10 Hot Cloud Startups to Watch

After evaluating more than 150 new cloud ventures, here are the top 10 cloud startups. These companies are shaping--or have the potential to shape--how the cloud computing market will evolve.

By Jeff Vance
Mon, March 04, 2013
Page 3

8. Nebula

nebula, cloud startup

What they do: Provide OpenStack-based appliances that let businesses deploy and manage private clouds.

Headquarters: Palo Alto, Calif.

CEO: Chris Kemp, who was previously CTO for IT at NASA, where he also co-founded the OpenStack project

Founded: April 2011

Funding: In September 2012, the company raised a $25 million Series B round led by Comcast Ventures and Highland Capital Partners. Kleiner Perkins, William Hearts II, Maynard Webb, Scott McNealy, Innovation Endeavors participating and Google's first three investors (Andy Bechtolsheim, David Cheriton and Ram Shriram) also participated.

Why they're on this list: OpenStack is shaking up the cloud infrastructure landscape, serving as the main open-source alternative (sorry CloudStack) to VMware. CEO Chris Kemp co-founded OpenStack while he was at NASA, and along with Rackspace, Nebula is a key driver helping to make OpenStack a viable alternative to closed cloud systems.

NASA and several other government agencies use OpenStack for their own private clouds. Nebula delivers its private cloud solution as an appliance.

Market potential and competitive landscape: Cloud market predictions are all over the map (Forrester predicts that the global cloud computing market will grow from $40.7 billion in 2011 to more than $241 billion in 2020, while Deloitte predicts that cloud-based applications will only replace 2.34 percent of enterprise IT spending in 2014 rising to 14.49 percent in 2020, while also pushing down costs in the process). We do know, though, that the cloud deployment and management market will be large.

This sector is a land grab as of now, but there is a ton of competition already, including VMware, AWS, Citrix (CloudStack), dinCloud, AppZero, Eucalyptus, Rackspace, OnApp, Piston and many others.

9. OnApp

OnApp, cloud startup

What they do: Provide cloud services, including IaaS, CDN and storage services.

Headquarters: London, U.K.

CEO: Ditlev Bredahl. Before founding OnApp, Ditlev led UK2 Group's hosting companies as Managing Director and CEO.

Founded: July 2010

Funding: To date, OnApp has raised $20 million in two rounds of funding. The latest B round of funding was led by UK private equity firm LDC.

Why they're on this list: If you're a traditional hosting provider, you have either already transitioned to being a cloud provider or you are scrambling to do so.

OnApp's mission is to remove the entry barriers to the cloud for Web hosts, telcos, ISPs, MSPs and other traditional service providers. OnApp developed a turnkey system that enables service providers to create their own cloud services, using their existing servers or data centers, with no up-front software investment required.

The OnApp Cloud platform takes care of all core cloud management/orchestration functions, such as cloud deployment, VM management, failover and autoscaling.It also includes the capabilities lacking from most enterprise-focused private cloud platforms, but which service providers absolutely depend on, such as support for different utility and plan-based billing models; the ability to bill for every hardware resource in your cloud; and user management, limits and permissions.

The latest version of the OnApp Cloud platform includes a built-in SAN, a global CDN with video streaming support, DNS management, autoscaling, load balancing and a range of other features. Customers include PEER1 Hosting, GMO, UK2 Group, Dediserve and eApps. OnApp finished third in Startup50 voting with 9.6 percent of the total.

Market landscape and competition: OnApp is targeting a public cloud IaaS market currently estimated at $6.2 billion, according to Garter, and a CDN market estimated at $2.5 billion, according to Markets and Markets.

Competitors include Boomi and ScaleUp Technologies. With its recent service upgrade, OnApp now also competes with CDN providers.

10. SaaS Markets

SaaS Markets, cloud startup

What they do: Provide the cloud-based infrastructure that enterprises can use to launch mobile app and SaaS stores.

Headquarters: San Mateo, Calif.

CEO: Ferdi Roberts, who previously held senior executive positions at Yahoo, Cisco, and Ariba.

Founded: 2011

Funding: They have not disclosed funding details.

Why they're on this list: As BYOD becomes more common and as the "appification" trend continues unabated, enterprises must find ways to approve and control these apps. SaaS Markets intends to address this problem by giving enterprises the tools they need to launch their own app and SaaS stores.

App qualification is managed by the SaaS Markets Application Partner team, which runs SaaS applications through a series of rigorous tests. MarketMaker, the SaaS Markets platform, includes a search engine to make it easy to find all relevant apps, and evaluate and test them side-by-side in terms of capabilities, interface, features and cost.

Currently, SaaS Market also offers more than 1,300 pre-qualified SaaS apps for tasks that range from managing social media outbound messages to project management to cash flow management to security.

Customers include the Montana Chamber of Commerce, Association of Washington Business, Park City, UT Chamber of Commerce and Auburn, WA Chamber of Commerce.

Market landscape and competition: Forrester Research is projecting the SaaS software market to increase 25 percent in 2013 to $59 billion, a 25 percent increase. In 2014, Forrester projects the market to total $75 billion. Competitors include App47 and AppCentral.

Continue Reading

Our Commenting Policies