Manila- and Hong Kong-based startup RocketLabs Software zoomed into the Philippine startup scene at the run up to e27’s Echelon in 2013. As a finalist at the Philippines Satellite that year, the startup’s Co-founder and CEO Dann Angelo de Guzman pitched the company’s plan for an enterprise-grade platform for courseware that promises a self-service platform that universities and organisations can use for training, institutional knowledge transfers and even profit. De Guzman pitched it as a Knowledge-as-a-Platform model, where businesses, academic institutions and organisations can run their courseware and even profit from their shared knowledge.
The new year has bidden well for RocketLabs, having recently secured angel investment from Silicon Valley-based John Monsod, who will take on a technical advisory role at the startup. e27 interviewed De Guzman for an update on RocketLabs’ activities, particularly its aim to gain traction in the enterprise market this year.
Can you tell us more about RocketLabs? Who is your main target audience?
Dann Angelo de Guzman, Co-founder and CEO, RocketLabs Software
RocketLabs Software is an industry-grade training SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) platform that integrates media content and hands-on labs for authoring and delivering IT courses and knowledge-bases. We target universities and enterprises around the world.
The company was founded by Filipino and American entrepreneurs, and industry professionals with a collective experience from large enterprise companies, namely, Microsoft, Accenture and Yahoo. We are incorporated in Hong Kong, with our main base of operations being in Metro Manila, Philippines.
We believe that we’re solving real problems existent in IT education, corporate and enterprise tech training industry. Through our platform, we want to empower organisations in developing and retaining the technical knowledge and skill-sets of the people around them very efficiently and effectively: students, employees, customers and partners.
RocketLabs’ main differentiator is that we remove the need for companies to invest in hardware and applications, because our offering is fully virtualised. RocketLabs dynamically renders the virtualised environment within a browser, providing a seamless user experience.
Tell us about the recent angel investment into RocketLabs.
The company had just recently closed a seed round of funding and partnership deal from a Silicon Valley-based angel investor-entrepreneur John Monsod. This involves a combination of cash, logistics support, as well as other significant contributions.
He will also be joining RocketLabs’ team as the Chief Technology Advisor, apart from being a co-founding investor. John is a Yahoo tech veteran, and he’s currently the Founder and CEO of Silicon Valley- and Manila-based Rekursv LLC, which focuses on building cutting-edge EdTech products. He’s also the Principal Software Architect at the Samsung Accelerator based in Palo Alto, California.
We are very delighted to have John on board, as it will help us achieve our goal of establishing our footprints globally soon. With all his good connections in the Valley and technical expertise, we’re very excited about the partnership. Also, having him contribute to the technology and products we’re building, is a tremendous value we are considering. I would say that the best is yet to come for RocketLabs Software.
What are your short-term and long-term goals for RocketLabs?
We’ve lined up early adopters for pilot testing, which we plan to run in the coming months of 2014, both from the university and enterprise segments of the market. At the moment we want to keep things confidential with these early customers we’re talking to, but we are constantly lining up potential clients in Manila, with signed pilot agreements with universities and enterprises. We have also started planting seeds with some global companies that are interested in what we’re doing. Eventually, it’s our goal to secure these adopters as our early customers. We hope to have some proven traction very soon.
We also plan to raise more capital to take our product, solutions and executions to the next level. But for now, we are focusing on getting real things done — heavy product development and pilot customer acquisitions.