iSERVE promises NZ’s biggest hosting platform

Provider seeking investment funds from customers

Infrastructure hosting and management company iSERVE plans to develop New Zealand’s biggest virtual hosting platform. To raise the multi-million-dollar sum needed for the development the company is going to its customers.

It is offering customers lifetime hosting plans — Life Plan for $2,995 and Life Plan Plus for $3,995. Ownership of the latter plan may be transferred to another person before June 1, 2016.

The plans — the first lifetime web hosting plans to be made available in New Zealand — are “guaranteed for life and come with no strings attached,” says general manager Joy Cottle.

She says while it is traditional for growing companies like iSERVE to pursue other capital-raising and investment options for such a significant project, the company decided to take a simpler approach.

“By offering the lifetime hosting plans we can help raise the cash needed without using external sources while keeping our regular cashflow stabilised, which is why we have capped the offer to a limited number,” Cottle says.

“This way, we do not need to consider loan repayments, or have to deal with a severely depleted cashflow while maintaining higher expenses.”

Last month existing iSERVE customers were offered the plans at a discounted rate for a limited period ending June 1, and there was a good response, Cottle says. About 200 of the 500 plans on offer were taken up.

The virtual hosting development will include a substantial, fully redundant information backup and recovery facility, and the implementation of an always-live 24x7 Linux, Microsoft and Apple certified support desk.

iSERVE will also develop several geographically diverse, carrier-neutral hosting facilities within New Zealand, offering what it claims will be “New Zealand’s only 100% network uptime promise”.

The lifetime hosting offer, if fully subscribed, will raise about $1.5 million, Cottle says, towards a total estimated cost of $7 million for the project. The rest “we’ve already got” or have promised by other partners, she says.

Development of the planned service is scheduled to start in October. It will take about three years to implement all its facets, Cottle says.

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