Flexiant raises $5.7M to push its cloud orchestration tools into the U.S.

British cloud orchestration outfit Flexiant has picked up a fresh round of £3.75 million ($5.67 million) in funding, which it says it will use to push further into European and North American markets.

Flexiant’s Cloud Orchestrator suite is aimed at service providers, mostly telcos, who want to become infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) wholesalers with minimal effort. The company’s biggest rivals are probably VMware(s vmw) and Citrix(s ctxs), although OnApp and Joyent also play in the same space to varying degrees.

The funding is the largest tranche Flexiant has received thus far, taking its total funding to date to around £6 million. The cash comes from London-based private investors, rather than venture capital. “We have a strong local investor base,” CEO George Knox told me. “They’re investing in exposure to the cloud market – this is part of their balanced portfolio.”

U.S. service providers in particular can now expect to have Flexiant knocking on their doors, Knox explained:

“The money will allow us to continue to be innovative on the development process. We’re very focused… we don’t try and compete in the private cloud, on-premise space. This allows us to concentrate on the service provider space and in particular to put more focus into the U.S. service provider space. At the moment we’re still relatively unknown there. Even in the European market it’s only in the last 6-9 months that we’ve become known.”

Interestingly, Knox claimed that OpenStack isn’t a particularly serious rival due to the needs of the Flexiant’s target market.

“The service provider market doesn’t want to spend time, energy and money putting a whole lot of consultants to work,” he said. “We do get some organizations that are open source zealots but [the drivers of that] are in the IT department. As soon as you talk to the business people, [who are concerned with] how you get to market quickly and how do you monetize – they don’t want to go down the 9-12 month route.”

Last month Flexiant also announced a partnership with France’s USharesoft. USharesoft has a “cloud software factory” product called UForge, which lets service providers automatically create and maintain full software stacks – applications included — as cloud server templates. These templates can now be published straight to the Flexiant Cloud Orchestrator image library, ready for self-provisioning.

Flexiant says it picked up 14 customers in the first quarter of this year alone (and has recently been touting the Canadian service provider Cartika as a case-study customer).