Follow The Money: 10 Recent Tech VC Investments To Watch In September

Hey Big Spender

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.

App Annie

HQ: San Francisco
CEO: Bertrand Schmitt
New Funding: $6 million
Round: B
Backers: Greycroft Partners, e.Ventures, Infinity Venture Partners, Kii Capital, IDG Capital Partners, Jarl Mohn

Apps, apps, apps. It's all we ever seem to hear about these days (other than cloud), so it makes sense that companies who can apply business intelligence and analytics to app ecosystems are getting some good looks from the moneyed class. That's true of App Annie, whose software is used by 80 percent of the Top 100 grossing Apple iOS app publishers to pull out patterns and data on metrics such as downloads, revenue and in-app purchasing. App Annie in mid-August pulled in $6 million to further its efforts.


HQ: Bellevue, Wash.
CEO: Vern Fotheringham
New Funding: $12 million
Round: unspecified
Backers: Bill Gates, Liberty Global, Lux Capital

Intellectual Ventures spins out companies primed to deliver tech innovations that have been incubating in its engineering labs, and the latest, Kymeta, hatched in mid-August. Kymeta closed a $12 million funding round through which it will bring to market Intellectual Ventures' Metamaterials Surface Antenna Technology, which uses the ability of metamaterials to manipulate electromagnetic radiation to focus radio signals toward satellites. The benefit there, according to Kymeta, is that it can provide a continuous broadband link between a satellite and, say, an aircraft or car. Commercial availability of the products, called mTenna, is expected within a few years. Kymeta is IV's second company; the first, TerraPower, hatched in 2008.


HQ: San Francisco
CEO: Adrian Turner
New Funding: $25 million
Round: D
Backers: Trident Capital, Intel Capital, Shasta, Southern Cross, Symantec

Security upstart Mocana, founded in 2004, provides software for securing mobile devices as well as tools that mobile device manufacturers can build into their products for added security. The company's main product is the Mobile Application Protection (MAP) solution for exerting full control over mobile apps without having to write code. It also hosts an annual security symposium, the Amphion Forum, which this year takes place Dec. 5 in San Francisco.


HQ: Palo Alto, Calif.
CEO: Chris Kemp
New Funding: $25 million
Round: B
Backers: Comcast Ventures, Highland Capital Partners, Kleiner Perkins, Innovation Endeavors, Andy Bechtolsheim, David Cheriton, Ram Shriram, Scott McNealy, Harris Barton, Maynard Webb, William Hearst III

Cloud infrastructure is the metier of Nebula, which enables the deployment of large private clouds via a hardware appliance that allows massive private cloud computing infrastructures, comprising hundreds or thousands of inexpensive computers.


HQ: San Jose, Calif.
CEO: Dheeraj Pandey
New Funding: $33 million
Round: C
Backers: Lightspeed Venture Partners, Khosla Ventures, Goldman Sachs, Battery Ventures, Blumberg Capital

Startup Nutanix has heaps of praise for a technology that collapses compute and storage resources so that no SAN is needed to implement virtualized environments. The company came out of stealth mode in 2011 and thanks to this $33 million infusion, has total funding of nearly $72 million. Nutanix is also planning to collaborate on VMware's Project Serengeti big data technology for converting Hadoop instances on VMs.

Pure Storage

HQ: Mountain View, Calif.
CEO: Scott Dietzen
New Funding: $40 million
Round: D
Backers: Index Ventures partner Mike Volpi, Greylock Partners, Redpoint Ventures, Sutter Hill Ventures

There've been some heady funding rounds for storage startups lately, and Pure Storage, which copped $40 million in an "oversubscribed" Series D round, is one of 'em. Pure Storage has now shipped more than 100 of its FlashArray products to customers. FlashArray is an all-flash storage array that uses data reduplication, compression and MLC flash memory to deliver flash for what Pure says is a price point "below the cost of mechanical disk."


HQ: New York
CEO: Ben Kaufman
New Funding: $68 million
Round: C
Backers: Andreessen Horowitz, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Norwest Venture Partners, RRE Ventures

Quirky bills itself as "the company that helps creative people bring their ideas to market," and obviously someone likes the idea of that, because Quirky just pulled down $68 million from marquee investors like Andreessen Horowitz. The company's platform speeds product development through a process that draws on in-house designers, engineers and market specialists in areas like manufacturing and retail. Stated CEO Kaufman, "It took one year and 45 days to build the Empire State Building. It takes most consumer product companies 18 to 24 months to launch a new vegetable peeler. Something is wrong here."


HQ: Menlo Park, Calif.
CEO: Mark Brewer
New Funding: $14 million
Round: B
Backers: Shasta Ventures, Juniper Networks, Greylock Partners, Francois Stieger

Typesafe's founder include some of the creators of the Scala programming language and Akka middleware, and what the company does is provide a platform for developing applications that make large-scale cloud infrastructure and multicore hardware platforms more manageable for integrating in Java environments. The Typesafe Stack is a 100-percent Java-compatible software offering that combines Akka, Scala and the Play Web framework for its development foundation.


HQ: Waltham, Mass.
CEO: Leonid Shtilman
New Funding: $8.5 million
Round: C
Backers: Longworth Venture Partners, Giza Venture Capital, JK&B Capital

Viewfinity's specialty is privilege management applications, which secure IT environments via the elevation of privileges for applications and reducing permissions for users on a by-application basis. It can provide these policies across a broad swath of infrastructure, from servers and virtual machines to cloud/SaaS platforms and remote endpoints. According to CEO Shtilman, Viewfinity has enjoyed a 95 percent customer renewal rate and four straight years of triple-digit new customer acquisitions.


HQ: San Jose, Calif.
CEO: Jay Chaudhry
New Funding: $38 million
Round: unspecified
Backers: Lightspeed Ventures, others

Zscaler has been coming on strong in the red-hot market for cloud security, and the $38 million it locked up in late August represents the first time it has taken funding from external investors. It listed only Lightspeed in its press release, but rumors are flying that the lead investor is in fact storage giant EMC, itself the subject of much speculation about whether it will acquire another security company soon.

"To date, we have resisted outside investment despite inquiries from top-tier investors. Our new strategic partners share our vision and are committed to helping Zscaler build a long-lasting business," stated CEO Chaudhry.