Ilesfay’s new VC partner, CincyTech
Ilesfay Technology Group LLC, which offers cloud-based data replication services for corporate product life-cycle management, has received a $250,000 investment commitment from CincyTech and already has a contract with Procter & Gamble.
The company is seeking another $150,000 to close the round.
Ilesfay was founded in 2009 by Chris McLennan, James Taylor and Joe Kramer, who met while working for Cincinnati engineering firm Alexander & Associates.
A&A specializes in machine design, and the three saw their clients struggle with communicating changes that involved large amounts of data and many people working on it.
For instance, says McLennan, a company could have a group of engineers in India and a team of product managers in Cincinnati working to design machines that make consumer products. The two work groups exchange terabytes of data every time a small change is made to the design specifications of the machine.
Right now, most companies share those large amounts of data by leasing space on fiber-optic lines from international telecommunications firms, which can cost up to $120,000 a month, or by using virtual private networking (VPN) technologies, which require expensive hardware and a large staff. They then have to create “point-to-point” network connections. Ilesfay has developed a patent-pending technique it calls “pre-emptive binary differencing,” which is a very different approach to the problem for replicating large amounts of data.
“What we do is transfer only what has changed in the specifications. If one hole on the machine is moved, our software ferrets that out and conveys just that move,” said McLennan, Ilesfay CEO. “You don’t need to copy over the entire, huge document.
“That way you can use standard business Internet lines inexpensively – and get it there in a day instead of a week. Our technology replaces all of those point-to-point networks with a simple ‘point to cloud’ solution.”
McLennan began his career at A&A and spent 15 years creating information technology solutions for its Fortune 100 clients. For 15 years, he led information science and computer science for A&A, a 150-person firm. Taylor and Kramer were part of his team, and the three worked nights and weekends developing their software.
The company received a $40,000 CincyTech Imagining Grant last spring to help them further the concept and also received significant services from CincyTech.
“We were planning to go raise $1 million and ramp up sales and marketing quickly,” said McLennan. “(CincyTech executive-in-residence) Mike Venerable suggested we could do this more slowly with less capital and in that way not give up so much of the company. Mike had been down that road before, and we think it was very good advice.”
Venerable says the Ilesfay team made significant progress before receiving even a dollar of outside money.
“The company has completed initial product development, piloted with a Fortune 50 organization (P&G) and subsequently sold into that organization,” he said. “They have market-changing technology and a knowledgeable team with deep domain expertise. What they’ve built so far is very impressive.”
McLennan says Ilesfay, whose office is in Blue Ash, has decided to focus initially on engineering-related product life-cycle management and expand soon into other industry areas.
Ilesfay offers cloud-based data replication services for corporate product life-cycle management. Its proprietary data-replication software allows multi-nation organizations to convey complex engineering and manufacturing documents more quickly and much less expensively than their current methods. Only changes to the documents are conveyed, saving space, time and money.
CincyTech is a public-private venture development organization that invests in startup businesses in high-tech industries in Southwest Ohio. With substantial support from Ohio Third Frontier and corporations, foundations, civic organizations and individuals here, it is stimulating the growth of venture-worthy companies in information technology, bioscience and advanced manufacturing.
Chris McLennan, CEO, Ilesfay
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Cincinnati | September 2, 2011 | CincyTech