Embotics gets new cash, plans to hire local talent

Ottawa-based Embotics Corp. has received a multi-million dollar boost from its investors, the company announced on Wednesday.

The new round of financing, which was left undisclosed by the virtualization management firm, will go toward hiring new software engineers in Ottawa and expanding its presence in the U.S. and Europe. The additional investments came from existing Toronto-based supports Tera Capital and Covington Capital, as well as a new institutional investor that Embotics said will remain nameless.

Embotics CEO Jay Litkey said the company is fully subscribed and has raised all the money it was looking to get from investors. The previous round of investments occurred in December 2008.

“We are now past the point of being an early technology company,” he said. “We’re in our fifth year and business is doubling every quarter.”

With the added capital, Litkey said Embotics will invest in marketing, sales and channel people in the U.S. and parts of Europe. This is aimed at addressing the company’s expanding employee base in those regions, he added.

But the push to expand will not impact the company’s Ottawa-based offices, Litkey said, as the company now plans to hire engineers in the area to continue building out its flagship V-Commander product as well as future virtualization management tools.

Litkey said more broad support for Microsoft Corp.’s Hyper-V hypervisor is on the agenda for the first part of 2011. He added that customers can also expect a V-Commander 4.0 release in May.

As for its customer base, Litkey said mid-sized organizations (500 virtual machines) have gained Embotics the most traction. The company will also be looking to gain a larger footprint in the desktop virtualization management space, which Litkey said is still a small market.

“VDI has not taken off like everybody expected,” he said. “It’s hard to find 10,000 seat VDI deployments, but it will take off.”

Gary Chen, a research manager covering enterprise virtualization software for IDC Corp., said that for a smaller firm like Embotics, branching out to other areas and regions will be critical. He added that point solutions and tools are good, but can only take the company so far.

“Obviously, a smaller firm like Embotics can’t do everything under the sun, but being a little broader will help them grow,” Chen said.

“I think the other big thing this will help them with is marketing. There is so much noise in the market around virtualization and cloud management, you really need some dollars to get out there and be seen,” he added.

The company’s expansion into Western Europe and the U.S. makes sense, he said, because the V-Commander product addresses companies with more advanced virtualization deployments.

In addition to the financing news, Embotics also announced that it’s adding to its executive staff.

Jason Cowie, a former general manager at EMC Corp.’s server management division, will take over as the company’s vice-president of product and oversea the V-Commander product. Also joining the executive team is Kirsten Foon, a former PlateSpin employee, who steps into the senior director marketing role; and Neal Hill, a former Cognos employee, who joins Embotics’ advisory board.

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