Exotanium, an I-Corps alumni startup offering a cloud resource optimization and management platform, announced in November that it secured $12 million in a Series A funding round led by Cambium Capital and Celesta Capital.
Developed at Cornell University, the company’s technology leverages artificial intelligence and machine learning to enable organizations that rely heavily on cloud computing to reduce their spending in the cloud by up to 90%, while also enhancing operational security and performance.
These organizations can spend up to tens of millions of dollars each month renting space on computers owned by cloud service providers. Exotanium’s technology saves customers money by allowing them to run applications in the cloud spot market where applications can be migrated automatically from one available computer to the next without disruption of service and at a fraction of the cost.
“Our platform offers a finer level of control over cloud computing resources, helping global enterprises enhance operational security, elevate performance, and drive significant cost savings,” said Exotanium co-founder and CEO, Hakim Weatherspoon, in a recent press release issued by the startup. “Many companies spend up to half of their revenue on cloud services and there is significant waste in most systems – our unprecedented technology is changing this.”
Weatherspoon launched Exotanium in 2018 with co-founders and fellow Cornell researchers, Zhiming Shen, CTO, Ph.D. ‘17 and Robbert van Renesse, chief scientist. Shortly thereafter, the startup leveraged NSF I-Corps.
“We completed both regional and national I-Corps programming,” said Weatherspoon. “Through the regional course, we were able to initially investigate the potential customer for our technology – as a researcher, you think you know who the potential customer is, but you’re often wrong – and then in I-Corps Teams, we interviewed over 100 additional potential customers and were connected to an industry-based mentor. That was critical, because it helped us to pivot and focus our solution on a particular direction.”
With a growing portfolio of customers such as the United States Department of Energy National Laboratories, Argonne, and Idaho National Laboratory, the company continues to garner investor support. To date, Exotanium has generated $19 million in funding, including grants from the United States Department of Energy and the National Science Foundation.
Exotanium plans to use the Series A funding to support its future product roadmap, including the expansion to new platforms and hyperscalers, as well as the development of a self-service marketplace. The funding will also be allocated toward marketing and recruitment efforts to expand brand awareness and grow the company’s engineering team.
Weatherspoon encourages entrepreneurs in the Cornell entrepreneurship ecosystem to take advantage of the programming offered by IN I-Corps, as well as other Cornell entrepreneurship programs and organizations.
“Cornell is great, because it provides the tools to explore whether A) your idea is worth it, meaning there is a potential market interest; and B) whether you’re interested in it or not, because it requires a lot of blood, sweat, and tears to bring an idea to a scalable level,” said Weatherspoon.
“I-Corps regional and national programming, Rev: Ithaca Startup Works, Center for Technology Licensing, Praxis Center, and Cornell Tech’s Runway Startups Program – to name a few – these programs and organizations allow you to do some fairly low overhead analysis of whether to take an idea further or not.”
Learn more about Exotanium and its latest funding milestone.