This is the year for Colorado's enterprise cloud companies, thanks to local talent and local capital

by Carlin Sack
August 4, 2014


Rally did it. Ping Identity is doing it. Yes, they are building strong, successful enterprise cloud products right here in Colorado. Just look at ViaWest's over $1 billion exit last week for proof that this year is shaping up to be a good year for the builders and innovators in the enterprise cloud space.

Also on this list of fast-growing enterprise cloud companies this year is cloud API integration servicer Cloud Elements (which raised over $3 million this year to make over 10 hires), cloud IaaS provider Ajubeo and app management service provider Standing Cloud.Each is helping to solidify Colorado’s reputation as a breeding ground for strong enterprise cloud companies.

For these companies and others like enterprise-class IaaS cloud service provider Peak (which raised $8 million already this year), local investors such as Meritage Funds, Grotech and Foundry are key. Local VCs believe in what these companies are building: enterprise cloud-based software companies have been the investment of choice over the past five years for local investors. In fact, every VC ranked as Colorado’s five most active investors invested in an enterprise cloud company. LogRhythm, for example, has gained the support of Access Venture Partners, High Country Ventures and Grotech Ventures alike for providing enterprise-class log management, security information and event management solutions.

Also key is Colorado's easy access to superior talent. While Peak has been growing internally and expanding its data centers to new markets, “the talent pool from all the telcos and colocation providers of the 2000s has made all the difference,” Peak CEO Luke Norris said. And the new talent attracted by the high national rankings of Boulder, Denver and Fort Collins as the best locations for startups doesn't hurt either.

Art Zeile, CEO of HOSTING, which builds and operates high-performance clouds for over 3,000 customers worldwide, said his company also is benefitting from the talent and capital for enterprise cloud companies in Colorado. Thanks in part to these resources, he has been able to grow HOSTING at a 38 percent annualized rate for the past three years by focusing his product on a specific niche (business-critical applications) within the cloud services industry.

“There is no question that enterprise cloud is growing rapidly - and capital will always follow growth,” Zeile said. “Customers understand that software doesn't have to be delivered in a packaged ‘on premise’ business model anymore and are demanding remote hosted or SaaS alternatives. This has caused virtually every software company we have met in the past three years to consider how they will deliver their business model as a cloud-based option.”

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