Cloud infrastructure provider Node Africa has launched in Nairobi, with former Angani CEO Phares Kariuki at the helm.
Impressively, the company took six weeks from inception to launch, partnering with VMware to sell the vCloud service, and Microsoft to sell the Office 365 and Azure cloud.
The cloud computing market is dominated by Amazon Web Services, but Node Africa believes it can carve a niche for itself using the VMware platform.
Node Africa’s target market is small businesses looking to get online, and agile operators with limited budgets for IT operations. This is reflected in their operations, with the company starting out team of six.
— Dennis Kioko (@denniskioko) January 28, 2016
“As it is now, we may not turn a profit, but we are looking to challenge the bigger operators and attract business so that we can grow and become a challenger in the cloud computing business”, Phares said at the launch.
Node Africa’s launch partner VMware is a leading player in the cloud environment, with Dave Funnel,Business Unit Manager at VMware adding that Node will be a key player in the deployment of vCloud, a private cloud computing solution.
David Bunei, Country General manager for Cisco East Africa, added that the growth of cloud computing in Kenya is part of a global trend where companies are moving away from hosting their own services and infrastructure, with more and more players going online and opting for virtualization instead.
Node Africa already has several clients on its roster, with Strathmore University, WhatsUPAfrica, Tarpo Tents and PesaPal on their books.
Agosta Liko of PesaPal is optimistic that Node Africa can help them scale operations and provide them with reliable hosting and backup services. “PesaPal is a payments platform, and so it needs constant uptime. We’re trusting Node Africa to always be there when we need them, and the fact that it’s Kenyan is a bonus, as we are always looking for local services and solutions to help us do business.”
“IT is not a core business for many companies in Kenya because of the cost. Having a local cloud service provider that understands Kenya’s and Africa’s model of business gives us an advantage”, Kariuki added.
— Microsoft EastAfrica (@Microsoftea) January 28, 2016
Node Africa’s launch brings with it the prospect of employment for more Kenyans in tech.
Sam Mbugua, the Business Development Lead at Node Africa, believes that the market is ready for disruption, as evidenced by the success of other players in the digital ecosystem.
— Peng 10. (@Buggz79) January 28, 2016
The Node Africa launch comes after a turbulent time for Phares and former Angani CTO Brian Muita, and the launch was welcomed by Kenyans on Twitter as a triumph for the duo.
— Ory Okolloh Mwangi (@kenyanpundit) January 28, 2016
— ndinda kioko (@ndinda_) January 28, 2016
— Angela Oduor Lungati (@AngieNicoleOD) January 28, 2016
— Darth Vader (@roomthinker) January 28, 2016
As for business, Node Africa already has some lining up for their service.
— Larry Madowo (@LarryMadowo) January 28, 2016
Whatever the challenge, Node Africa is ready to take Kenyan businesses to the next level.
— Node Africa (@NodeAfrica) January 28, 2016
Photo via Node Africa