5 freshly-funded cloud computing companies worth watching

Investors made a crowd around the cloud this week, investing $175 million in companies focused on everything from storage to the WAN to the supply chain.

Investors made a crowd around the cloud this week, investing $175 million in companies focused on everything from storage to the WAN to the supply chain.

Sure, "the cloud" is a broad term and in reality, what new tech company doesn't have some cloud angle? But 5 companies that announced funding this week, some familiar to us and some not, all have legit claims on being cloud computing businesses.

The big winner of the bunch this week was FinancialForce.com, a San Francisco cloud ERP provider based on the Salesforce1 Platform that touted $110 million in fresh funding led by Technology Crossover Ventures. Existing investor Salesforce Ventures also chipped in. The $110 million, which will go toward product development, sales, marketing and more, adds to $50 million committed about a year ago by Advent International.

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Given that FinancialForce reported a 91% annual subscription run rate growth and a $50 million revenue run rate in 2014, it's no wonder funding is pouring in. The company, which as a private company is more discreet about profit figures, battles vs. vendors such as NetSuite and SAP.

Led by Jeremy Roche, the company launched in 2009 and now employs around 450.

Aryaka, which offers cloud-based application acceleration and WAN optimization products (a.k.a. WAN- and CDN-as-a-service), has collected $16 million in new funding led by Nexus Venture Partners. That brings total funding to about $75 million, according to a Wall Street Journal article.

Aryaka, started by CEO Ajit Gupta, is a feisty competitor that has been aggressive in going after rivals' customers, as evidenced by a buyback program for Riverbed users introduced in 2013. Gupta sold an earlier company, content delivery network provider Speedera, to Akamai in 2005.

Another company that's been around for a while cloud-based supply chain analytics provider FusionOps this week said it has raised $12 million in Series B funding led by New Enterprise Associates. That funding, added to $7 million previously raised, will be used to fuel product development and global expansion. As it is, the company boasts marquee customers such as Merck and Brocade.

In addition to announcing the new funds, the Mountain View outfit said it has come out with a version of its business intelligence product for the Salesforce.com platform as well as support for the Oracle Enterprise Business Suite.

FusionOps, Aryaka and FinancialForce are relative graybeards compared to other cloud companies scoring funding this past week.

BetterCloud, for example, announced $25 million in new funding led by Accel Parners to back its products for managing and securing cloud-based office programs from Microsoft and Google. The company started off in 2011 focused on Google Apps (CEO and Founder David Politis came from Google Apps service provider Cloud Sherpas) , but has recently released a Microsoft Office 365 product into beta testing. New York-based BetterCloud claims to have 50,000-plus customers.

According to a blog post from CELO Politis, "We plan to use our current position as a launching point for even more innovation in the cloud insights, management, and security space. We have taken a number of big risks recently and the market continues to validate that the direction we're moving in is the right one. So, we will continue to evolve and aggressively go after our big vision."

Finally, the newest of all of these cloud companies is software-defined storage startup Hedvig, which after three years of stealth development emerged this week and announced it had received $12.5 million in seed/Series A funding led by True Ventures and Atlantic Bridge.

The company is the brainchild of CEO Avinash Lakshman, who while at Amazon co-created Dynamo (genesis of NoSQL) and while at Facebook co-developed the open source Cassandra distributed database management system.

Hedvig's products are designed to work in data centers and across private/hybrid/public clouds.

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