As part of its internal growth strategy, Internet-services company CloudAccess.net is adding the world’s leading blogging and webhosting platform, WordPress, to its Content Management Systems, or CMS, product offerings. Currently, CloudAccess.net is the flagship hosting and support company for Joomla, an open-source web-development toolkit used worldwide.
“We attract many different types of clients and host more than 17,000 websites,” says Ryan Bernstein, the company’s spokesperson. “By offering both Joomla and WordPress, we believe we can broaden our client base and exceed last year’s 13 percent growth rate.”
That’s a tall order, but CloudAccess already has demonstrated it is up to the challenge. Since 2008 when CEO Gary Jay Brooks founded MichiganMedia.net as a web-development company, the business has transitioned to a Platform-as-a-Service model offering software, hosting and support, changed its name to CloudAccess.net and forged a lasting relationship with Joomla.org. Capital Plus Equity in Knoxville, Tennessee, provided $430,000 in seed funding to get the company off the ground and carry it to profitability.
Over the past five years, CloudAccess has opened three satellite offices, and in 2013 achieved nearly $2 million in annual sales revenue. It is headquartered in Traverse City, Michigan, and has office locations in Cheboygan, as well as Ahmedabad, India and Szczecin, Poland. CloudAccess.net hosts demo sites free, in a cloud-hosting environment, for 30 days and offers training and integrated support at no extra charge to help users create their online presence. Among its major clients are Barnes & Noble, K2 Sports, the University of Notre Dame and Boston Children’s Hospital.
“We have successfully navigated the start-up waters and are now a profitable, free-standing business,” Bernstein reports. “Our next step is hitting the $5 million revenue mark. Once we do, we’ll be more attractive to someone who wants to help us expand and make money.”
To achieve that goal, CloudAccess.net must grow its customer base among enterprise-level corporations and reach out to prospective middle-market investors. In 2013, the company presented at the annual Michigan Growth Capital Symposium and received valuable feedback. “We wanted to develop a pitch, assess the current market conditions and find out what attracts investors’ interest,” Bernstein says. “The symposium provided both good experience and exposure.”