TELECOM & INTERNET | Krisana Gallezo-Estaura, Singapore

A former Microsoft developer founded a startup that just raised US$15 million from Series A

He shared crazy things to make BitTitan successful.

Technopreneur Geeman Yip has been in the software industry for 20 years and was working on “cloud” when YAHOO! was a catalog. He was a developer at Microsoft for nearly nine years, and his name appeared on patents for the company. He was enjoying a stable, high paying job when one day, he decided to chuck it all and start afresh.

With zero experience in managing a business, he founded a company in 2007 that was very much a “one man and his computer” type of operation for several years. It was bootstrapped until only recently when he was able to raise $15 million from Series A funding led by TVC Capital.

Geeman started BitTitan as a cloud services enablement and managed services automation pioneer, enabling IT service providers to sell more cloud products, onboard customers to the cloud, and create reoccurring revenue in 2007. While a Singapore startup, it is also a global company dedicated to cloud services delivery market and serving 8,000+ partners including tech giants Microsoft, Amazon, Google, HP, IBM and Dropbox. BitTitan has nearly 200 employees worldwide, 30 of whom are based in Singapore.

“When I left to start my own company, I was on a high, brimming with so much optimism and excitement… I quickly discovered that starting a business is a lot harder than I ever thought it would be,” he said.

Geeman shared that he has done his fair share of crazy things to make BitTitan successful. He purchased his previous building, which was BitTitan’s first office outright and painted, installed flooring and wired the entire building himself. In the early days, he was also a bit of a ‘renaissance’ business man.

“Without a team, I wore many hats, including that of the sales, service, public relations, marketing, and support person – all at the same time. When I answered the phone, I used different voices and names while speaking to a customer before “transferring” them to another department,” he said.

“I had savings from Microsoft; I maxed out my credit cards; I moved in with my wife (then girlfriend) Magdalena to save money and became a dependent on her health insurance; later, I took a second mortgage out on my house,” he said.

With no help in funding, Geeman said that every dime he had was in the company, and he wasn’t taking any money out because he used 100% of their profits to fuel more growth. The $15 million in Series A funding marks the first time BitTitan has raised any capital since its founding in 2007.

Geeman shared that the early days of starting up his own company were characterised by both lows and highs. He considered it his ‘lowest low’ when he got broke and his ‘highest high’ when he was able to convince Dominic Pouzin to leave a steady career as a software engineer at Microsoft and join him on the journey that became BitTitan. Today, in addition to being co-founder, Dominic also serves as CTO at BitTitan. It was during his years at Microsoft that Geeman first met Dominic.

BitTitan will use the financing to further establish its position as a leading cloud services enablement provider, to augment its MSPComplete platform with more managed services automation capabilities, and to aggressively expand into new geographic markets.


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