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March 31, 2014

Wheelings & Dealings: Cloudera Receives $900 Million in Investments, Takes Over Intel's Hadoop Development

In 2005, Doug Cutting created a piece of software while working for Yahoo, and decided in a humourous manner to name it after his son’s stuff toy, Hadoop. Almost a decade later, the open source Apache Hadoop, has become a major player in the world of big data solutions. Hadoop software has been used by such prominent companies as Yahoo, Facebook (News - Alert) and Intel. While perhaps the usage of an open-source program may be controversial, there have been quite a few companies that have taken up Hadoop as a major source of income.

Founded in 2009 by engineers from Google (News - Alert), Yahoo and Facebook, Cloudera Inc. is one of those companies. Cloudera has built their business around Apache Hadoop. Their service, Cloudera Distribution Including Apache Hadoop (CDH), provides clientele with Apache Hadoop-based software, support and services, and training in how to use the service in a business environment.

Last week, on March 27, titans of semiconductor chips, Intel (News - Alert), announced that it would be dropping its own plans to develop Hadoop services, and instead will be investing in Cloudera. With this investment, Cloudera is now planning on optimizing CDH for Intel products, while Intel will also be gaining a place on the company’s board of directors.

This announcement was only the first clue as to the amazing round of financing that Cloudera has been having. Today, Cloudera has reported that it has raised $900 million in their current financing round. Some of those investors, alongside Intel, include Google Ventures, T.Rowe Price, and MSD Capital, L.P., a private equity firm handling Michael Dell’s (News - Alert) investments.

Intel is most definitely the largest of those investors, gaining an 18 percent stake in the company, with an investment coming out to an estimated $740 million.

With such a massive financing round, Cloudera is being given a foothold above many of its competitors. Last week, it was announced that their competitors, Hortonworks, had managed to draw $100 million, which is itself not a small piece of the pie. Hortonworks claims to be different from Cloudera, in that they consider their work to be completely open source. The policies and software provided by Hortonworks drew music streaming service, Spotify (News - Alert), to switch over from Cloudera. However, $900 million is a lot larger than $100 million, and the support of Google Ventures and Intel is much more promising than Spotify.

The world of big data is only growing now, and while these investments definitely reveal that it will likely become a major industry, it may be too early to know for sure what the layout of the industry will be. Perhaps Hortonworks will gain its own $740 million investor?

Cloudera will be using the influx of cash to further develop their services, and work on integrating Intel’s needs. Cloudera is planned to go public this year.

Edited by Cassandra Tucker

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