive IT management and monitoring solution for companies with fewer than 1,000 employees. The company has acquired some 7,000 customers to date. And we’d bet most of those companies have fewer than 250 employees.
Pay for Technicians, not Devices
The way Atera prices its model is based on the number of technicians using the software. A lot of IT models tie the pricing to the number of devices or end-points. So let’s say a company has 100 employees and two IT technicians. This company would pay for those two technicians, rather than the 200 or so devices that the 100 employees might be using for work, e.g., laptops and mobile phones.
The Tel Aviv start-up’s 7,000 customers operate in 90 countries. Atera’s founders’ aspire to do what most SMBs SaaS companies set out to do. They want to bring solutions to SMBs that were once limited to enterprise customers.
Gil Pekelman, Atera’s CEO and co-founder, had this to say “We are in essence democratizing capabilities that exist for enterprises but not for the other half of the economy, SMBs.”
He went on to say this. “The largest growth driver over the past 18 months has been the dramatic shift to remote and now hybrid work. With this in mind, we understand that enabling a remotely distributed workforce is no longer a luxury, but a necessity for companies of all sizes.”
We’d be surprised if Atera isn’t looking for companies in the U.S. to partner with to scale its reach to the SMB market. Will they turn to the thousands of Managed Service Providers or perhaps some of the digital agencies? Time will tell. But as more and more solutions move to the cloud, the lines between digital media, operating software, and IT solutions continue to blur. The blurring of the lines will be seen as threatening by some and opening vast opportunities by others. Which side of that equation do you sit on?