The 10 Coolest Cloud Application Startups Of 2016

The New Pioneers

The IT startup landscape is expanding and morphing as rapidly as ever, fueled by the mass migration of businesses to the cloud and the sea change the technology is imposing on traditional software business models.

Capitalizing on the full potential of the cloud to deliver business applications involves solving new challenges and creating novel solutions. And there's no shortage of young companies, helmed by seasoned innovators and eager first-time entrepreneurs, looking to seize the opportunity to innovate by developing unique capabilities to deliver, integrate, secure and enhance applications.

These are 10 cloud application startups that made waves in 2016.

(For more of our 2016 retrospective, check out 'CRN's 2016 Tech Year In Review.')

Avi Networks

CEO: Amit Pandey

This startup, based in Santa Clara, Calif., made a name for itself by developing load balancers for modern data centers hosting cloud-native apps.

The Avi Vantage Platform automates services like load balancing, analytics, predictive auto-scaling and security, both for private and public clouds. The startup focuses on supporting software-defined infrastructure run on commodity x86 servers and accelerating the delivery of application services in dynamic hybrid environments.


CEO: Mat Elis

Cloudability, based in Portland, Ore., is one of a new category of vendors looking to help businesses control cloud costs as they adopt ever-more-complex infrastructure and hybrid environments.

The company offers a cost-monitoring platform and right-sizing tools that help optimize cloud resources and eliminate wasteful spending. The software analyzes cloud usage and expenses across the organization, delivering transparency to business leaders.


CEO: Bob Moul

This startup, headquartered in Philadelphia, Pa., automates the collection and analysis of many sources of data relevant to the operations of cloud infrastructure. Cloudamize culls billions of data points and presents them in a way that helps IT administrators make decisions about how they plan, manage and scale their cloud infrastructure, helping achieve efficient and cost-effective operations.

The platform implements predictive analytics to suggest optimal right-sizing strategies and cost-optimization plans. Those recommendations can be implemented in runtime environments or in future configurations.


CEO: Tom Hull

This early-stage startup out of Seattle is looking to automate cloud management and maintenance with a DevOps mentality. CloudCoreo offers reference designs, called Composites, that allow cloud infrastructure to be rapidly deployed in highly automated fashion.

The software simplifies governance by monitoring infrastructure changes, alerting administrators and rolling back any unapproved changes.

CEO: SriSatish Ambati

The open-source platform looks to democratize artificial intelligence, enabling businesses to apply powerful machine learning techniques to build predictive apps. H20's platform is for developers as much as it is for data scientists, offering graphical user interfaces and integrations with all major database and visualization products on the market.

The startup has racked up an impressive array of customer wins, with more than 100 Fortune 500 firms, including Cisco, PayPal, and eBay.

Infinite Ops

CEO: Michael Fraser

One of several startups in the emerging Workspace-as-a-Service space, Infinite Ops has evolved beyond WaaS to become a turnkey solution for deploying multiple cloud resources.

Looking to simplify how mid-market businesses leverage cloud solutions, the Seattle-based startup released a platform, called IO Console, where users can rapidly select and deploy popular services onto the hyper-scale cloud of their choice.

The modular and automated platform aims to make cloud services deployable in just a few clicks of the mouse and offers a broad set of templates and turnkey packages for standing up solutions on AWS, Microsoft Azure or Google Cloud Platform.


CEO: John Street

Solution providers looking to break into the cloud game have an ally in Pax8, a startup that focuses on helping the channel develop cloud practices. As a value-added distributor for the channel, Pax8 offers a marketplace for provisioning popular Software-as-a-Service products from companies like Symantec, Microsoft and ProfitBricks, a cloud Infrastructure-as-a-Service provider that has a strategic partnership with the startup.

Pax8 beefs up its software marketplace with a number of partner support services that assist solution providers in developing sales and marketing strategies.


CEO: Lance Crosby

After Lance Crosby left IBM, buyer of the SoftLayer public cloud that Crosby built into a global powerhouse, many wondered about his next project.

Earlier this year, StackPath emerged from stealth with massive seed funding, a number of completed acquisitions, and despite its secrecy, a significant customer base.

StackPath is working to unify enterprise security functions, selling four security services. The company built in-house a machine learning threat-detection engine, and acquired a content delivery network, firewall developer and VPN provider.

Once a portfolio more geared to the enterprise market is introduced early next year, the channel focus will intensify, a representative told CRN.


CEO: Issy Ben-Shaul

The promise of decoupling storage from compute attracted a good amount of attention to this startup founded by serial entrepreneurs in Israel. But Velostrata, now headquartered in San Jose, enables a broader set of creative solutions to vexing hybrid and multi-cloud challenges.

The company's unique streaming technology makes it possible to leverage resources from cloud service providers to remotely process workloads without having to actually migrate any data to those providers.


Founder and CEO: Vijay Tella

Workato, based in Cupertino, Calif., is focused on enabling businesses to integrate their apps and databases, whether they're hosted on-premises or in the cloud.

The startup's platform, which allows users to choose or craft 'recipes' for app integration, offers self-service functionality that makes it easy for those not technically inclined to connect more than 1,000 applications and automate processes, without writing a line of code.