Cloud Management Vendor CliQr Nabs $20 Million To Fuel Overseas Growth

Riding the red-hot hybrid cloud market, Silicon Valley-based startup CliQr, which develops tools for managing clouds and migrating workloads between them, has secured $20 million in additional funding to fuel overseas growth, the company said Tuesday.

The Series C round was led by Polaris Partners with participation from TransLink Capital and initial investors Google Ventures and Foundation Capital. The startup had previously raised $18 million.

The company is experiencing rapid growth driven by the accelerating pace of hybrid cloud adoption over the past year, a pace that has even surprised the VMware veterans who founded CliQr in 2010, Gaurav Manglik, the company's CEO, told CRN.

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"We are growing very aggressively. We're at this interesting intersection point in the market where all large companies, all of them, are about the cloud, and they need a management platform," Magnlik said.

"What has surprised CliQr over the past year or so," he added, "is how fast the cloud space is moving, faster than we thought. And they are adopting in a multi-cloud, hybrid-cloud fashion."

Manglik and Tenry Fu co-founded the company after both left VMware, recognizing what they believed was a gap in the cloud market.

"Every large enterprise back then was beginning to understand the value of cloud computing. But they were still finding it very difficult to adopt cloud infrastructures," Manglik said.

The challenges businesses faced had less to do with computing, storage and networking infrastructure, and more to do with migrating and managing applications.

"What we wanted to do was really flip the cloud space upside down. We wanted cloud to be a lot more application-centric," Manglik said.

While in stealth mode, CliQr developed a management solution intended to allow customers to forget about APIs and best practices for different types of infrastructure and instead just point their applications to the platform.

Customer traction of late has been greater than expected, Manglik said, thanks to the trend of companies adopting multiple cloud services, recognizing that different workloads work better on different clouds. Now, with the latest funding, CliQr wants to expand operations in Europe and Asia, according to Manglik.

CliQr sells directly to large enterprises, but also works with a number of system integrators and solution providers. Roughly half of CliQr's sales come through its partners, but the company's CEO told CRN he expects that ratio to tilt more toward the indirect channel as the startup matures.