Follow The Money: 10 Recent Tech VC Investments In December

Closing On A High Note

Startups were at the top of their game as 2014 came to a close, landing millions -- and sometimes even billions -- in venture capital funding. No one technology reigned supreme, with big data, analytics, cloud solution providers and smartphone makers taking home big funding to put toward improvements in 2015.

Take a look at 10 startups whose technologies and investments stood out.


Headquarters: Beijing, China

CEO: Lei Jun

New Funding: $1.1 billion

Round: Undisclosed

Backers: DST Global, Yunfeng Capital, Hopu Investment Management, All-Stars Investment, GIC

The unquestionable VC blockbuster of the month was Xiaomi, which raised $1.1 billion in new funding. The funding establishes Xiaomi, already the world's third largest smartphone distributor, as one of the world's most valuable tech startups. The investment sets the valuation for the Chinese smartphone maker at $45 billion.

Cloud Technology Partners

Headquarters: Boston

CEO: Chris Greendale

New Funding: $9.1 million

Round: B

Backers: Oak Investment Partners, Pritzker Group, existing investors, employees

Cloud Technology Partners closed out a strong year for the cloud solution provider with the announcement of $9 million in Series B funding. The Boston-based company has been on a roll this year, completing more than 75 cloud projects and accelerating the adoption of public cloud services. The new financing will allow the company to scale its sales, marketing and delivery capabilities, it said.


Headquarters: Mountain View, Calif.

CEO: Ashish Thusoo

New Funding: $13 million

Round: B

Backers: Norwest Venture Partners

Qubole's Hadoop-based Qubole Data Service is a cloud platform that businesses use to store, manage and analyze huge volumes of structured and unstructured data. The company's focus is making its platform as self-managing as possible, with auto-scaling, built-in management capabilities, user-friendly interfaces and data integration functions. The Mountain View, Calif.-based company will use the funding to build on recent milestones, including an alliance to integrate QDS with Microsoft's Azure cloud platform.


Headquarters: San Francisco

CEO: Gus Robertson

New Funding: $20 million

Round: B

Backers: New Enterprise Associates

NGINX, which develops technology used to power applications and content on the Internet, closed a $20 million financing round in December. The San Francisco-based startup markets NGINX Plus, a commercial version of the open-source NGINX application delivery technology. Companies such as Netflix, Instagram and Zappos use NGINX to drive the performance of their Web applications. NGINX plans to use the funding for product development, to expand its marketing efforts outside the U.S., and to continue building the NGINX community.


Headquarters: Nashua, N.H.

CEO: Paula Long

New Funding: $50 million

Round: C

Backers: Accel Partners, Andreessen Horowitz, CRV, General Catalyst Partners

DataGravity raised $50 million in C round funding in December, bringing its total financing to $92 million. DataGravity exited "stealth mode" earlier this year after a couple of years of development and debuted its much-anticipated Discovery Series that marries flash storage with data search and governance tools and data visualization capabilities. Channel partners and customers have been giving the technology rave reviews. The additional funding means the company will have more resources to bring those hot products to market, develop field operations and better engage channel partners.


Headquarters: Seattle

CEO: Thor Culverhouse

New Funding: $35 million

Round: Undisclosed

Backers: Insight Venture Partners, OpenView Venture Partners, Ignition Partners, Madrona Venture Group, Washington Research Foundation

After a record growth year, Skytap landed $35 million to expand its go-to-market capabilities, grow its partner base, expand into Europe and continue product development. Skytap offers an Environment-as-a-Service solution for quick and more effective software development. The Seattle-based company launched its first channel program earlier this year for its cloud-based development and testing platform. Skytap said it already has more than 35 partners and 275 customers.


Headquarters: Austin, Texas

CEO: Sara Gates

New Funding: $4 million

Round: B

Backers: Arcus Capital Partners, Central Texas Angel Network, Atlanta Technology Angels, Golden Seeds, Cowtown Angels

Wisegate has built a peer social network of IT professionals that acts as an advisory service, something it calls the "IT pros' secret weapon." The service matches IT professionals to their peers for live conversations and sharable content on best practices, advice, problem-solving and more. In December, Wisegate landed $4 million in additional funding, bringing its total capital raised to $8 million. The company said it would use the new round of funding to hire new employees in product marketing, sales and customer service.


Headquarters: San Francisco

CEO: Mohit Lad

New Funding: $20 million

Round: B

Backers: Sutter Hill Ventures, Salesforce Ventures, Sequoia Capital, Silicon Valley angels

ThousandEyes emerged from stealth mode last year with a product for network visibility across enterprise networks and cloud applications. What makes ThousandEyes different is that it fills a market gap for network visibility as virtualization and cloud gain steam in the market, CEO Mohit Lad said. It has seen rapid customer growth since it emerged from stealth, landing major Fortune 500 customers. ThousandEyes will use the new funding to boost customer adoption, accelerate product development and grow its geographical presence in North America.


Headquarters: Palo Alto, Calif.

CEO: Raymie Stata

New Funding: $30 million

Round: B

Backers: Northgate, Sequoia Capital, General Catalyst Partners

Altiscale raised $30 million in Series B funding in December. While the open-source Apache Hadoop has become the de facto standard technology for working with big data, it remains notoriously difficult to work with and manage. Altiscale's Hadoop-as-a-Service eliminates the need to install and configure Hadoop and manage Hadoop clusters in production. The company will use the funding to bolster product development and expand sales, marketing and customer support.


Headquarters: Palo Alto, Calif.

CEO: Vik Singh

New Funding: $25 million

Round: B

Backers: Redpoint Ventures

Infer raised $25 million in December for its predictive analytics software for sales and marketing organizations. The "predictive-as-a-service" solution helps sales and marketing professionals predict if a lead will turn into a customer and how soon that might happen. The latest round of funding brings the Palo Alto, Calif.-based company's total funding raised to $35 million. It will be put toward accelerating its product adoption -- something that is already on a roll with major customer acquisitions such as Cloudera, New Relic, Survey Monkey and more.