Skytap (known as Illumita during its stealth mode) is a US startup that entered the (almost empty) virtual lab automation market segment in April 2008 (see virtualization.info coverage).
While one of the leaders in this space, Surgient, was moving away from the hosted infrastructure approach, Skytap was offering its technology as Software as a Service (or virtual lab automation in a cloud if you like).
The only other virtual lab automation firm that is pursuing this business model is StackSafe, another startup launched in January 2008.
In over one year nor Skytap neither StackSafe have impacted the development & testing market in a significant way.
In part this depends on the ubiquitous presence of the worst possible competitor, VMware, and in part on the fact that the cloud computing excitement doesn’t equally apply to every aspect of the IT.
Anyway now Skytap has secured an additional $7 Million round of funds from Ignition Partners, Madrona Venture Group and Washington Research Foundation.
Of course investing this money despite the tough economy makes sense as Skytap, more than others, has a chance to get some serious exposure at the peak of the cloud computing hype.