Microsoft helps startup deliver AI-powered security insights with Azure, technical guidance and mentorship

‘Interaction with the Development Experience team and support from BizSpark Plus have given us extra scale and access to an extensive network of experts. This has helped us build a cutting-edge platform for our customers’ – Dave McKerral, CTO.

When evestor set out to make a new way to invest, they also needed a new way to run their IT infrastructure.

The firm aims to make financial advice available to everyone at the lowest cost. Offering access to expert financial advice online 24/7 with the option to book an appointment with a financial adviser at no extra cost, evestor combines the best of fully-automated ‘robo-advisors’ with the best of more traditional investment advisers.

The firm is backed by Duncan Cameron, the founder of MoneySupermarket. com, and Anthony Morrow, the firm’s Chief Executive.

Keeping costs down, while offering high levels of service, is fundamental to evestor’s business model. This drove the decision to build their own IT platform rather than use someone else’s.

Building on Azure

Customers get started by answering 13 questions online and evestor provides a tailored investment plan with the option of speaking to an advisor.

It was almost as simple getting started with Azure. We decided early on that our architecture would be Service Fabric hosted on Azure, says Dave McKerral, CTO at Evestor.

This allowed the firm to build an application out of a federation of 14 separate micro-services using a Service Fabric Cluster along with various other Azure services, including:

  • Azure Service Bus
  • Azure Blob Storage
  • Azure SQL database
  • Azure Scheduler

It was (and is) a cutting-edge approach to building an application – with parts of the Azure platform in beta as development began – and Microsoft helped Evestor make the most of the technology. ‘We talked a lot with the Developer Experience (DX) team who had a lot of knowledge about that platform’, says Dave McKerral.

Accelerating with BizSpark Plus

The firm also enrolled in Microsoft BizSpark Plus. This helped it ramp up its infrastructure with development, test, staging and live production environments on Azure without a huge bill.

‘Azure usage credits mean we can do what’s [technically] best rather than what’s justifiable according to the budget’, says Dave McKerral. BizSpark Plus also provided licences for Visual Studio Online for source code control and continuous integration services.

Invaluable advice

But the relationship goes beyond usage credits. ‘In our interactions with the DX team, we’ve had technical support, knowledge sharing, access to events and insights into what’s going on with Azure, says Dave McKerral.

It’s been a beneficial partnership: ‘Our founders have a lot of experience and good connections – we’re not a typical out-of-nowhere startup – but Microsoft BizSpark has helped us grow faster and keep our costs down while building a technically-sophisticated infrastructure for our application.’

Take the next step with Microsoft

At Microsoft, we work with startups of all shapes and sizes. The joint business opportunity depends on how we can support individual startups. To find out if you are eligible, contact the team on startout@microsoft.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

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