5 Companies That Came To Win This Week

The Week Ending April 7

This week's roundup includes three innovative startups with major funding hauls, another with a successful IPO, and the winner of CRN's latest channel chief tournament.

Okta, a vendor of a popular identity and access management platform for cloud applications, watched its newly minted shares surge Friday by more than 30 percent on its first day of public trading.

Qumulo, Cohesity, and Armor all secured new funding rounds that will help them advance the capabilities of their technologies and their channel strategies.

And congratulations go out to Terry Richardson, HPE's channel chief, who squeaked out a nail-biting victory to claim the crown in the 2017 CRN Channel Madness Tournament of Chiefs.

Not everyone in the IT industry was making smart moves this week, of course. For a rundown of companies that were unfortunate, unsuccessful or just didn't make good decisions, check out this week's 5 Companies That Had A Rough Week roundup.

Okta Shares Spike After IPO

Okta, a San Francisco-based startup that offers an identity and access management platform for cloud applications, as well as mobile device management, two-factor authentication, and application development and API security tools, ended its first day of trading up $6.51 (+38.29%) to 23.51.

That raised some $187 million for Okta, which says it wants to use the funds to help with toward overall growth, innovation and potentially further acquisitions.

I ntelligent Storage Startup Qumulo Raises Another $30M

Scale-out storage developer Qumulo revealed $30 million in new funding to help expand its geographic reach and sales representation.

The latest round brings the Seattle-based storage startup to over $130 million raised to date, and it comes as the company is showing strong momentum helping enterprises achieve modern scaling requirements and manage billions of large and small files in a single file system.

Qumulo's technology is 100-percent software-defined. It currently runs on hardware supplied by the company or on HPE's Apollo appliances, but the startup plans to expand the number of x86-based hardware appliances on which it's certified.

Cohesity Raises $90M, Intros 4th-Gen Hyper-Converged Platform

Cohesity, developer of hyper-converged infrastructure technology for secondary storage, raised $90 million in a Series C funding round that included existing partners like Hewlett-Packard Enterprise and Cisco.

The Santa Clara, Calif.-based vendor also unveiled the latest generation of its Cohesity DataPlatform and Cohesity DataProtect applications, which add object storage and NAS data to the hyper-converged infrastructure platform.

The new round brings total funding to $160 million as the company is on the verge of becoming cash-flow positive.

Armor Lands $89M In Funding, Looks To Expand Cloud Security Platform To The Channel

Cloud security platform company Armor landed $89 million in financing, and with that money is setting its sights on building out its channel strategy.

The equity financing round was led by ST Telemedia (STT), who will now join The Stephens Group as a joint lead shareholder.

Armor provides a managed security services offering to protect data and applications in the public cloud and on-premises, which includes on-going security monitoring by the Armor SOC and remediation capabilities. The company also provides its own secure, managed virtual private cloud.

In an interview with CRN, President Jared Day said Armor has been on a rapid growth trajectory and has seen upwards of 400 percent growth over the past four years.

HPE's Richardson Crowned Channel Madness Champion

CRN's Channel Madness was a close call this year, but Hewlett Packard Enterprise's Terry Richardson prevailed, taking the 2017 CRN Channel Madness Tournament of Chiefs crown with a razor-thin two-percent margin.

Richardson established an early lead that ultimately proved to be a key factor in his victory. His opponent, Janet Schijns of Verizon, threatened to overtake him with a late-game surge, but couldn't make up the difference.

Richardson's triumph marks the culmination of the third-annual CRN Channel Madness Tournament, which kicked off March 16 and ended April 5, pitting 32 of the industry's most influential channel chiefs in head-to-head battles where CRN readers vote to determine the victors.