Investor Wanted

In a previous post titled “DeskCAD – Yet Another AutoCAD Clone” I mentioned a Russian company called Cadezy wherein I sniffed out some details from their budget document which gave an indication of their origin. I wrote:

Item 4 reads “Membership dues & fees (ITC, ODA)” and the amounts resemble the membership fees of the ITC. So Cadezy appears to be another ITC member breaking away. If not then neither Cadezy nor the ITC is proud to admit a relationship with each other.

I pointed out a few other anomalies:

For example, the budget document suggests that the company existed since 2006 whereas the CEO’s LinkedIn page calls Cadezy an IT startup which he co-founded three months ago. The CTO’s LinkedIn page concurs.

Here is the actual story in their own words from their Executive Summary:

Cadezy was launched in 2009 as a prospective R&D initiative within a company Infrasoft that developed and delivered its own CAD software. After incubating the project for a year Infrasoft decided to spin Cadezy off into a separate company.

I believe Infrasoft was a member of the ITC. I say “was” because I don’t see it listed on the IntelliCAD member’s page anymore. My feeling is that like Bricsys, Infrasoft decided to start their own development based upon ODA’s DWGdirect platform. About a year ago Infrasoft joined the ODA as a Founding member (press release), which gave them access to the source code of the ODA platform. I don’t know this for sure, but my feeling is that Infrasoft has now completely morphed into Cadezy because the name Infrasoft does not figure in the ODA members list. However, Cadezy is listed as a Founding Member. So to me this looks like another case of an ITC member ditching the organization, latching onto the ODA and developing an AutoCAD clone on their own.

I have since been speaking to Cadezy and even advising them on a few things. They were planning on making a clone of Autodesk’s ObjectARX SDK, just like Bricsys has done and a few others who are going down that path. I think I may have talked them out of the idea. Why? Because I believe that a startup company that is having a hard time funding its research and development quite obviously cannot afford the resources it will need to fight Autodesk in court, if and when required. So why ask for trouble? I advised them to make DeskCAD 100% compliant with the ODA’s DRX SDK so that DRX plug-ins developed for any DWGdirect hosted application would work with their product as well.

Which brings me to the reason for this post. Cadezy is in search for an investor or a group of investors. They are finding it hard to get funding from Russians. I guess getting investment for something that is still in the R&D stage is always going to be a challenge, especially if you are up against a monopoly like Autodesk.

However, they do have a Technology Preview of WebCAD. As of now it is a CAD viewer, but if all goes well, it should end up being a 2D/3D CAD SaaS solution running inside a web browser. They hope to charge $50 per seat per month. By December 2009 they indend to have a limited functionality alpha. By Q4 2010 they plan on beta testing which should result in sales in 2011. They intend to break even in 2012 and think that investors can exit by 2014, by which time their revenues are expected to be $7 million. According to their Executive Summary:

The most probable exit from the project for an investor will be the company selling to strategic investors like Adobe, Dassault Systems, PTC, Oracle, SAP and Siemens. It probably will be interesting for these companies to buy Cadezy, because of the company’s technical solution and client base.

Cadezy is looking for investment for two purposes (1) Accelerating R&D; and (2) Marketing Campaign. This page spells out the details. If you are interested you can contact them. I am given to understand that they are open to working with competitors as well. By competitors they mean ITC members who may have been doing some thinking themselves.