Jan 15, 2016

Kristen Mosbrucker
San Antonio Business Journal

A San Antonio-based secure cloud backup company for businesses took a big leap in the New Year and separated itself from Rackspace Hosting Inc. a few years after it was acquired for millions when the firm was a startup.

JungleDisk LLC was usurped by Rackspace in 2008 alongside another startup called Slicehost for $11.5 million in cash and stock. Now the company is branching back out and shifted into scale-up mode at the Rand building downtown after a private deal was made for an undisclosed amount.

Porthcawl Holdings is a limited partnership between Huw Edwards, the general manager of JungleDisk while it was at Rackspace and Bret Piatt, JungleDisk's chief executive officer.

More than a dozen employees of JungleDisk are currently working away in the basement of the building while its 2nd floor office suite of about 2,900-square-feet is being finished. During the next two years the company is likely to grow up 30 workers.

Piatt, worked for SBC Communications Inc. a telecommunications company later re-branded as AT&T for years before launching his own company. Then he joined Rackspace after the startup was acquired and served as the general manager of Rackspace's Cloud Office.

Piatt said he sees growth potential in the San Antonio small business market for encrypted data backup. Easy access to Geekdom LC. a collaborative co-working space on the upper floors of the building was a bonus for staff but also opportunity for customers. Even as brick and mortar businesses transition to all digital file systems, there are spaces in the healthcare industry but also law and finance.

“Now in this digital world, you need a digital safe deposit box,” Piatt said.

While most data that is transmitted across the Internet for e-commerce is typically encrypted through a secure socket layer tunnel, or that little lock box that shows up on web browsers the data itself isn't always encrypted.

“So when you sending data to an Apple iCloud its encrypted on transport and then they may encrypt it when it arrives in the cloud, but they are the ones essentially keeping the key to that safe deposit box," he said.

JungleDisk sells software as a service with a monthly rate for enterprise customers only, but a potential niche is the customer support focus for technical issues and questions.

"Many people are using consumer technology products for business, but show me a place on the website where you can get a phone number," he said.

The relationship between the two companies still continues but the goals were different.

"We are a Rackspace customer, they really sell to more companies like us. We use Rackspace's systems and Amazon systems to power our software application," he said. "Rackspace is an open cloud company, they are very focused on helping people with Amazon Web Services and running big systems and applications inside of data centers, and for JungleDisk we are on a different mission with helping folks with data protection on devices."