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Cloud Funding, M&As

January 01, 2012

Are We There Yet?

CiiNOW Raises $13 Million for Cloud Compute System

CiiNOW, a cloud compute platform developer, announced it has raised $13 million in Series-A funding from Foundation Capital, Alcatel-Lucent and a third investor.

Founded by Internet and graphics industry veterans, company officials claim CiiNOW is positioned to change the way cloud infrastructure is built and how applications are developed and delivered across a variety of consumer devices.

“We raised an aggressive round of funding to accelerate hiring, engineering and partnership development to meet customer demand,” said Ron Haberman, CEO of CiiNOW, and a 15-year veteran of Internet services. “We are also discussing strategic investments with several partners as we build out the ecosystem our real time cloud compute platform.”

Twilio Lands $17 Million for Cloud Communications Platform

Cloud communications company Twilio (News - Alert) has raised a $17 million Series C round of funding from returning investors Bessemer Venture Partners and Union Square Ventures. In total, Twilio has now raised $31.5 million, according to CNET.

The San Francisco-based company makes web-service APIs so developers can build their own scalable, reliable communications applications for voice and SMS. Twilio has grown from 25 employees to nearly 100 in 2011.

In 2011, the company grew its customer base by 400 percent to nearly 75,000 developers, expanded its offering overseas to Europe, and expanded its product line dramatically with the introduction of SMS Short Codes, Twilio Client and Twilio Connect.

The cloud-based infrastructure web service that breaks down this complex field into “building blocks” that developers can use to integrate phone calls, text messages, and IP voice communications into their web, mobile and traditional phone applications.

Xeround Secures $9 Million in Series C Funding

Xeround, a cloud database company, announced it has closed $9 million in a Series C round of financing led by their current investors including Benchmark Capital, Giza Venture Capital, Ignition Partners and Trilogy Partnership.

Xeround offers a database-as-a-service for MySQL-based applications, which are elastic, linearly scalable and always on for infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS), platform-as-a-service (PaaS) and software-as-a-service (SaaS) environments.

Customers in the cloud ecosystem encounter various database challenges including the need for elastic usage, high availability and data synchronization. Designed and built specifically for the cloud, Xeround’s database-as-a-service solution manages auto-scaling, high-availability, self-healing and multi-tenancy, while guaranteeing continuous service during schema changes, resource modifications and the scaling process.

Cloud Testing Company SOASTA Secures $12 Million

SOASTA (News - Alert), Inc., a provider of cloud-based performance testing, has secured $12 million in funding. The round was led by The Entrepreneurs’ Fund, with participation from prior investors Canaan Partners, Formative Ventures, and Pelion Venture Partners. Company officials said the proceeds will accelerate SOASTA’s international expansion and support its technology leadership position in web and mobile testing through increased investments in the burgeoning mobile testing market.

Since introducing its cloud-based performance testing platform in 2008, the company has continued to innovate and transform the performance testing market by delivering unprecedented testing speed, scale and affordability through its products and services. The company recently expanded its award-winning CloudTest Platform with functional test automation to deliver a platform that both software developers and non-programmers can use to build and execute complex functional tests.

Cloud Driving M&A Activity: Report

Cloud computing is a major driver for merger and acquisition activity, according to Ernst & Young’s Global Technology M&A Update.

The aggregate value of global technology mergers and acquisitions (M&A) increased eight percent sequentially and 22 percent year-on-year to $56.4 billion in the third quarter of 2011, even as M&A value declined in other industries, according to the report.

Aggregate deal value (of deals with disclosed value) was the highest total value for any calendar quarter since 2007, before the global downturn.

Deals involving smart mobility and business analytics came on strong in Q311, driving two deals each with values above $10 billion, the first time two deals of that size occurred in the same quarter since Q1 2000. Hundreds more transactions were driven by cloud computing, information security, social networking, online and mobile games, health care IT and Internet and mobile video. Many deals combined two or more of these trends, Ernst & Young said.

IBM Buys Silicon Valley Cloud Company for $440 Million

As large software companies continue to look for entries into the cloud, Silicon Valley is cashing in. San Mateo-based cloud software company DemandTec was is among the latest to be acquired, as IBM (News - Alert) agreed to pay about $440 million for the company.

IBM will pay $13.20 cents a share for DemandTec, a 57 percent premium over the company’s then-share price of $8.43.

DemandTec offers cloud-based analytics research to companies, who use the research to determine trends in shoppers' habits, allowing them to better-set prices, make purchasing decisions and decide on promotions.

SAP Bets Big on the Cloud, Agrees to Acquire SuccessFactors for $3.4 Billion

The battle between SAP and Oracle (News - Alert) took another interesting step forward over the weekend when the German business software maker agreed to fork over $3.4 billion in cash to acquire California-based SuccessFactors, a provider of cloud-based human resource management software.

The move underscores both the intense rivalry between SAP and Oracle – which made a similar acquisition in October when it agreed to purchase RightNow Technologies (News - Alert) – and the growing importance of the cloud for large software vendors.

SAP – a company that has so far struggled with its cloud strategy – paid quite a premium for SuccessFactors, which lost around $12.5 million on $205.9 million in revenue last year. The $40 per share offer represents a whopping 52 percent premium on a recent closing price of $26.25.

—Beecher Tuttle

Glowpoint Acquires Several New Cloud Managed Video Service Customers

Glowpoint Inc., a provider of cloud managed video services, announced the company signed more than 30 new cloud managed video service customers in the first half of 2011.

Glowpoint specializes in offering cloud managed video services for leading global Fortune 500 companies that use telepresence and video conferencing.

It was revealed in a release by Glowpoint sources that in the first half of 2011, 32 of the 50 companies featured on Fortune’s 2011 “World’s Most Admired Companies” list benefited from managed video services delivered via Glowpoint’s OpenVideo cloud.

The company’s clients include global management consulting firms; global network and communications and equipment companies; three of the five largest health insurance and managed care companies; three household and consumer products companies and six of the 10 major accounting firms in the U.S.

Edited by Rich Steeves