Cloud Maker is the next big thing you’ve never heard of

Cloud Maker is about to become a household name. Or one in IT and cloud engineers’ households, at least. That’s all thanks to a game-changing technology that makes designing and deploying enterprise cloud infrastructure as easy as click, drag, drop. 

CEO and co-founder Nick Smith told Silverlinings Cloud Maker’s toolset is catching on like wildfire among enterprises. “It’s a bit like drinking from a firehose,” he said of current demand. “We’re on a 30% month-on-month growth rate at the moment.” That applies not just to revenue but also customers, with Microsoft one of the early takers. 

According to Smith, the idea for Cloud Maker sprang out of his work for the first business he co-founded, a company called Extrinsica Global which focuses on helping enterprises transition workloads into the cloud. During his time there, “we realized every engineer starts their journey by drawing a diagram” before undertaking the process of allocating the cloud resources needed to make that diagram a reality.  

So, the thinking went, why not create a product to take the heavy lifting off engineers’ shoulders? Why not let engineers make their diagrams but have a machine on the back end write the code and manage the cloud deployment?  

Thus, Cloud Maker was born. The tool allows engineers to visually model their infrastructure by dragging and dropping components into a diagram and then takes care of the rest.  

That’s not to say Cloud Maker is for the layman. But it does allow professionals brought up in the traditional IT networking world who may lack certain coding skills to get the job done. It also makes life easier for cloud experts who are trying to slog through a backlog of projects, Smith said. 

Making Cloud Maker 

Smith said while great in theory, the idea was “a lot harder” to execute than initially anticipated. To make life easier, it decided to tune its back-end machine first for Microsoft Azure deployments. It plans to add versions for Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Google Cloud as well once it has the engineering staff to do so. 

“It’s about ingesting the resource providers of those cloud providers into Cloud Maker,” Smith explained. Resource providers are basically the APIs for individual cloud services. “Sometimes they’re not 100% solid. They have issues, they have bugs, there’s plenty of GitHub issues being raised around these resource providers.” 

“What we do at Cloud Maker is we fix all of those problems as part of the platform we’re building so our customers don’t have to worry about ‘what’s the workaround for this resource provider issue,’ ‘what’s the escape hatch,’” he continued. “Cloud Maker is taking care of all the other complex things that historically an engineer would have to wrestle with in the traditional infrastructure-as-code world.” 

All told, it took Cloud Maker a few years to build out its tool and Smith said it launched commercially last year. It currently has around 20 customers from small businesses to large enterprises, with many more looking to get in the door. 

In terms of competition, there doesn’t seem to be too much just yet. Smith pointed to told from Cloudcraft and Cloudify as in a similar realm and noted Google recently launched a new cloud architecture diagramming tool. 

Adding fuel to the fire 

Founded roughly five years ago with funding from an angel investor, Cloud Maker has raised around £3 million ($3.7 million) to date. It’s currently in the midst of another funding round to fuel what promises to be explosive growth. 

That growth is partly thanks to its focus on Azure, which Smith said helped it get Cloud Maker into Microsoft’s cloud marketplace. Because customers can now just add Cloud Maker to their Microsoft Azure bill rather than signing a whole new contract, the company’s sales timeline has been streamlined from something like six months to a matter of weeks, Smith said. 

Smith declined to share how much exactly it is hoping to raise in its latest funding round, but characterized the amount as “significant” and said it will allow Cloud Maker to triple its headcount. Today, it has just six employees. 

In addition to hiring sales and engineering staff, Smith said the money will go toward helping Cloud Maker expand from the U.K. to the U.S. and rolling out new features. On the latter front, he teased some sort of integration involving artificial intelligence and large language models but declined to give specifics beyond saying these new features are coming “very soon.” 

Smith said it is targeting a late June or early July close for its funding round.