The 10 Hottest Cloud Startups Of 2020 (So Far)

Cloud computing startups attracting attention range from a CloudOps software provider selected as a launch partner for the AWS Partner Network Global Startup Program to companies built around open source projects to the creator of CockroachDB.


See the latest entry: The 10 Coolest Cloud Computing Startup Companies of 2022

Cloud startups are operating at a time when cloud computing increasingly has become a lifeline for people living, working and learning during the coronavirus pandemic.

“With remote learning, work from home and more applications and technology needing to be accessed during this ‘new normal’…the shift to cloud computing over the last few years is now the ‘hearts and lungs’ core technology and infrastructure enabling companies and governments globally to operate smoothly during this unprecedented environment,” Wedbush Securities analyst Dan Ives said in a report this month. “While applications such as Zoom, DocuSign, Citrix, Microsoft Teams and Slack among others are on the front lines enabling collaboration and functionality for consumers and enterprises globally, it’s the back-end public/hybrid cloud stalwarts such as Amazon (Web Services), Microsoft (Azure) and Google (Cloud) ultimately facilitating virtual offices and communications globally.”

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And startups, backed by venture funding, continue to feed off that system.

While global information technology spending is projected to slide 8 percent to $3.4 trillion this year due to the impacts of the coronavirus and a global economic recession, cloud computing spending is expected to increase by 19 percent, according to research firm Gartner.

Cloud migrations and infrastructure projects are being fast-tracked well-ahead of expectations, as many enterprises “find themselves caught flat-footed with a lack of cloud-enabled functionality,” according to Ives.

“We believe this coronavirus pandemic is a key turning point in the technology world around deploying cloud-driven environments, as our long standing projections of moving from 33 percent of workloads in the cloud to 55 percent by 2022 now look conservative, as these targets could be reached a full year ahead of expectations given this pace,” he said. “With our expectations of a trillion dollars to be spent in the cloud over the next decade there will be many beneficiaries --cyber security, data center plays, cloud stack/enablers, hybrid cloud, applications -- across the technology landscape, with Microsoft Azure and AWS two of the core vendors that will continue to see an acceleration of cloud infrastructure spending during and after this dark coronavirus storm passes.”

Here’s a look at a sampling of cloud computing startups to watch.

For more of the biggest startups, products and news stories of 2020, click here.


CEO: Oskari Saarenmaa

Four-year-old Aiven is a cloud data platform provider, operating managed open source database, event streaming, cache, search and graphing solutions. Based in Helsinki with offices in Berlin, Sydney and Boston, it offers fully managed services for open source projects including Apache Kafka and Cassandra, Elasticsearch, M3 and PostgreSQL in the public cloud. Atlassian, Comcast, OVO Energy and Toyota are among its 500-plus customers. In February, Aiven announced a $40 million series B funding round led by Silicon Valley venture capital firm IVP. After tripling its revenue run rate to $12 million last year, when it doubled its headcount to 42, Aiven said it would use the funds to triple the number of its employees, add new open source technologies such as M3 and Flink, and debut new enterprise-grade features.

Cockroach Labs

CEO: Spencer Kimball

Founded in 2015, Cockroach Labs is the creator of CockroachDB, an enterprise-grade distributed SQL database that helps organizations move and manage critical transactional data in the cloud. Its customers include Bose, Comcast, Equifax and Netflix. In May, the New York startup said it landed $86.6 million in series D funding led by Altimeter Capital and technology investment firm BOND, bringing the round total to $195 million. Cockroach will use the funds for research and development to help customers meet new work-from-home requirements and migrate from legacy, cloud-sourced data platforms to its elastically scalable multi-cloud platform. The company doubled its headcount in the last year and launched CockroachCloud, a self-service distributed SQL database.

GitLab Inc.

CEO: Sid Sijbrandij

GitLab Inc. is an open core company that sells subscriptions offering commercial features and support for the open source GitLab, a DevOps platform delivered as a single application for the entire software development and operations lifecycle. The three-track Gitlab Partner Program launched in April under recently hired channel chief Michelle Hodges to expand GitLab’s market reach ahead of a planned initial public offering. And to bolster its DevSecOps offering, this month Gitlab acquired Seattle’s Peach Tech, a security software firm specializing in protocol fuzz testing and dynamic application security testing API testing, and Tel Aviv’s Fuzzit, a continuous fuzz testing solution providing coverage-guided testing.

Grafana Labs

CEO: Raj Dutt

Grafana Labs is the commercial company built around Grafana, the open source metrics and analytics dashboard whose creator, Torkel Ödegaard, is a cofounder. In May, it announced the general availability of Grafana 7.0 with upgrades --including a new Amazon CloudWatch Logs plugin -- to simplify the development of custom plugins and increase the power and speed of visualization. Its commercial products include Grafana Enterprise for large organizations and Grafana Cloud, a hosted Grafana-based stack that includes Prometheus and Graphite for metrics and Loki for logs. Last fall, Grafana Labs announced $24 million in series A funding led by Lightspeed Venture Partners to accelerate the creation of an open and composable observability platform for metrics, logs and traces that’s centered around Grafana. Grafana Lab’s 1,000-plus customers include Bloomberg, eBay, PayPal and Sony.


CEO: Fangjin Yang

Imply offers a real-time, cloud-native analytics solution to store, query and visualize event-driven data. Built around the open source Apache Druid real-time analytics database, it runs on public or private clouds as a self-hosted or managed service. The Burlingame, Calif., Imply was founded in 2015 by Druid’s original creators and is backed by Silicon Valley venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz. The 5-year-old startup has raised $45.3 million, including $30 million in December that raised its valuation to $350 million and will be used for product development and go-to-market expansion as demand for Apache Druid grows.


CEO: Chris Nguyen

Mountain View, Calif.-based LogDNA offers multi-cloud and on-premise log management solutions built on Kubernetes that provide insight into development and production environments, enabling petabytes of data from disparate locations to be parsed and searched quickly. LogDNAlast month received the IBM Cloud Embed Excellence Award during the IBM Think Digital conference. IBM Log Analysis with LogDNA and IBM Cloud Activity Tracker with LogDNA are built on the IBM Cloud Kubernetes Service and integrated with IBM Cloud. They’re used internally by IBM Cloud and Watson. Other LogDNA customers include Asics, Drop, Life360 and Virgin Australia.


CEO: Antonio Pellegrino

Brooklyn-based Mutable is building a low-latency, public edge cloud to deliver faster and better-quality internet service to become the “Airbnb for servers.” The Techstars and UpRamp alumni company, which is targeting cable and telecom companies, announced a $1.5 million seed round in March led by Lunar Ventures and Fly Ventures. Mutable is using the funds to further develop its public edge cloud, hire new employees for its product and business development teams, and expand into new markets and regions. It also plans to launch Mutable Marketplace for edge solutions vendors’ product demonstrations and deployments.


CEO: Sam Gutmann

OwnBackup is a cloud-to-cloud backup and recovery vendor offering automated, daily backups of SaaS and PaaS data, with a focus on customers who have implemented Salesforce-based applications. Launched in 2015, the Englewood Cliffs, NJ-based startup is a Salesforce Gold-Certified ISV partner and received the Salesforce Appy Award in 2018. It ranked 102nd on Inc. magazine’s annual list of the 500 fastest growing private companies last year. It also closed $23.35 million in a series C financing round that saw participation from Salesforce Ventures and announced plans to expand its footprint in Europe.


CEO: Amiram Shachar

Spotinst, a CloudOps software provider, rebranded as Spot in April. Cloud data services company NetApp this month said it would acquire the 5-year-old Spot for undisclosed terms to forge a leadership position in application-driven infrastructure. Spot recently launched its new Cloud Analyzer product that uses proprietary machine learning and automation capabilities to identify and automatically manage the performance, availability and cost of cloud infrastructures. A member of the AWS Partner Network Global Startup Program, Tel Aviv- and San Francisco-based Spot has raised $52.6 million in venture capital funding from Highland Europe, Intel Capital and Vertex Ventures.


CEO: Bill Cook

Yugabyte, which specializes in open source, distributed SQL databases, this month raised $30 million in series B funding led by 8VC, with participation from Wipro Ventures, Lightspeed Venture Partners and Dell Technologies Capital. Former Pivotal Software president Bill Cook joined as CEO in May to lead the next stage of growth for the startup, which was founded in 2016 and is based in Sunnyvale, Calif. YugabyteDB is an open source, enterprise-grade relational database. Yugabyte’s two commercial products are Yugabyte Platform, a self-managed, private database-as-a-service offering available on any public, private, or hybrid cloud or Kubernetes infrastructure, and Yugabyte Cloud, a fully managed database service currently available on AWS and Google Cloud.