Follow The Money: 10 Recent Tech VC Investments To Watch In October10:00 AM EST Tue. Oct. 16, 2012
Tech startups are once again pounding the pavement for backers with deep pockets, and for some -- particularly in the cloud, networking, storage, analytics and mobility segments -- there have been some handsome paydays in recent weeks.
Every month here on CRN, we'll track some tech company funding rounds from the past four to six weeks worthy of industry attention. Here's a look at the latest notable infusions -- and the companies that drove them.
HQ: Sunnyvale, Calif.
CEO: David Flynn
New Funding: $22.5 million
Backers: Institutional Venture Partners, KPCB, Lightspeed Venture Partners, New Enterprise Associates, Northern Light and Four Rivers
Aerohive, a late-stage wireless LAN startup that's won raves for its "cooperative control architecture," is often mentioned as a potential IPO candidate, especially with public offerings heating up again in the wireless and network infrastructure spaces. The company's Series E round, in the form of mezzanine equity financing, came coupled with other moves such as the naming of new global sales and operations executives.
HQ: Lochristi, Belgium
CEO: Mike Wall
New Funding: $6 million
Backers: Intel, Quantum, others
Amplidata is a much-discussed startup in object-based storage technology, and new investor Quantum, which contributed to its latest funding round along with previous investor Intel, uses its technology under an OEM agreement. Amplidata's AmpliStor, which it introduced last year, can store billions of data objects on hundreds of petabytes of capacity.
Amplidata's other big news this past month was the naming of a new CEO, Mike Wall, who most recently served as president and CEO of Atempo.
HQ: Plano, Texas
CEO: Mickey Miller
New Funding: $10 million
Backers: BDC Venture Capital, New Venture Partners, Summerhill Venture Partners
BLiNQ Networks specializes in the emerging market for small cell wireless backhaul solutions, including a patent-pending platform for high-capacity mobile transport. It was originally created as a carve-out of now-defunct Nortel Networks -- its core engineering team is Nortel alumni -- and one of its sales hooks is that it can be deployed anywhere, in a matter of minutes, using one truck roll and one technician.
HQ: Austin, Texas
CEO: Barry Evans
New Funding: $55 million
Backers: Austin Ventures, Vulcan Capital, ARM, Advanced Technology Investment, Battery Ventures, Flybridge Capital Partners, Highland Capital Partners
Observers of the chip market have taken a keen interest in Calxeda, which specializes in low-power, ARM-based processors that more efficiently handle the data demands of cloud computing and rich media. Calxeda touts that its server processors deliver as much as ten times improvement in energy efficiency compared to x86-based servers from the likes of Intel and AMD.
HQ: Palo Alto, Calif.
CEO: JB Rudelle
New Funding: $39 million
Backers: SoftBank Capital, Yahoo Japan, SAP Ventures, Adams Street, Bessemer, Elaia Ventures, IDInvest Partners, Index Ventures
Criteo claims it's been profitable for about three years already, but it's continuing to pull in cash, including the 30 million Euro (about $39 million) it collected from SoftBank Capital and others in late September. Criteo's specialty is display-ad retargeting, though according to AdWeek and other sources, it's looking to expand beyond its status as a "down-funnel retargeting firm" and broaden its purview beyond the retail, travel and classified ad customers it serves now. Criteo's been mentioned as an acquisition target for much larger companies like Google and Yahoo that straddle the advertising media-technology divide.
HQ: New York
CEO: Moshiko Hogeg
New Funding: $22 million
Backers: Kenges Rakishev, Leonardo DiCaprio, others
As startups go, Mobli is hipper than hip: a photo-sharing service its founders describe as a "real-time visual media platform." The company is building a visual platform where users can search and organize timely images on just about anything. Celebrities such as Leonardo DiCaprio and other folks with deep pockets like the Kazakhstani investor Kenges Rakishev have all funded the company, which competes with Instagram and other well-known media sharing services.
HQ: San Jose, Calif.
CEO: Suresh Vasudevan
New Funding: $40.7 million
Backers: Accel Partners, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Sequoia Capital, Artis Capital Management, GGV Capital
Nimble Storage said during the announcement of its most recent funding round something observers of its technology have been saying for a while: it's headed for an initial public offering (IPO). Nimble's game is the integration of high-performance flash storage technology with high-capacity hard disk drives. Nimble's CASL architecture enables storage arrays with up to 36 terabytes of raw capacity, with dynamic caching, scale-out clustering and plenty of other bells and whistles.
HQ: San Francisco
CEO: Jack Dorsey
New Funding: $200 million
Backers: Citi Ventures, Rizvi Traverse Management, Starbucks Coffee Company, others
Talk about growth: mobile payments provider Square said it now has more than 400 employees and is processing over $8 billion in payments on an annualized basis, up from 150 employees and $1 billion less than a year earlier. It's also got plenty of cash thanks to this $200 million infusion, and a rock-star deal to be the payments provider of choice for some 7,000 U.S. Starbucks locations starting this fall. Goodbye, cash register?
HQ: Cambridge, Mass.
CEO: Steven Kokinos
New Funding: $16.5 million
Backers: Advanced Technology Ventures, Bessemer Venture Partners, others
It's an exciting time for hosted communications services providers like Thinking Phone, which are getting great notices from the likes of Gartner and other researchers and have also become a hot area for both VC investment and for acquisition (see ShoreTel's pickup of M5 Networks earlier this year). Thinking Phone offers a multitenant cloud platform for serving fixed and mobile communications needs, and it can also integrate with custom and "off-the-shelf" third-party applications such as CRM and ERP. The company's nascent channel efforts are also growing fast, and it recently brought on telecom channel veteran Rob Shelby, known for his work as Masergy, Mcleod USA and Allegiance Telecom, as its regional vice president, channel sales.
HQ: San Francisco
CEO: Mikkel Svane
New Funding: $60 million
Backers: Redpoint Ventures, Index Ventures, GGV Capital, Goldman Sachs, Charles River Ventures, Benchmark Capital, Matrix Partners, Silicon Valley Bank
Zendesk provides cloud-based customer service software -- helpdesk in the cloud, as it's referred to colloquially -- and has more than 20,000 customers, according to the company. According to Zendesk, its monthly recurring revenues have grown about 500 percent since November 2010, the last time it took in VC money.