Snapt, a South Africa-based startup that helps companies manage the reliability, security, and performance of their websites, has joined the Advanced Technology Development Center’s (ATDC) Select program.
The company, which recently opened its U.S. headquarters in Atlanta, is aggressively pursuing the American market, home to between 80 and 85 percent of its customers. The company’s efforts here will include beefing up its sales and marketing staff and commercializing new products in the application delivery controller space.
Snapt’s core business is helping companies manage their websites’ computing load balancing needs to optimize resource use, minimize time, and increase reliability.
“Our technology and what we do for our customer’s website is to make sure it’s available online, make sure it loads quickly and that it’s safe,” said Dave Blakey, Snapt’s chief executive and founder.
Founded in 2012, the cloud-based company has more than 10,000 clients in 50 countries. It is projecting its business to grow 1,000 percent in 2015, more than double the 400 percent growth it recorded in 2014. To accommodate that growth, Snapt seeks to boost its technological capabilities — which is one of the key reasons it sought membership into ATDC’s competitive Select program.
ATDC is a unit of the Enterprise Innovation Institute (EI2), Georgia Tech’s chief economic development arm. Startups designated “ATDC Select” — after a rigorous vetting process — are deemed most ready to succeed, get investors, and receive targeted help in their growth.
“We’re hoping to grow our tech abilities in the U.S., and ATDC has a lot of connections to Georgia Tech, which is a great plus for us,” Blakey said. “I like ATDC as a whole. I like the program and what they’re about.”
But tapping into Tech’s talent base of students and research is just one factor in the draw toward ATDC, he said. The other is Industry Connect, which links ATDC Select companies and their cutting-edge technologies with Fortune 1000 firms to help meet their needs. “Programs like that at ATDC really help us,” Blakey said.
For ATDC, which has about 40 companies in its Select program, Snapt fit the criteria the incubator seeks in Georgia companies poised for growth and success. “They have some great technology and a good team — and they want to build up that team in Atlanta,” said Tim Sheehan, ATDC’s lead Entrepreneur-in-Residence (EIR).
ATDC’s EIRs, who are experienced in launching, growing, and successfully exiting startup ventures, work one-on-one with Select companies to guide their growth and development.
“Snapt has a lot of customers already, including some very large companies, which is rare for a small tech company,” Sheehan said. “When you go down through our list of criteria for admission into Select, they scored well in all areas.”
Along with ATDC and Georgia Tech, Atlanta itself was a draw to base his company’s U.S. operations, Blakey said. Delta operates direct non-stop flights between Johannesburg and Atlanta and the time difference between the two cities is only six hours. What’s more, Blakey said, Atlanta has one of the largest concentrations of South African nationals of any metro area in the United States.
“Atlanta has a lot of good things for anyone and any business,” he said. “But it has a lot of good things for South African businesses in particular.”