Microtica makes it possible to deploy applications in the cloud infrastructure in a matter of minutes.
Microtica is an innovative DevOps software, specifically facilitating CI/CD (Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery) processes. It enables easy deployment of applications on cloud infrastructures such as AWS, using predefined plug-and-play templates for importing applications. Users can choose existing templates for their applications in Node.js, Next.js, ReactJS, Strapi Serverless, Vue.js, Svelte, Angular… and the team is constantly working on expanding the template portfolio, which currently numbers over 20. The platform offers and functional analytics that help optimize resources, performance and costs.
Microtica is a platform for automating DevOps processes that enables companies and individuals to deploy their applications on cloud infrastructure in a brief period of time. It does so by standardizing the way infrastructure and applications are set up.
350,000 dollars investment for market positioning
Microtica has been emerging from its “bootstrap” phase for the past year, in which the successful development was supported by the IT company DoxTeam, which received a co-financed grant from FITD for the project. Through the opening of a representative office in the USA, the Microtica team formalized the existing cooperation with the investment group Founder Partners from San Francisco, who help them through advice and consulting for marketing and positioning, and who are now investing 350,000 US dollars. The investment will primarily be used for product placement and strengthening sales and marketing channels.
We would be doing a disservice to this startup if we fail to mention SportyPal, a mobile fitness application created by the company CreationPal, which in 2010 rose to the top as one of the most used fitness applications in the world.
Rade Despodovski, the creator and current CTO of Microtica, started his career as a graduate engineer at FEIT 11 years ago in this startup where he met the founder of SportyPal, Gligor Davchevski (Glisho) – known on the Macedonian IT scene and part of the founding team of Seavus as well as one of the pioneers in the Macedonian IT industry. While working at Sportypal, they also met Marija Naumovska and Kiril Jakimovski, paving the 10-year-long road for the foundation of Microtica.
The decision to join and work at SportyPal, at the time of its popularity, will completely change Rade’s concept of thinking about where he should direct his career, which he started with an internship at Komercijalna Banka. Going back to those days, Rade enthusiastically talks about the challenges of working at a startup that is conquering the world, not only to directly contribute to the development of a product but to also shape it into something wonderful. Whether he wants to admit it or not, his experience at SportyPal catapulted his career and created a criterion to avoid the corporate environment and the 9 to 5 working hours’ mentality, because it develops the “premature curse” that requires constant innovation and product development and ideas. This “curse” would also spread to Maria and Kiril, so as the main “culprit”, we could freely point to Gligor…
Salary or shares?
Gligor, as time will show, with his atypical-for-a-Macedonian-businessman philosophy, will be the key factor for upholding the current team behind Microtica, which according to SportyPal, will follow him in his attempts to create CompleteDock, DoxOut as well as formation of DoxTeam companies, which need capital. (FYI: DoxTeam was acquired from the Swedish company Synergi few months ago).
His genius move to form such a team lies in that in the Sportypal era, he will take a bold entrepreneurial step and part of the team will experience the Matrix moment – to choose between a salary increase or a share in the company.
“One day while working at SportyPal, Glisha (Gligor) called me to a meeting and told me that he was satisfied with my work. Immediately after that, he asked me if I wanted a higher salary or a percentage in the company… I don’t know why, but I immediately answered percentage. I had not thought anything on this subject before because at that time the method of work was you go and work for a salary, … I had not even thought that someone would offer me something like this. But when I heard the question, I instantly knew the answer…” – says Rade.
When for unknown reasons SportyPal begins to lose the battle in the fitness app segment, it is this decision to give shares that will retain and sustain the current founding team of Microtica, which before this the product will be tried with several other adventures as a web solution for document collaboration DoxBee in 2013, a promising product that unfortunately does not get the deserved placement, and which at one stage will come in direct talks with the CEO of DropBox. According to Rade, the fault here should be sought in the excessive focus on technology, and little on sales and marketing, something that is a challenge for Microtica today – and we can safely say that it is one of the more common symptoms of the Macedonian startup eco- system. But despite the failure with the DoxBee product, thanks to the co-ownership model, he will successfully retain the team and lead it towards the formation of DoxTeam, an IT company that will offer service activities and aim to create capital that drives for innovation and development of product.
Focus on outsourcing, but longing for a personal product
For the next few years, the DoxTeam and service business will be the focus of the SportyPal “mob”. The team will grow with dozens of other engineers and collaborators, at one point up to 40, primarily serving the customers of partner company Alite, a Swedish company with which DoxTeam is partnering, thanks to previous acquaintances from Seavus. One of the clients that DoXteam will cooperate with through Alite is SwissRe, a Swiss insurance company.
“During that time as CTO of DoxTeam, I oversaw all working teams and all projects. Since we were working with custom software, we faced a challenge – different people, teams, ideas, projects… and a large part of the necessary infrastructure not only remained the same but could actually be reused for each of those projects. We realized that traditional ways of documentation and rules only worked up to a certain level. Since we were still an IT company with a startup culture, we wanted to find a way to solve that problem with technology.”
When SwissRe requested DoxTeam to quickly create white-label insurance applications for their partners, which are essentially a replication of the same software with minimal customization, Rade began to focus a little more on developing a product that would make this possible in a quick and easy way. The challenge of replicating an AWS infrastructure setup in a rapid manner would actually create the MVP of today’s Microtica.
“I was frustrated with meetings, same conversations, repetitive tasks of setting up the identical environment on multiple occasions, because the SwissRE sales team had the idea of being able to demo a white-label environment for a customer within 10 minutes. We didn’t have that at that moment, and since I was in the heat of the moment, that frustration actually made me think that automation for infrastructure settings is a solution” – Rade explains.
Time for a spinoff
After several years of working with customers and testing/shaping the product, after 2017 the team made the decision to create Microtica as a separate company and separate its products. Technical development will mainly be led by Rade, who would work on Microtica in his spare time and then jump back to his regular duties as CTO of DoxTeam.
“Going back to the development of Microtica as a product, the only thing I would change is to give a little more priority to sales and marketing. When we made the Microtica spinoff team, we created a technology team. Now, going back, from a team building aspect, I would certainly like to have someone who does sales and understands technology. This, I believe, would significantly change the timeline of Microtica’s success.” – explains Rade when asked what he would change 6 years ago, if he could.
The development of Microtica will escalate when DoxTeam receives the co-financed grant (60-40%) from FITR, through which it will take about 316,000 euros grant intended for product development.
What is Microtica?
Microtica is not a simple product, but for the target audience it is also a necessary and useful tool. Microtica’s target is development teams and developers who have no experience in DevOps, and it allows them to deploy the application in the cloud in a simpler way. At the same time, Microtica also offers them security, performance and scalability.
“In a very simple way, our Microtica tool allows the user to reuse templates that scale easily, to test and to operate. By easily connecting Git accounts and own AWS instances, every developer can set up his application without a DevOps headache” – clarifies Rade.
Microtica’s pricing models range from $0 for a free account that offers up to 2 Kubernetes Services and up to 100 build minutes and 20 deployments per month, to an advanced plan of $99 per month that allows up to 50 Kubernetes Services and over 2,000 build minutes.
Since 2017, Microtica has been tested by multiple Macedonian, regional and global clientele. As one of the more interesting first customers of the service is the “Swiss Uber”, Vertt, whose initial platform was actually built in Macedonia by DoxTeam. Today they are still an active client of Microtica.
The key moment for greater market integration is when the team focuses on templates, rather than offering Microtica as a tool for developers to build their own automations and processes. According to Rade, this moment actually enables the specific targeting of the product to a specific audience, which facilitates the marketing strategy.
Global appetites, through investment and US headquarters
After the number of platform users exceeds over 100 developers, mainly from the region, in 2021 the team will start cooperation with the American Founder Partners (who will come to Microtica on their own initiative through their blog content). The cooperation will focus on developing marketing and sales strategies for a more serious market presence, and will culminate with the establishment of a company in the USA in which Founder Partners (a network of angel investors) will make the aforementioned investment of 350,000 US dollars after two years of cooperation.
An interesting fact to mention is that the Microtica team and Founder Partners, despite all the cooperation so far, are yet to meet in person this summer…
Encouraged by the investment, the focus this year for Microtica is to exponentially grow. Led by Maria and Kiril as marketing professionals, Rade as CTO and Gligor in an advisory role, the Microtica team is well on its way to repeat or even surpass the success of the former Sportypal…
Learn more about the platform at: https://www.microtica.com