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This Week In Enterprise Fundraising: Management And Cloud Security

Enterprise software is at once the glue that holds businesses together, and the thing that sometimes gums the works.

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As developers find faster and more flexible ways to build and deploy platforms, startups aiming to help them manage complex systems in the background are picking up capital. Here, we’ll highlight two startups in the space that announced new funding this week.

Open Source Database Spin-Up As A Service

Open source management company Instaclustr picked up $15 million in growth equity from New York-based Level Equity this week. The round brings the company’s known total funds raised to $24 million, according to Crunchbase. Previous investors in the company include Our Innovation Fund, Bailador, Artesian VC and others.

Founded in 2013, Instaclustr is a “data as a service” company that offers hosting and management services for “data layer open source technologies,” including database, analytics, search, and messaging services. The company currently supports more than 100 customers. The technology currently provided by the platform includes Apache Cassandra, Apache Spark, and Apache Kafka, per its announcement.

With the capital, Instaclustr plans to double its headcount across its offices in Palo Alto, Australia, and the UK in the next year.

Instaclustr aims to help companies manage complex systems in the back-end, but, like other web-based systems, security is also a key factor in the functioning of a cloud-based enterprise. As a result, startups have emerged to help firms keep those systems safe from unwanted intruders.

Cloud Application Security

Twistlock, an enterprise tech company based in Portland, also raised capital this week, this time for the security side of cloud computing. The company announced a $33 million Series C led by ICONIQ Capital. YL Ventures, TenEleven Ventures, Polaris Partners, Dell Technologies Capital and Rally Ventures also participated in the round. This is the fifth capital infusion for the company, which raised a $17 million Series B in April 2017. The round brings Twistlock’s aggregate known funding to $63 million.

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Founded in 2015 by enterprise-tech veterans Ben Bernstein and Dima Stopel, the aptly named startup focuses on securing cloud-native applications and containers. Twistlock integrates with continuous integration/continuous delivery (CI/CD) pipelines (the automated processes through which developers build and execute changes to cloud-native applications). The software scans its customers’ containers for vulnerabilities, flags threats, and filters traffic to prevent future risks through firewalls.

Twistlock was initially based in San Francisco, but moved its headquarters to Portland and opened an office in New York after raising its Series A in 2016. The team currently consists of 80 individuals across its five global offices including its R&D center in Tel Aviv. Twistlock has grown its customer base by over 350 percent every year since its founding, per its press release, to over 200 customers including Walgreens, Aetna, and USAA among others.

Furthermore, Instaclustr plans to add other data-centric open source technologies that are “ideally suited for supporting the scale, high availability, and performance demanded from next-gen applications,” according to the firm.

Enterprise software may not the most engaging topic in tech, especially when compared to nifty futuristic tech like autonomous vehicles, or more offbeat consumer-focused businesses. You wouldn’t be blamed for finding at least some business areas a little dull and overly-buttoned up. But all the valuable data and actionable information companies need to understand isn’t going to segment, sort, analyze, and manage itself.

Illustration Credit: Li Anne Dias