It’s indisputable that for a startup to be successful, the idea behind it should be unique, meaningful, and meeting a need. However, in our generation, with so many great ideas on the rise to establish a startup and to ensure its survival in the long run, funding is indispensable. Capital plays a vital role in transforming a startup into a brand and there are so many interesting ways to fund your company today - from crowdsourcing to venture capital firms. Recently, cloud computing has revolutionized the way businesses work and so these cloud companies are raising capital at an impressive rate. Investors seem to be swarming around these startups as they are not only a safe bet, but the returns are also amazingly high. According to Gartner, the growth of the public services market is expected to shoot up by 17.3 percent in 2017 to a staggering $206.2 billion. These figures and statistics explain why investors want to fund these startups. Here are some of the cloud computing startups that managed to gain colossal amounts of funding between 2017 and 2018.
Skybox Security builds cybersecurity management software that provides customers with a detailed overview of various security risks using analytics. It also provides the customer with measures to mitigate those risks. Skybox provides security across multiple environments including physical, virtual, cloud, and operational technology environments. In October 2017, Skybox raised $150 million in funding. The investors were CVC Growth, a private equity, and investment advisory firm, with an investment of $100 million and Pantheon, and a private equity investor, which contributed $50 million. This round of funding is expected to boost further investments in sales and marketing, customer care, and R&D.
According to Jason Glass, the senior managing director of CVC Growth, “Skybox’s track record is impressive and there is clear demand for their solutions. It is a true leader in cybersecurity management, helping organizations better protect themselves and become more efficient.”
This San Francisco-based startup has tripled in revenue since it was founded in 2013. Mesosphere’s flagship software DC/OS is an operating system for data centers. It helps clients manage their data center minus the complex infrastructure management required when maintaining it on their own. DC/OS can help manage the various cloud deployments as well as on-premises data centers of a particular enterprise as a single entity.
As enterprises grow and depend more on emerging technologies like the Internet of Things and edge computing, the complexity is bound to increase. Hence, it is essential to use tools such as DC/OS that help simplify cloud access. The success of Mesosphere can easily be accredited to the need for cheaper and simpler infrastructure management solutions.
The staggering series D funding of $125 million in May 2018 is expected to help Mesosphere increase its salesforce. The company plans on adding more capabilities to DC/OS and exploring serverless computing. The lead investor in this round was Koch Industries with T. Rowe Price as co-investors.
Silver Peak Systems
This company, founded in 2004, describes itself as a broadband and hybrid WAN provider. Enterprises spend over $100 Billion on WAN connectivity each year. Silver Peak helps enterprises’ WANs to be optimized and adapted to a cloud-first environment. Enterprises can move entirely to the internet and Silver Peak’s SD-WAN aims at bringing more efficiency by ensuring end-to-end quality of service. Furthermore, Silver Peak’s SD-WAN relies on intent-based networking, allowing operators to focus on the entirety of the network rather than programming separate devices using the Command Line Interface (CLI).
The $90 million funding in series F by TCV Capital was announced in June 2018. TCV is one of the largest growth equity firms and has invested over $10 billion in leading technology companies like Netflix, Spotify, and Airbnb. With competitors like Cisco and Hewlett Packard Enterprises, massive funding like this can be seen as an opportunity to increase scalability and market presence.
PagerDuty is a global leader in the management of security operations for modern applications. Companies like IBM, GE, Netflix, Spotify, and Vodafone rely on PagerDuty to secure their apps and deliver a great customer experience. Businesses of all kinds are migrating to the cloud, and hence it is important for them to have the technology to protect their assets and to mitigate threats. What PagerDuty does is gather and analyze signals from over 300 of the world’s most widely used monitoring and ticketing platforms. These signals along with years of data of human and machine responses are used to predict threats and ways to deal with them. PagerDuty’s most powerful feature is its routing mechanism for alerts. It can be set up to alert the right person and the right time with all the necessary information to triage and troubleshoot an incident. It is the leading incident management tool used by DevOps teams today.
PagerDuty’s tech is already popular in the industry and directly led to the $90 million capital in series D funding in September of this year with T. Rowe Price Associate including Wellington Management and various previous investors Accel, Bessemer Partners, and Andreessen Horowitz as its lead investors. The company has 450 employees and has offices in Toronto, London, Sydney, Seattle, and San Francisco.
Digital identity startup ForgeRock is taking the market by storm with its state-of-the-art digital identity management solutions. With a funding of $88 million in series D funding announced in September 2017 led by investors Accel Partners along with KKR Capital, Meritech Capital, and Foundation Capital, it has raised more than $140 million since it was founded. ForgeRock provides solutions based on the idea that in addition to people, devices and services should also have a digital identity. This will help establish trusted relationships between people and devices in order to provide comprehensive security. This is essential today with the snowballing of IoT.
ForgeRock’s solutions for digital identity are already in use by various companies that have deployed ForgeRock to improve customer experience. With all the opportunities lined up for ForgeRock, the heavy funding doesn’t come as a surprise.
The Docker container platform has gained a lot of recognition because it is, after all, the company that sparked the container revolution. A myriad of companies are gravitating towards it and many are already using Docker because of its simplicity. A container provides an isolated environment similar to a virtual machine (VM) but doesn’t hog as many resources as a VM. It provides consistency to the developer to have the same environment run consistently on several devices. Containers are much better than VMs when it comes to performance as they use the Kernel in the host device rather than a dedicated kernel. Using Linux namespaces, these containers manage to provide an independent environment with a separate network interface and more.
Docker raised an astounding capital of $61 million through private equity in October 2017. The series E funding round consisted of around 30 investors including Sequoia Capital, Greylock Partners, and Insight Venture Partners to name a few. With Docker’s impressive track record, its current popularity, and its partnership with IT giants Microsoft and Oracle, it undeniably has the upper hand in the container industry, although it needs to find a way to establish its positioning in a fast-changing container ecosystem that’s all about Kubernetes today.
The San Francisco-based software company Scality has garnered $60 million in its Series E funding announced back in April 2017. The company, which was founded in 2009, has partnerships with Cisco and HPE. Both companies sell Scality Ring, the company’s flagship product, along with their own products, which drives Scality’s sales. HPE was also one of the investors in the last funding round.
With another product Zenko, a multicloud management software that will provide a single interface to manage data from various clouds, in its pipeline, the company is expected to soon go public.
This Big Data startup is already a favorite of many enterprises. Its converged data platform helps solve complexity issues with high volumes of data through a combination of operational and analytical data. MapR’s flexibility and its ability to handle petabytes of data smoothly is one of the biggest pros of the company. MapR received a funding of $56 million by venture funding in September 2017. This funding is expected to help MapR expand to international markets.
Cloud computing startups: Making their mark
The cloud computing startups mentioned above made a mark with their innovative tech and managed to raise a healthy amount of capital. This only points to how cloud computing is taking the world by storm. As enterprises move their assets to the cloud and petabytes of data are stored without any hassle, tools for managing, analyzing, and protecting that data become indispensable. These startups, along with various others, are working on providing innovative tech to deal with data and cloud-native applications better. It’ll be interesting to see which of these startups will be able to cement their place in the cloud computing market, but for longevity in this fast-moving market, innovation needs to be continuous and fast-paced.
Featured image: Shutterstock