The 10 Coolest Cloud Startups Of 2017 (So Far)

Startup Spectrum

Since its inception about a decade ago, the cloud has been the primary breeding ground for innovative new technology companies. Many of the startups founded in recent years to seize the tremendous opportunities created by the paradigm shift to cloud computing are now rapidly scaling to meet market demand for their products. Having proven their viability in the market, some are accepting larger infusions of capital to hire more workers, extend into new geographies, and build more integrations with platforms and providers.

These startups are delivering to organizations across all industries the ability to easily and rapidly deploy flexible, agile and heterogenous IT environments for running production workloads, as well as developing and testing new applications and empowering their workers with the latest-and-greatest productivity tools.

Here are the 10 coolest cloud startups of the year so far.

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


CEO: Rahul Ravulur

This startup founded by VMware and IBM veterans recently came out of stealth with an application modernization platform geared for enterprises looking to avoid costly redevelopment projects.

The San Jose, Calif.-based company offers a runtime environment that can repurpose just about any application to run in a modern environment and test and deploy them through DevOps processes. The vision is to simplify holistic application transformation across design, testing, and ongoing management processes. While appOrbit isn't yet ready to announce channel plans, the company sees partners ultimately leveraging the offering to serve their customers.


Founder & CTO: Joe Kinsella

This Boston-based startup has become popular for multi-cloud and hybrid cloud management across public and on-premise cloud platforms. The vendor originally launched its policy management tools for Amazon Web Services, but has since integrated with Google Cloud Platform, Microsoft Azure, and VMware and OpenStack environments.

CloudHealth recently raised $46 million in additional venture capital to continue building out product capabilities across all those cloud partners and maintaining its rapid pace of growth.


CEO and Founder: Najaf Husain

Cloudistics came out of stealth last year looking to address the rapidly heating market for affordable and manageable on-premise cloud solutions. The startup based in Reston, Va. has developed a software-defined data center platform that simplifies deployment and operations for MSPs who want to buck the public cloud. More recently, Cloudistics introduced two distinct channel programs to help forge partnerships with managed services providers.


CEO: Raj Dhingra

CloudVelox offers a popular cloud migration and automation platform that automates bringing legacy apps from private data centers to public clouds, especially Amazon Web Services. It also offers disaster recovery tools and a virtual lab environment that helps developers simulate hybrid cloud environments.

The Santa Clara, Calif.-based startup recently broadened its channel reach by striking a deal to add its CloudVelox One Hybrid Cloud to the Ingram Micro online marketplace, making it available to a greater number of systems integrators and solution providers lifting and shifting "brownfield" workloads to public providers.


CEO: Nariman Teymourian

HyperGrid recently revamped its software to better deliver billing and services on its hyper-converged infrastructure that emulate the public cloud experience. The Mountain View, Calif.-based startup's latest release of its HyperCloud orchestration and management platform offers services across the stack that look and feel like public cloud and extend into the true public cloud. The on-premise appliances can be provisioned on six-month, one-year or three-year contracts.

Nimble CRM

CEO: Jon Ferrara

This innovative CRM vendor based in Santa Monica, Calif., was founded by Jon Ferrara, who helped pioneer customer relationship technology in the 1990s with a previous venture, GoldMine Software.

Nimble CRM integrates social, sales and marketing platforms with Google G Suite and Microsoft Office 365. The software delivers to small businesses, through tools they're already using, a consolidated and detailed view of customers seeded with relevant data from social platforms like LinkedIn, CRM systems like Salesforce and Dynamics, as well as inboxes, calendars, and previous contact records.


CEO: Sirish Raghuram

The Sunnyvale, Calif.-based startup has seen spectacular growth over the past year by delivering on-premise OpenStack-based infrastructure, managed by a cloud software layer. Platform9 recently accepted Series C funding of $22 million, with Hewlett Packard EnterpriseE participating in the round, and plans to invest in scaling the business, which saw a 300 percent jump in revenue last year.


Co-CEOs: Todd Schwartz and Evan Richman

The startup that's emerged as a leading Microsoft Office 365 enabler recently revamped its two core products in response to partner demand. SkyKick's overhauled cloud migration and backup platforms put in the hands of partners more control over and visibility into their projects. A new user interface delivers granular visibility and control over email migration functions, mailbox configurations and device management.


CEO: Thor Culverhouse

This independent Infrastructure-as-a-Service provider based in Seattle cracked the all-important Gartner Magic Quadrant in 2017. Gartner called attention to Skytap having carved out a niche with a differentiated offering focused on modeling complex enterprise environments, especially those with complicated network configurations. The cloud provider also simplifies the process of replicating enterprise environments in sandboxes for development, demos and training while production workloads remain on-premise.


CEO: Ariel Maislos

Stratoscale delivers AWS-compatible infrastructure in the enterprise data center. The Israeli-American startup's Stratoscale Symphony data center software, featuring turnkey deployment, turns x86 servers into hyper-converged appliances. Service providers and large enterprises can easily leverage AWS APIs to extend Stratoscale's on-premise capabilities, including compute, object and block storage, networking, an application catalog, identity and access management, and other services.