Reimagining Startup and Enterprise Innovation

How Startups Use $500 in Free Cloud 

Sarah Griffiths
Freelance Journalist

Startups seeking scale are quick to pivot, adapt, and take advantage of every opportunity to run more efficiently. When offered free credits, these cloud startups turned $500 into a solid foundation for expansion.  

Startups that join Oracle for Startups receive $500 in Oracle Cloud Infrastructure credits. That $500 comes at a 70% discount from day one so these credits go 3x as far, and pair nicely with Oracle’s Always Free tier of services. Startups have reported up to 40% annual savings compared to AWS, and these savvy entrepreneurs are using the savings to reinvest in their startup business. 

Save, Reinvest, Scale, Repeat

Airfluencers is a platform that analyzes and optimizes marketing with influencers in Latin America. CEO Rodrigo Soriano was initially wary that Oracle’s startup program was ‘too good to be true,’ but has since been ‘very happy’ with the benefits of the program, which include free cloud credits. 

The startup was spending around $13,000 a month with Google. With Oracle for Startups’ 70% discount, they tested the waters by migrating 1% of their workloads to Oracle. A week later, Airfluencers transferred all processing to Oracle. Soriano said, “It was easy and we were able to do it [migrate to OCI] ourselves.” 

Extend the Research Runway

R&D is crucial for startups seeking product/market fit, but it is often time-consuming and expensive. Supermoney CEO Joel Smalley used the money he saved by using Oracle’s free credits on research and development for his next-generation accounting ledger, which helps businesses create and manage more efficient business networks.

“As an early-stage startup ostensibly pre-revenue, quite literally every penny saved extends our runway,” he explained. The London-based cloud startup spends £10,000 a month on R&D and notes the route to revenue is a very long and bumpy one when it comes to blockchain technologies. “Although the cloud credits are a small percentage of our R&D cost, it is also very reassuring that it is one cost that we don't have to worry about,” he said.

Similarly, Autolomous CEO Alexander Seyf used free credits and discounts to further develop the startup’s platform, which offers digitized workflow management for cell and gene therapy manufacturers. 

Expanding Product Features

Startup NOIA Network works on solving the core problems of internet infrastructure. NOIA leveraged free Oracle Cloud credits to build and deploy its Distributed Autonomous Routing Protocol (DARP) agent to measure the best network path between cloud providers and the internet edges.

“Gaining access to a wide range of servers globally and testing for routing improvements across each location has been very useful,” said NOIA Network CTO Jonas Simanavicius. “With Oracle’s help, more nodes in our system can receive a continuous feed of one-way latency matrices, enabling them to route around congested Internet paths.”

Brazilian startup Jobecam uses AI to boost workplace diversity, and put savings to good use by creating a safer, more robust architecture for the platform.  “We need to increase our productivity quality and deliver our products to more users, but don’t have to worry about cost. That’s a great gift,” says Jobecam CTO Eugênio de Carli.

Turning Savings into Scale 

NOIA’s network requires strong infrastructure to operate. “Oracle's cloud credits have helped us scale that infrastructure even faster,” says Simanavicius. “We plan to take full advantage of the discounts as we move forward with the startup incubation process at Oracle.”

But the free credits offer more than increased reliability. De Carli explains, “The discount enabled us to create and optimize our infrastructure. We managed to create several models until we found a suitable solution for Jobecam.”

Smalley agrees on the experimental freedom provided by cloud savings, and the innovation that results from it.  “We actually experiment more and push out more prototypes to promote our business and services than we would if we were paying full price for OCI.” For Supermoney, the value of free cloud credits comes from increasing activities they would otherwise not have pursued due to cost constraints. 

Join the startups who are scaling with free cloud, mentorship, and connections with Oracle for Startups.

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