Follow The Money: 10 Recent Tech VC Investments To Watch

Moneyed Class

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.

Here's a look at 10 VC infusions from the last six weeks, and the companies that channel partners should take a look at.


HQ: San Francisco
CEOs: Nicolas Desmarais (left), Daniel Saks
New Funding: $8.5 million
Round: A
Backers: iNovia Capital, others

AppDirect, which was founded in 2009, focuses on a fast-growing piece of the market where cloud services brokerages and app marketplaces are battling for mindshare. The company partners with Deutsche Telekom, Rackspace, Bell Canada, Appcelerator and other names, and is starting to offer its cloud service marketplace and management platform to more traditional VARs and systems integrators, too.


HQ: Milpitas, Calif.
CEO: Ajit Gupta
New Funding: $25 million
Round: C
Backers: InterWest Partners, Presidio Ventures, Nexus Venture Partners, Trinity Ventures, Mohr Davidow Ventures

Founded in 2008, Aryaka has built buzz in the emerging market around WAN optimization-as-a-service -- a cloud-based alternative to WAN optimization appliances. The company opened up its services offerings to channel partners a year ago and has continued to grow, now claiming 500+ customer sites on six continents, 1 billion connections for 100,000 business users in 20 countries and the ability to provide less-than-20-millisecond latency for network traffic to 90 percent of business users.


HQ: Pittsburgh
CEO: Ron Bianchini
New Funding: $20 million
Round: C
Backers: Lightspeed Venture Partners, Menlo Ventures, Norwest Venture Partners, Tenaya Capital

Avere builds high-performance NAS filers that sit at the edge of customers' infrastructure and automatically tier customers' data, storing the most-accessed data on filers and less-active data on other NAS appliances. More than half of the company's sales go through the channel.


HQ: Mountain View, Calif.
CEO: Tony Gauda
New Funding: $7 million
Round: A
Backers: Pelion Venture Partners, Horizons Ventures, Andreessen Horowitz, First Round Capital, CrunchFund, Samsung Ventures

Bitcasa has entered the cloud storage fray with an offering that promises unlimited storage capacity for $10 a month. The major difference between Bitcasa and rival cloud storage vendors like Dropbox, Mozy and, according to Bitcasa's executives, is that Bitcasa's cloud is intended to serve as primary storage, not as a backup option for data sitting on client devices. Data is encrypted before being uploaded to the Bitcasa cloud.

Blue Jeans Network

HQ: Mountain View, Calif.
CEO: Krish Ramakrishnan
New Funding: $25 million
Round: C
Backers: Accel Partners, New Enterprise Associates, Norwest Venture Partners

A hot startup among video solution providers, Blue Jeans Network offers a cloud-based meeting room service in which users can host, schedule and manage their own conferences via a Web interface. The "wow" factor is Blue Jeans' ability to bridge different video and audio protocols, meaning easy conferencing between high-end Cisco or Polycom video systems, for example, with consumer-grade services such as Skype or Google Talk, or an audio caller using the PSTN.


HQ: San Francisco
CEO: Keith Krach
New Funding: $47.5 million
Round: D
Backers: Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Accel Partners, Comcast Ventures, SAP Ventures, Sigma+Partners, Scale Venture Partners, Frazier Technology Ventures, Ignition Partners, Second Century Ventures, WestRiver Capital LLC,, National Association of Realtors

DocuSign offers what it says is "a legally binding, secure cloud-based platform" to help both consumers and businesses collect information and sign documents online, hoping to replace the printing, faxing, scanning and mailing of documents for that purpose. Along with the Series D infusion, the electronic signature company named Kleiner general partner Mary Meeker to its board of directors.


HQ: San Francisco
CEO: Jeff Cavins
New Funding: $20 million
Round: A
Backers: Index Ventures, Khosla Ventures, Insight Ventures

FuzeBox claims it powers more than 78,000 online meetings per day in 122 different countries. Earlier this summer, it launched Fuze Join for iPhone, an updated app for mobile videoconferencing and collaboration, adding to a portfolio of products that enable audio- and videoconferencing and document sharing across various devices, fixed and mobile. The company has roots in CallWave, which was taken private in 2009 and renamed FuzeBox.


HQ: Newton, Mass.
CEO: Dani Golan
New Funding: $25 million
Round: D
Backers: Sequoia Capital, Sequoia Capital Growth Equity, Globespan Capital Partners, Pitango Venture Capital, Tenaya Capital

Kaminario is a developer of an all solid-state Flash and DRAM SAN storage solution, the Kaminario K2, which was first released in 2010. It features a scale-out architecture that allows dynamic load balancing, automatic distribution of data across the system and high availability as capacity is increased.


HQ: Cambridge, Mass.
CEO: David Husak
New Funding: $20.1 million
Round: C
Backers: Lightspeed Venture Partners, Matrix Partners, Northbridge Venture Partners

A buzzed-about startup in the software-defined networking (SDN) space, Plexxi hasn't said much about its actual products or services, but in June, it launched the first phase of a private beta program to promote "an integrated hardware/software offering that allows data center operators to build and manage a network from the perspective of the needs of the application or workloads."


HQ: Newton, Mass.
CEO: Jeff Dickerson
New Funding: $13.6 million
Round: C
Backers: OpenView Ventures, Summerhill Venture Partners, Prism VentureWorks

Founded in 2007, Sonian's specialty is cloud-archiving and e-discovery technologies, particularly email archiving and public-cloud based data. Jon Pilkington, Sonian's vice president of product management and marketing, told CRN in June that the company's customers are often users who want to get their email off a primary system like Exchange but also keep it available, users who want to easily archive data or users who have compliance needs.