Spot by NetApp Grows Revenue 300 Percent through AWS Global Startup Program
Spot by NetApp, formerly known as Spotinst or Spot.io, was founded in 2015 by Amiram Shachar, with the mission of automating cloud infrastructure to ensure performance, reduce complexity and optimize costs. During its incubation stage, the company received over $100,000 in AWS Activate credits, and subsequently joined the AWS Partner Network (APN) in 2017 as its business was starting to take off. In late 2018, Spot.io received an offer to be part of the AWS Global Startup Program, right at the time when they needed additional “growth engines”. The company’s revenue grew 300 percent since joining the program, with 40 percent of customers in its pipeline attributed to the program. In 2020 Spot.io was acquired by NetApp, another AWS Partner that provides cloud data-management solutions.
Spot Unlocks Growth Potential through the AWS Global Startup Program
As a rapidly growing startup, Spot.io (acquired in 2020 by NetApp and now referred to as Spot by NetApp) had a mission to help customers find cloud resources to meet their requirements. The idea was taking off—the company had raised $18 million in 2 years.
But Spot.io knew how challenging it is to grow rapidly and make the decisions and investments necessary to drive that growth. “Every year, it was getting harder to scale because we needed to double over the last year,” says Amiram Shachar, who was Spot.io’s Founder and CEO and is now the General Manager and Vice President of Spot by NetApp. “And in order to double, we couldn’t just do what we did the previous year—we needed to create growth engines.”
Spot.io was part of the APN, the global community of AWS Partners that use AWS to build solutions and services for their customers. After achieving the AWS Advanced Partner Tier in 2018, Spot.io received an offer to be part of the AWS Global Startup Program, a program launched in 2019 to focus on supporting mid to late-stage startups in product development, go-to-market strategy, and co-selling.
Shachar was surprised by the invitation because AWS would be helping the startup save its customers money on AWS solutions. Yet that was exactly what AWS was proposing. “It’s very unique to see AWS, as a cloud provider, helping its customers save money and optimize costs,” he says. Fast-forward to early 2020—by taking advantage of the AWS Global Startup Program, Spot.io had experienced a 300 percent increase in revenue and a huge boost in its sales pipeline through the support of the AWS sales team, which helped Spot.io with deal support and sourcing new deals. Best of all, its customers are saving even more money on cloud solutions, which is making it possible for those customers to accelerate and expand their cloud adoptions for more applications.
Using a Unique Program to Succeed on AWS
Spot.io was founded in 2015 to help companies simplify and automate cloud infrastructure management, optimizing cloud solution costs to get the most out of cloud investments. During its incubation stage, the company received over $100,000 in AWS Activate credits. It used these credits to build a cloud-management service capable of handling instances from several different cloud providers. “We chose AWS because of its simplicity, because it works as a decoupling service that enables each component to perform tasks independently, and because it was simple for us to use the different AWS services across compute, storage, network, load balancing, and containers,” says Shachar.
In 2017, Spot.io joined the APN, and by 2018, it had achieved the AWS Advanced Partner Tier. That same year, Spot.io raised a $35 million Series B financing round and had about 1,000 customers. That was when the company was invited to become a charter member of the AWS Global Startup Program, which was then in stealth (nonpublic) mode. “AWS explained that the new initiative was formed to help grow the next ‘unicorns’ within the AWS Partner environment,” says Shachar. “It was an unbiased program: its sole purpose was to help companies succeed on AWS.”
The offer came at the right time for Spot.io. The startup was looking for new ways to build, market, and sell its services for AWS, so it needed to understand the road map AWS offered for future services. That insight would help Spot.io support and complement new services and capabilities as quickly as AWS delivered them. One such service was Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) Spot Instances, which enables users to take advantage of unused Amazon EC2 capacity on AWS.
Another was Savings Plans, a flexible pricing model for AWS compute services. In addition to receiving advance insight into AWS services, Spot.io also wanted to take advantage of marketing and co-selling strategies through the AWS Global Startup Program to get in front of more customers who could take advantage of the startup’s services. “After our kickoff meeting, it was clear that AWS would not only discuss how it would help but also assist us in achieving our goals,” says Shachar.
Building, Marketing, and Selling on AWS
AWS proactively supported Spot.io in three specific areas through the AWS Global Startup Program: building, marketing, and selling. To gain a more comprehensive knowledge of the road map of AWS services, Spot.io team members had regular sessions with relevant AWS service teams. “We got updates about upcoming AWS service announcements that were crucial to our products and teams,” says Shachar. “Through the road map sessions, we learned exactly where AWS was aiming in the next year so that we could quickly support and complement new services. This meant both companies could march forward in providing high customer value, as opposed to being surprised by each other.”
To boost marketing, Spot.io used AWS to create numerous online campaigns, sales presentations, webinars, a joint session at re:Invent—a cloud learning event offered by AWS—and even a billboard along US Highway 101 in San Francisco. “The marketing efforts created a lot of excitement,” says Shachar.
To support its sales efforts, Spot.io was able to consult AWS Solutions Architects—certified experts in AWS cloud computing architecture—and account managers, enabling Spot.io to better position its products and features in different market segments. By better understanding the value of Spot.io, AWS Solutions Architects and account managers were able to source new deals for Spot.io by making customer introductions.
The “white glove” service Spot.io received as a member of the AWS Global Startup Program directly translated into better product experiences and cost savings for its customers. For example, when AWS invited Spot.io into conversations about upcoming Savings Plans, the company was able to prepare to smoothly introduce support for customers that would use the new plans.
Better customer service combined with more leads through AWS led Spot.io to drive significant growth. The company’s revenue has grown 300 percent since joining the program. In addition, 40 percent of customers in its pipeline can be attributed to the program. “As a startup founder, there are a lot of tools you need to use to be successful,” says Shachar. “One of our best tools was engaging with this program. We integrated a lot of strategies to help us get there, but AWS and the AWS Global Startup Program were integral to tripling our revenue.”
“As a startup founder, there are a lot of tools you need to use to be successful. One of our best tools was engaging with this program. We integrated a lot of strategies to help us get there, but AWS and the AWS Global Startup Program were integral to tripling our revenue.”
- Amiram Shachar, General Manager and Vice President, Spot by NetApp
Getting to the Next Level Using AWS
In 2020, Spot.io was acquired by NetApp, a Fortune 500 company that provides cloud data-management solutions. Shachar has become a general manager and a vice president at NetApp, and the product he leads is now called Spot by NetApp. “Being part of the AWS Global Startup Program was essential to our success,” he says. “It has helped us refine our strategy, enhance our go-to-market approach, and deliver better, more credible products to our customers.”
“Being part of the AWS Global Startup Program was essential to our success. It has helped us refine our strategy, enhance our go-to-market approach, and deliver better, more credible products to our customers.”
- Amiram Shachar, General Manager and Vice President, Spot by NetApp
About Spot by NetApp
APN Program Participation
Published March 2021