The $20 Million Club: 10 Well-Funded Cloud Startups

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After a few months of big funding news, I thought it was worth looking into which cloud computing infrastructure startups have raised the most money thus far. Countless dozens have been funded, but, by my count*, only 10 have hit the $20 million mark. I don’t know that it’s a magic number, but the startups who’ve reached it certainly are noteworthy.

Cloud computing’s $20 million club:

1. Aster Data Systems – $53 million

Aster Data sells a massively parallel database software that combines SQL queries with MapReduce processing.

2. RightScale – $42.5 million

RightScale offers a user-friendly and multifaceted cloud platform that sits atop various IaaS offerings, primarily Amazon EC2.

3. Virtustream – $40 million

Virtustream has been around for a while as an MSP, but has garnered attention lately for its new enterprise-grade xStream cloud platform.

4. Engine Yard – $37.5 million

Engine Yard offers a PaaS offering for Ruby applications, with versions running atop Amazon EC2 and Terremark’s Enterprise Cloud.

5. Cloudera – $36 million

Cloudera is the first vendor to offer a commercial distribution of the Apache Hadoop parallel-processing software.

6. Nirvanix – $35 million

Nirvanix was among the first true cloud storage providers, designed for archiving and long-term storage of enterprise data.

7. rPath – $32 million

rPath offers an application automation platform designed to ease the provisioning of applications across physical, virtual and cloud environments.

8. Eucalyptus – $25.5 million

Eucalyptus is a pioneer of open-source, internal-cloud software that mimics and interacts with Amazon Web Services, and has developed a broad partner ecosystem.

9. Joyent – $22 million

Joyent is a long-time cloud provider that has grown its portfolio from IaaS to PaaS to internal-cloud software.

10. Nimbula – $20.75 million

Nimbula also sells an AWS-like experience in-house, and was founded by the brains behind Amazon EC2.

The ties that bind these companies are value-added services and an enterprise focus. Survey after survey shows internal cloud computing catching on faster than public clouds for large businesses, so companies offering this capability are hot. Further, adding services and features atop a respected but not necessarily easy-to-learn product — even in the cloud — has been a recipe for funding success.

Looking forward, however, I suspect public-cloud-based startups will start getting a lot more money, provided they maintain an enterprise focus. Organizations are getting more comfortable moving certain workloads to the cloud, and cloud storage vendors like Nasuni and Cirtas have strong products, as does Structure Launchpad winner CloudSwitch.

* Given the sheer number of cloud startups, it’s possible I missed someone. If you know of any other cloud infrastructure startups that have hit the $20 million mark, please do mention them in the comments.

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Photo courtesy of Flicker user aresauburn.

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