EU4Business grant helping Armenian tech startup to establish presence in EU market

The Cloud Networks team at work

XCloud Networks fully automates the deployment and management of network infrastructure, enabling companies to own their network stack. This allows them to be vendor-agnostic (i.e. not tied to the products of a specific manufacturer), to reduce capital expenditure and increase stability.

Based in Sunnyvale, California with an office in Armenia and 14 employees, XCloud Networks received an Innovation Matching Grant (IMG) under the EU4Business SMEDA project in 2017. The financial support helped the team speed up product development and hire new people.

The startup’s co-founder and CEO Alex Saroyan has been engaged in network services for 18 years and worked as a consultant with foreign companies. While spending most of his career in management roles, Alex managed to get hands-on engineering and coding experience, detailed knowledge of the ins and outs of networking protocols and practical challenges. He decided to establish a startup with his two friends to help fast-growing companies have highly automated, agile and cost-efficient network infrastructure.

Touching upon the uniqueness of his startup’s technology, Saroyan explains that with XCloud Networks it takes a maximum of three months for companies to facilitate their transition into open networking.

“It sharply contrasts with ‘vendor lock-in’ or proprietary approaches, unlocks network stack and unlike competitors provides all the required applications in easy to manage and ready to use fashion (Security, VPN, load balancer, BGP peering, L2/L3 circuits, routing on the host, cross-connects, monitoring, logging, analytics, in system software upgrade, etc.). That enables companies to scale 10 times with existing human resources and save 20 times on total cost. Moreover, only five hours of training is required for engineers to run XCloud Networks’ solution,”he notes.

For XCloud Networks, the EU market is a potential region for growth, and the startup is already taking steps to establish its presence there. At the moment, it has a Netherlands-based partner and two customers from EU countries.

According to Alex Saroyan, one of the main challenges of being a startup in Armenia is keeping pace with the ever-changing and evolving tech industry needs.

“You need to make sure you develop new features and keep them updated. Although we are an early stage startup, our dedicated team and the technology developed helped us face this challenge and have paying customers from California and Europe. It’s worth mentioning that one of our customers is Innova, a leading online gaming platform with more than 25 million active users, which swapped Cisco, Juniper and F5 for XCloud Networks. It’s really a successful case in the industry,”he said.

Elaborating on the short-term goals of the startup, Alex Saroyan said they were planning to bring in automation on every aspect of networking and evolve the necessary foundations to deliver self-operating networks with AI-based intelligence.


Since 2017, the ‘Support to SME Development in Armenia’ (EU-SMEDA) project, which is funded by the European Union under the EU4Business initiative and implemented by GIZ in cooperation with the Enterprise Incubator Foundation (EIF), has been supporting Armenian startups with two types of grant – Innovation Matching Grants (IMG) and Science and Technology Entrepreneurship (STEP) grants.