The 10 Funding Infusions Impacting The Channel In 2017 (So Far)

Show Them The Money

Financing from the venture capital and private equity community continued to flow to IT companies in the first half of 2017, mostly to hot startups with leading-edge technologies, but also to established companies with a need for fresh capital to take their business to the next level.

Cybersecurity companies continue to attract the most venture capital, accounting for half of the vendors on this list, with big data, UCaaS, cloud WAN and hyper-converged infrastructure companies accounting for the rest.

Here's a look at 10 significant funding infusions in the first half of the year that flowed to IT companies that are active in the channel.

(For more on the "coolest" of 2017, check out "CRN's Tech Midyear In Review.")

Looker Raises $81.5 Million To Accelerate Development Of Its Big Data Analytics Platform

Top Executive: CEO Frank Bien

Looker, founded in 2011, is a fast-growing developer of a cloud-based business intelligence/big data analytics platform that helps employees perform sophisticated analysis using everyday business terms.

In March Looker closed on an $81.5 million Series D round of funding led by Capital G, Alphabet's growth equity investment fund, along with investors Geodesic Capital, Goldman Sachs, Meritech Capital Partners, Redpoint Ventures, Sapphire Ventures and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. Looker has now raised a total of $177.5 million.

The Santa Cruz, Calif.-based company is using the additional funding to continue development of its software, extend its sales and marketing efforts, and continue its international expansion. The company also launched a partner program in the last year and now has 150 technology, integration and consulting partners.

Armor Raises $89 Million To Further Cloud Security Development Efforts

Top Executive: CEO Chris Drake

Armor, founded in 2009, offers multilayer security for public, private and hybrid cloud systems, aimed at protecting them from data breaches. The vendor's customer base includes retail and e-commerce companies, health-care organizations, and financial service and payment companies.

In April Armor, based in Richardson, Texas, announced $89 million in equity financing from ST Telemedia in a Series F round of financing, making that company a joint lead shareholder with The Stephens Group, the earlier majority shareholder.

The company is using the additional financing to continue technology development, drive brand awareness, and broaden global distribution channels.

Cradlepoint Raises $89 Million, Plans Channel Program Expansion

Top Executive: CEO George Mulhern

Cradlepoint, a developer of cloud-based wired and wireless WAN offerings, raised $89 million in Series C funding in April, bringing its total funding to $160 million. Technology Crossover Ventures was the sole investor.

Cradlepoint, founded in 2006 and based in Boise, Idaho, has a 100 percent channel go-to-market strategy and is using some of the new funding to expand its channel initiatives.

Specifically the company is spending more on partner programs, including hiring additional staff for its channel team, and on partner incentives, lead generation and market development funds. Also in the works are enhancements to the Cradlepoint University partner enablement and certification program.

Hyper-Converged Infrastructure Technology Developer Cohesity Raises $90 Million

Top Executive: CEO Mohit Aron

Santa Clara, Calif.-based Cohesity raised $90 million in a Series C round of funding in April, bringing its total financing to $160 million.

Investors included GV (formerly Google Ventures), Sequoia Capital, Cisco Investments, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Accel, ARTIS Ventures, Battery Ventures, DHVC, Foundation Capital, Qualcomm Ventures, Trinity Ventures and Wing Venture Capital.

Cohesity develops hyper-converged infrastructures systems targeting secondary storage tasks including backup and recovery, test and development, object storage, analytics and more, which can account for up to 80 percent of a data center's stored data. At the same time that Cohesity announced the additional funding, the company debuted the fourth generation of its Cohesity Dataplatform and Cohesity Dataprotect software applications.

CrowdStrike Collects $100 Million, Pushes Market Valuation To 'Unicorn' Status

Top Executive: President, CEO George Kurtz

CrowdStrike raised $100 in Series D funding in May and is using the added financing to grow its sales and marketing efforts, expand globally and continue its product development efforts.

CrowdStrike develops next-generation endpoint security technology, the Falcon platform, which is delivered as an integrated, cloud-based system.

Accel led the new round of funding with participation from Capital G (formerly Google Capital), Warburg Pincus, March Capital Partners and Telstra.

The funding brought CrowdStrike's total financing to $256 million and made the Irvine, Calif.-based company the latest startup to reach a valuation of more than $1 billion – a "unicorn" in Silicon Valley parlance.

Cybereason Lands $100 Million In Funding, Plans Aggressive Go-To-Market Push

Top Executive: CEO Lior Div

Cybereason, a developer of endpoint detection and response security technology, raised $100 million in Series D financing in June, bringing its total funding to $189 million. The entire round of funding came from SoftBank Corp., Cybereason's biggest investor.

Cybereason, based in Boston, was co-founded in 2012 by former Unit 8200 employees, Israel's equivalent of the U.S. National Security Agency.

The company is using the funding to step up its go-to-market efforts, with much of that market push through its channel partners. The company launched its first official partner program a week before the funding announcement and appointed Gregg Henebry to be the company's vice president of channels.

Netskope Fuels Growth In Cloud Security With $100 Million Financing Round

Top Executive: CEO Sanjay Beri

Cloud security startup Netskope raised $100 million in Series E financing in June, new capital the company is using to continue the development of its cloud access security broker platform and advance its go-to-market efforts.

Lightspeed Venture Partners and Accel led the funding round with Social Capital, Iconiq Capital, Sapphire Ventures and Geodesic Capital also participating. The Los Altos, Calif.-based company has now raised $231.4 million in total financing since its 2012 founding.

Snowflake Computing Steps Up Cloud Data Warehouse Innovations With $100 Million Funding Round

Top Executive: CEO Bob Muglia

Snowflake Computing, a leading company in bringing data warehousing services to the cloud, raised $100 million in Series D funding in April, bringing its total financing to $205 million.

The round was led by Iconiq Capital, which was joined by Madrona Venture Group, Altimeter Capital, Redpoint Ventures, Sutter Hill Ventures and Wing Venture Capital.

Snowflake Computing, founded in 2012 and based in San Mateo, Calif., is using the extra funds to expand its operations in the U.S. and U.K. and establish operations elsewhere in Europe and Asia-Pacific; and expand its engineering team, especially in its office in Bellevue, Wash., to accelerate product development.

Cybersecurity Vendor Illumio Raises $125 Million On The Heels Of 400 Percent Bookings Growth

Top Executive: CEO Andrew Rubin

Illumio closed a $125 million Series D funding round in June, financing the company will use to accelerate development of its "adaptive segmentation" cybersecurity system that provides visibility and control over data center and public cloud IT systems. The round brings the company's total financing to $267 million.

The Sunnyvale, Calif.-based company, founded in 2013, will also apply some of the capital to globally expand its field sales, marketing and customer support operations.

Clients advised by J.P. Morgan Asset Management led the round, joined by Andreessen Horowitz, General Catalyst, 8VC, Accel and Data Collective.

Unified Communications Company Fuze Connects With $134 Million

Top Executive: CEO Colin Doherty

Fuze, a supplier of cloud-based unified communications services, raised $134 million in new capital this year. That included $104 million in February from Wellington Management Co., Greenspring Associates, Summit Partners, Bessemer Venture Partners and G20; and an additional $30 million in May from an unnamed pension fund.

The additional funding brings the UCaaS company's total financing to $334 million.

Founded in 2006, Cambridge, Mass.-based Fuze, previously known as ThinkingPhones, offers voice, videoconferencing, messaging and collaboration cloud services. In 2016 the company grew its sales by 90 percent.