Docker recently finalized $15M in Series B funding in a round led by Greylock Partners with participation by Insight Venture Partners and existing investors Benchmark, Trinity Ventures and Yahoo Co-founder Jerry Yang. As a result of the investment, Jerry Chen of Greylock Partners, who was formerly VP of Cloud and Application Services at VMware, will be joining Docker’s board of directors. The recent capital raise brings the total funding raised by the company to $26M. The funding will be used to invest in the open source Docker project, build out a community platform and explore options for commercialization of Docker’s container technology.
Docker’s open source container technology provides a way for developers to streamline the migration of code from a development environment to a cloud-based platform. Docker containers allow developers to transport applications to private or public clouds while minimizing the configuration and additional preparation needed to deploy the application. Because virtualization operates at the level of the server, applications and their operating systems need to be migrated when moving from a dev to a cloud environment. The innovation of Docker’s technology is that only the application needs to be moved, thereby removing the necessity of migrating the OS and configuring it appropriately in the target cloud environment. Overall, Docker’s containers facilitate the portability of code and simplify application deployment.
Docker began as a Platform as a Service called dotCloud, before famously pivoting thanks to the vision of Solomon Hykes, Docker’s CEO at the time. Nine months since Docker was open sourced, the company now boasts over 400,000 product downloads and 300 contributors. Docker containers are used by the likes of eBay, Yandex and Baidu and its technology is supported by OpenStack, Rackspace, Google Compute Engine and Red Hat. Like Red Hat, Docker intends to wrap professional services and subscription-based management functionality around its core open source product. Given the product’s meteoric adoption in the space of 9 months, the industry should expect to see even greater usage of Docker technology over the course of 2014, particularly in light of the place of its technology in the emerging DevOps revolution and its attendant transformation of enterprise IT.
Today, cybersecurity startup Aorato comes out of stealth to launch internationally with a machine learning-based Directory Services Application Firewall (DAF) designed to ensure the security of Microsoft’s Active Directory protocol. Aorato’s proprietary graph database technology alerts security personnel to eccentricities specific to exchanges between Active Directory entities that may signal or prefigure a security violation. Aorato’s Directory Services Application Firewall iteratively learns from the results of previous analyses and subsequently builds entity profiles that not only identify security breaches retrospectively, but also predicts them based on probabilistic analysis of historical data.
Aorato observes the traffic between Microsoft’s Active Directory servers and network entities such as users and devices in order to create an Organizational Security Graph (OSG) that models relationships between the different entities. The Organizational Security Graph depicts anomalous behavior that can be used to identify potential or actual security breaches. The OSG constructs an attack timeline and profiles of entities that enable speedy categorizations of potential security breaches such that security professionals can take action against the incident in question with the appropriate degree of speed and urgency. Aorato constructed its OSG graph database using a NoSQL database platform and proprietary code used to map relationships between different entities in the Active Directory ecosystem. In an interview with Cloud Computing Today, CEO Idan Plotnik noted that the company began coding OSG using Neo4j but chose to transition to a proprietary, custom developed platform in order to more effectively accommodate the specificities of the relationships between and amongst Active Directory entities.
Prior to Aorato, Idan was CEO of a security consulting firm that specialized in security solutions for Microsoft products and technologies. Aorato recently finalized a second round of funding of over $8M that brings the total capital raised by the company to $10M. Investors include Accel Partners, Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt’s Innovation Endeavors, Glilot Capital Partners and entrepreneurs Mickey Boodaei and Rakesh Loonkar. The Aorato team has significant experience working for the Cybersecurity department within the Israeli Defense Forces and plans to maintain R&D in Israel while locating sales and marketing and other company functions in the U.S., in NYC. The cybersecurity space should expect to hear more about Aorato in the upcoming months, particularly as it signs up more enterprise customers and reveals further details about the analytics enabled by its proprietary, Big Data graph database platform.
According to The Wall Street Journal, Dropbox has raised $250M in a recent funding round that brings the company’s valuation to $10 billion. The capital raise is led by BlackRock Fund, and brings the total funding raised by Dropbox to over $500M. Dropbox’s valuation at $10 billion means that the company’s value has more than doubled since its $4 billion valuation in late 2011.The recent funding raise is intended to accelerate product development and business development activities targeted to enterprise customers interested in features related to enhanced security, role based access, audit controls and related features. This is not the first time Dropbox has raised a quarter of a million dollars in capital: Dropbox raised $250M in 2011 in a round financed by Goldman Sachs, Sequoia, Index Ventures and Accel Partners. Dropbox’s recent funding raise is set to pit it squarely with competitor Box, which raised $100M at a $2 billion valuation in December 2013. As IPO rumors proliferate about both Dropbox and Box, consumers stand to benefit from ever increasing free storage allotments for both platforms designed to boost usage of and familiarity with the cloud-based file sharing and storage vendor in question.
Venture capital continues to flow strongly in the IaaS space as evinced by Denver-based Peak’s $4 million capital raise this week. According to VentureBeat, Peak has now raised a total of $13 million. Peak, formerly PeakColo, partners with distributors who leverage its infrastructure that includes “nodes” in Silicon Valley, Seattle, Denver, Chicago, New Jersey, New York, Atlanta, and the United Kingdom. The company’s value added reseller (VAR) based business model renders it distinctive in the IaaS space given that its distributors have the authority to rebrand its platform and provide additional services around its offering, thereby enabling interested parties to quickly enter the market for IaaS product offerings and its associated professional services. The $4 million capital raise was led by existing investors Meritage Funds and Sweetwater Capital. The funding round raises the larger question about the market landscape within the IaaS space and the ability of niche players to carve out appreciable market share from such established brands as Amazon Web Services, Rackspace, Google Compute Engine, Windows Azure and IBM.
DNAnexus today announced the finalization of $15 million in Series C funding for its cloud-based platform to facilitate the analysis and sharing of genomic data. New investor Claremont Creek Ventures joined Google Ventures, TPG Biotech and First Round Capital in participating in the Series C funding, which brings the total capital raised by DNAnexus to $30 million. DNAnexus offers labs and research organizations a platform as a service for conducting the analysis of DNA sequencing data by providing an infrastructure that boasts compliance with healthcare and research compliance protocols such as HIPAA and CLIA in addition to data security capabilities including encryption and role-based access controls. The DNAnexus platform also offers functionality for researchers to share and collaborate with other organizations around the world. Stanford University and Baylor College of Medicine represent two recent prominent users of the platform by collectively processing “tens of thousands of genomes and making the resulting data sets securely available to researchers around the world,” according to a DNAnexus press release. DNAnexus is one of several startups offering cloud-based platforms for the analysis of genomic data alongside the likes of Curoverse, SolveBio and GeneStack.
Hadoop data analytics vendor Datameer recently announced the finalization of $19M in Series D funding. Datameer’s Series D funding raise is led by Next World Capital, with additional participation from existing investors and Workday, Citi Ventures, Software AG, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and Redpoint Ventures. Datameer specializes in analytics and data visualization on big datasets. Unlike many other business intelligence and reporting tools, Datameer’s platform is designed for Hadoop and consequently enjoys the benefits of indigenous optimization for Hadoop data integration, data management and analytics. The funding raise will be used to support the expansion of the company’s sales and operations teams to new markets and to support the continuation of its dramatic growth. Datameer is currently used by more 130 companies including Sears, Visa and British Telecom. The platform represents part of the evolving revolution in next generation business intelligence marked by increasingly advanced data visualization options, the ability to handle large, unstructured data sets and utilization of machine-based learning to simplify and streamline the user’s experience with the data in question. Today’s funding raise brings the total raised by Datameer to $36.8M. As part of the capital raise, Ben Fu, Partner at Next World Capital will join the Datameer Board of Directors.
Apprenda today announced the finalization of $16 million in Series C funding in a round led by Safeguard Scientifics Inc. with additional participation from Ignition Partners and New Enterprise Associates. The funding will be used for sales and marketing initiatives as well as to continue the development of Apprenda’s platform as a service infrastructure. As a result of the investment, Philip D. Moyer, Managing Director of Safeguard Scientifics, will join Apprenda’s board of directors. Apprenda focuses on delivering a private PaaS platform that responds to enterprise needs for data security, privacy and dedicated hosting environments where hardware resources are not shared with those of other customers.
In an interview with Cloud Computing Today, Apprenda CEO Sinclair Shuller elaborated on Apprenda’s product differentiation within the Platform as a Service space as the only truly enterprise-grade platform as a service on the market today. Currently, Apprenda boasts an impressive roster of enterprise customers including the likes of AmerisourceBergen, Dell, Honeywell, JP Morgan Chase and Memorial Sloan Kettering. Thirteen of the top 20 financial institutions leverage Apprenda’s private PaaS solution and, according to Apprenda’s press release, JP Morgan boasts the world’s largest PaaS deployment with 300 applications hosted on the Apprenda platform.
Apprenda’s traction within the enterprise is indeed remarkable for a PaaS vendor. Platform as a Service has yet to achieve strong traction within the enterprise, although options are certainly proliferating as evinced by Red Hat’s OpenShift suite and Pivotal One’s Cloud Foundry distribution, to name two platforms amongst many. Apprenda’s additional round of funding positions the company strongly to build on its early traction within the enterprise and potentially catapult it to an undisputed leadership position within the enterprise PaaS space. Apprenda’s uptake amongst enterprise customers is all the more notable for its resistance to adopting a polyglot platform by focusing on support for .NET and Java for the time being. The next six months will be critical for Apprenda as it fights off the challenges of Pivotal One as it attempts to deepen its roster of enterprise customers while diversifying its portfolio to include SMBs as well. The PaaS market is still too embryonic to go through an M&A driven consolidation phase that whittles down the playing field to 3-5 vendors by the end of 2014. That said, the battle for private PaaS enterprise market share is on in full force and Apprenda leads the pack at present, flush with cash for the next phase of its expansion.