FFVC company TransCirrus was recently featured in a Triangle Business Journal article discussing its competition in the OpenStack space. The article also made note of the successful seed round TransCirrus recently completed, raising $750,000.

Date: Feb 20, 2015

A Research Triangle Park-based software startup with NetApp (Nasdaq: NTAP) roots is emerging from stealth mode and raising cash.

But it’s an uphill battle to get in the hearts and minds of IT managers across the country.

TransCirrus, led by NetApp veteran Ingemar Lanevi, just raised a seed debt round of $750,000 from its headquarters at First Flight Venture Center in RTP.

Its focus? OpenStack, a set of software tools for building and managing cloud computing platforms for both public and private clouds. TransCirrus technology works on Red Hat’s (NYSE: RHT) OpenStack distribution, wrapping around it and “simplifying the process.”

Lanevi calls the hardware “an appliance,” that an operator just plugs in.

“You pull it out of the box, you put it into a rack and you answer a set of questions,” he says.

“It” is about the size of a thick pizza box, and its real benefit is time.

Typically, it can take an IT manager a couple of weeks to a couple of months to set up an OpenStack cloud environment. With TransCirrus? Lanevi claims it takes 15 minutes. He’s targeting software development houses with significant development activity as customers.

“That environment tends to be one of the most attractive for a cloud-computing solution,” he says, adding that he’s also targeting the IT training and education space, as well as cloud service providers.

Prior to TransCirrus, he had a 14.5-year career at NetApp as “a corporate guy,” specifically serving as the vice president corporate treasurer and general manager for NetApp Capital Solutions.

And now, he’s in talks with his old corporation about potentially partnering.

Lanevi admits he has his work cut out for him. TransCirrus’ chief competitor is Silicon Valley-based Nebula, which launched its Nebula One last year and is operating off of nearly $40 million in venture funding.

The $750,000 will get TransCirrus, which uses outside manufacturing, to market validation, he says, but a much larger round will be required – and he could start fundraising this spring. TransCirrus, which has eight employees, currently has beta customers and plans to go after revenue customers this month.