10 Hot Tech Startups For April

Innovation Springs Eternal

With the explosion of mobile and cloud applications, there's a growing demand for tools to manage those applications and monitor their performance. That's the focus of several of this month's emerging vendor companies.

Also on this month's list are developers of a next-generation database, "big data" storage for SMBs, predictive analysis software and tools for deploying Microsoft's Office 365.

Continue on and check out the companies that could be tomorrow's tech superstars.

Colabo Offers Marketing Analysis Dashboards

Colabo launched its marketing analytics applications in February, offering them as cloud-based subscription services and on-premise software. Colabo helps businesses build dashboards through which users can discover, visualize and analyze data from internal sources, such as CRM systems and app store metrics, and external Web marketing channels.

San Carlos, Calif.-based Colabo was co-founded in late 2010 by CEO Yoav Demback (pictured), CTO Asaf Wexler and COO Naama Halperin. The three earlier created B-hive Networks, a developer of application performance management tools that VMware acquired in 2008.

Crittercism Develops APM Tools For Mobile Apps

San Francisco-based Crittercism has developed a mobile application performance management system that gives IT managers a real-time view of application diagnostics data and information about application crashes for software running on iOS, Android and Windows Phone 8 mobile devices, as well as HTML5 and hybrid mobile applications.

Founded in 2011 by CEO Andrew Levy, Crittercism raised $12 million in Series B funding last month, led by Google Ventures and participation from Shasta Ventures and Opus Capital.

In January Crittercism scored a coup when it struck a deal to integrate its APM tools with Appcelerator's Titanium 3.0, a leading mobile software development platform.

Exablox Reveals Advanced Storage For SMBs

Exablox, which has been developing storage technology with enterprise storage capabilities for the SMB market, emerged from stealth mode last week. The Sunnyvale, Calif.-based company is initially targeting its products toward helping businesses tackle the problem of managing huge volumes of unstructured data.

The company is planning a channel-only, go-to-market strategy for its Exablox OneBlox system that offers de-duplication, failover, replication, self-diagnosis, self-repair and scale-out capabilities.

Exablox was founded in 2010 and is helmed by former SonicWall exec Douglas Brockett. In December the company raised $22 million in a round of funding led by Norwest Venture Partners, U.S. Venture Partners and DCM.

FoundationDB Unveils NoSQL Database For Transaction Processing

FoundationDB, founded in 2009, has been developing a NoSQL (for not only SQL) database designed for high-performance transaction processing. Last month the Vienna, Va.-based company exited stealth mode and began shipping its new technology that poses a direct challenge to established relational database vendors like Oracle and Microsoft.

There's been a wave of NoSQL databases from such vendors as MarkLogic, Basho Technologies and Couchbase. But many of those products focus on analytical applications. The forte of FoundationDB's scalable, fault-tolerant database is its compliance with ACID (atomicity, consistency, isolation and durability) benchmarks, the standard for ensuring that critical database transactions are reliably processed.

The company was co-founded by David Rosenthal and Nick Lavezzo.

Gainsight Sees A Future In Predictive Analytics

Gainsight develops predictive analytics software that's integrated with Salesforce.com's CRM applications. The tools help businesses analyze customer data for customer retention and identify cross-sell and up-sell opportunities.

Founded in 2009 as JBara Software, the Mountain View, Calif.-based company recently changed its name and tapped Nick Mehta, previously CEO at software-as-a-service company LiveOffice, as Gainsight's new CEO. Founder Jim Eberlin is now president and will focus on product strategy and sales development.

This month the company raised $9 million in Series A funding in April from investors led by Battery Ventures.

Instart Logic Speeds Mobile Application Deployment

Mobile device users today expect near instant delivery of applications. But, as Web applications get bigger and more complex and network traffic grows, the performance of mobile applications can deteriorate. Instart Logic has developed a cloud-based service that the company says "resolve[s] the mobile bottleneck and transform[s] the user experience." But the company, which just came out of stealth mode this month, is staying mum on the details of just how its technology works.

Mountain View, Calif.-based Instart Logic was founded in 2010 by Manav Mital, who serves as CEO, Hariharan Kolam and Raghu Venkat -- part of the engineering team at Aster Data, a business analytics company that Teradata acquired in 2011 for $263 million. This month, Instart Logic raised $17 million in Series B funding from Andreessen Horowitz, Greylock Partners, Sutter Hill Ventures and Tenaya Capital, bringing its total venture funding to $26 million.

NextPrinciples Links CRM And Social Analytics

In January, NextPrinciples, Milpitas, Calif., launched what it calls an integrated social analytics and engagement platform. The software, Insight-To-Action, is used by mid-size to large businesses to monitor and manage relationships with customers and prospects by tying together social media with CRM applications. The company has tight technology relationships with Microsoft, Salesforce.com and SugarCRM and recently won an award from SAP for Insight-To-Action running on SAP HANA.

Earlier this month NextPrinciples said it had "significantly increased" its reseller networks by adding partners currently selling SugarCRM, Microsoft Dynamics and Salesforce. "We are seeing a lot of interest in the marketplace and have added 15 resellers to our partner program since establishing it in fourth quarter of last year," CEO Satya Krishnaswamy said.

SkyKick Helps Partners Deploy Office 365

Office 365 is a core component of Microsoft's efforts to be a cloud computing player -- and that makes it a big deal for Microsoft's legions of channel partners. Seattle-based startup SkyKick has developed a hosted migration project automation platform, the SkyKick Application Suite, which solution providers use to help customers implement Office 365 cloud applications.

SkyKick just launched its product earlier this month. The suite's tools -- Web Planner, Migration Sync and Outlook Assistant -- provide everything needed to evaluate a customer's computing environment and migrate them from older email systems to Office 365.

Founded by co-CEOs Evan Richman and Todd Schwartz in 2011, the company has secured about $3.7 million in funding.

Stackdriver Monitors Apps In Public Clouds

When applications are running in a data center it's easy to monitor their performance. When they're running in the cloud, not so much. Stackdriver develops software-as-a-service management tools that businesses use to gain visibility into the health of their cloud-based IT systems and applications and identify, troubleshoot and resolve performance issues.

Boston-based Stackdriver now offers its monitoring services for businesses running applications on Amazon Web Services and Rackspace Cloud -- more than 75 AWS customers subscribe to the Stackdriver service. A full-stack monitoring service for DevOps is under development.

Founded in 2012 by VMware veterans Dan Blecher and Izzy Azeri, Stackdriver raised $5 million in Series A venture funding in August from Bain Capital Ventures.

Tely Labs Promises Affordable, Easy-To-Use Videoconferencing

Tely Labs, Redwood City, Calif., developed the telyHD Appliance videoconferencing platform that the company touts as simpler and more affordable than videoconferencing equipment from established vendors. The company offers versions of the system targeted at SMB, enterprise and healthcare industry customers.

Tely Labs was founded in 2010 by President and CEO Sreekanth Ravi (pictured) and CTO Sudhakar Ravi. Tely Labs received $13 million in venture funding from Comcast Ventures and Rogers Venture Partners in September 2012. The Ravi brothers previously founded SonicWall, the network security technology company now owned by Dell, and Code Green Networks.

The company recently made a play for customers of Cisco's discontinued Umi personal telepresence products.