2014 promises to be another hot year for startups creating tech for businesses rather than consumers.
VCs are still tripping over themselves to fund enterprise startups and a slew of them are getting ready to go public this year.
All of that is reason to consider a career with an enterprise startup that could make you rich on stock options.
Plus, many of these startups are creating amazing, important new technologies and showering their employees with perks.
Apttus plays in a hot market called 'quote to cash' (CQT). That's software that helps an enterprise deal with bids and quotes.
Apttus is a service specific to Salesforce.com.
When Oracle bought one of its competitors, Big Machines, for what was reported to be more than $US400 million, Apttus gained attention.
Salesforce.com had a minor stake in Big Machines but it had, a month earlier, bet even bigger on Apttus, partaking of its $US37 million round of investment. That put Apttus under the protective arm of Salesforce and maybe, one day, to be fully acquired by it.
Birst offers a cloud service that lets businesses search through their own corporate data as easily as Google lets people search for stuff on the Web. And it also offers businesses Amazon.com-style recommendations.
The company is trying to disrupt the traditional 'business intelligence' enterprise market and has nabbed a long list of customers, including American Express, Cisco, and Kellogg's.
It raised $38 million in 2013 ($64 million total).
File-sharing and collaboration startup Box was on a roll in 2013 and Valley insiders think the company will go public in 2014.
In December, Box raised another huge round of funding, $US100 million, with a valuation of $US2 billion. It has raised more than $US400 million so far from a who's-who roster of investors.
In addition to funding, Box made four acquisitions in 2013 and now claims over 20 million users.
Zuora is a cloud service for invoicing customers that competes with financial apps from SAP and Oracle. But it's specifically designed for recurring billing which makes it popular with other cloud tech companies.
In September, Zuora landed a hefty $US50 million in funding.
Its co-founder and CEO, Tien Tzuo, is among the who's who in the Valley startup scene who was once an early employee of Salesforce.com. Salesforce's CEO Marc Benioff is also an investor.
Huddle is a file sharing/collaboration cloud service that has defied the tech industry's conventional wisdom and uses the freemium business model.
That means all of its customers are paying customers. That hasn't a been a problem. The company has grown to 200 employees, four locations (New York, London, Washington D.C., and San Francisco), and is used by 120,000 work groups and millions of people, CEO Alastair Mitchell tells us.
On top of that, Mitchell is an adventurer who's been known to set his race cars on fire.
AlienVault is a computer security company that's got a unique way of tracking malware. Its Open Threat Exchange Platform crowdsources the discovery of new threats from experts and connects experts together.
Its flagship product is called 'Unified Security Management' and it takes information from lots of security products and organizes it into one place.
In December, AlienVault landed $US30 million in investment ($66 million total so far) including a chunk of change from, and a powerful partnership with, Intel. Intel will help the startup mingle with its huge 150,000-member network of technology resellers.
Puppet Labs has been around since 2005, slowly becoming a wildly popular open-source project that helps enterprise IT professionals automate tasks in the data center.
It captured attention in 2011 when it landed an $US8.5 million investment from some big names including Cisco.
Then, about a year ago, VMware swooped in and invested $US30 million and partnered with the company to sell it to VMware's customers. Earlier this month, it announced a new partnership with Dell, too.
Its founder Luke Kanies has a fantastic rags-to-riches story, too.
That would bring its total up to $US171 million and set it firmly on the IPO path.
Nutanix offers an all-in-one hardware box for corporate data centres that combines a computer server and storage. This is an increasingly important market as enterprises look to upgrade their data centres with cloud technologies that mimic how Google and Facebook build their data centres.
SimpliVity offers a popular 'data center in a box' and raised a huge $US58 million round of investment funding a few weeks ago.
That means it has nabbed $US101 million of VC cash to date. SimpliVity competes with Nutanix, another enterprise startup that's doing well.
That's impressive enough on its own, but here's another interesting fact: Founder and CEO Doron Kempel was once part of an elite Israeli special forces unit charged with killing Saddam Hussein.
AppDynamics makes an app-monitoring tool that lets companies see how people are using their apps once they download them.
While that doesn't sound like the most exciting technology, it's quickly becoming a must-have tool for every enterprise. The company doubled its growth in the first half of 2013, it says, and is nearing $US100 million in revenue, reports Businessweek. It's testing the waters for an IPO soon.
AppDynamics has raised almost $87 million so far, including $US50 million in 2013.
New Relic is an app-monitoring tool that will likely go public soon. It was looking at $US100 million in revenue for 2013, the company told Venture Beat.
It started the year by grabbing Sarah Friar, current CFO and head of operations at Square, for its board. Friar was previously head of finance and strategy at Salesforce.com and is a good egg to tap for an IPO.
New Relic has raised $US175 million in funding including a healthy $US60 million round in 2013.
Atlassian offers tools that help enterprise developers track and manage software projects. Comparatively speaking, the company hasn't raised a lot of venture funds -- $US60 million in 2010 from one VC, Accel Partners.
That's because it's profitable. And because it has a unique business model where it doesn't use any sales people. It makes the sales process so easy that customers simply sign up via its website.
Many insiders think it will go public in 2014.
Atlassian, based in Sydney, is also known for a fun culture that comes from the fun-loving, kick-back attitude of its co-founders and co-CEOs, Scott Farquhar and Mike Cannon-Brookes.
GitHub offers software and a cloud service for hosting open source software projects and letting developers work together on them.
Github's founders famously bootstrapped the company into a profitable business and then shocked the tech world by accepting a $US100 million investment from Andreessen Horowitz in 2012, a record for the biggest one-VC software investment at the time.
GitHub has continued to go gangbusters, hosting about 10 million software projects (that doubled in 2013) and working in one of the coolest offices in Bay Area where employees enjoy great perks and even better booze.
Apple products are invading the enterprise as people bring their iPhones, iPads, and Macs to work with them. And JAMF Software is riding that wave.
JAMF offers IT pros tools to help them manage a lot of Macs and iOS devices, doing things like installing software and setting them up on a corporate network.
The company just raised $30 million from Summit Partners, ($33 million total), has over 4,000 customers, manages over 3.8 million devices, and nearly doubled its staff last year to 275 people, CEO Chip Pearson told us.
Planet Labs is one of the most interesting startups we've heard of in a while. Its founders created a way to quickly build low-cost imaging satellites from PCs running the Linux operating system and launching them into space, dozens at a time.
These satellites are taking an unprecedented number of photos of the earth and it is selling that data to scientific and commercial customers.
It just raised $US52 million in funding from Russian tycoon Yuri Milner among a long list of others.
Apptio is a hot Seattle startup that makes a project management tool for IT professionals. It helps them see how much money different tech projects cost and which ones give the company the most bang for the buck.
Apptio has raised $US136 million so far, including $US50 million in 2012 and another $US45 million in 2013, and is widely believed to be on track for an IPO, perhaps in 2014.
MongoDB makes a wildly popular database that is challenging traditional database vendors like Oracle.
Its niche is something called a noSQL database, which organizes messy documents and files, the kind of data that a regular database can't handle. It's great for cloud-computing apps.
MongoDB raised a huge $US150 million round in October, ($223 million so far) including investments from a bunch of enterprise companies (Red Hat, Salesforce.com, EMC, Intel Capital). It was also recently named the database of the year by a site that tracks database popularity, DB-Engines.
Next stop is clearly an IPO.
Disclosure: Dwight Merriman, the 10gen co-founder and CEO, co-founded Business Insider and is an investor and board member.
Illumio is a startup launched in 2013 that's still in stealth and is backed by a who's-who list of investors.
It raised $US45 million in its first year of existence from VCs like Andreessen Horowitz, General Catalyst Partners, and angels like Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff and Box CEO Aaron Levie, reports AllthingsD.
We don't know much about the tech except that it will secure applications that run in 'virtual machines.' That's how apps run in a modern data center, thanks to special software from companies like VMware.
Most importantly, the company has recruited an all-star team from VMware, Cisco, Juniper, McAfee, and Nicira.
HubSpot makes marketing software that helps companies use websites to attract customers and make sales.
It's also known for a corporate culture that's so warm, friendly, and productive, an MIT professor has studied it.
HubSpot employees are showered with perks, and the company treats workers as if they were co-founders, CTO Darmesh Shah told Business Insider.
HubSpot has raised $131 million from investors.
CoreOS is a new startup that launched in 2013. It makes an operating system based on Linux that works like the custom operating system Google built for itself. It even has a former Googler on its team.
That means it lets corporate computer servers run more software using less hardware.
CoreOS is a Y Combinator startup whose 28-year-old founder, Alex Polvi, sold his first startup for $US30 million at age 25. Investors include Andreessen Horowitz, Sequoia Capital, super angel Ron Conway, and football great Joe Montana.
Plus it has one of the rock stars of the Linux world as its advisor, Greg Kroah-Hartman.
Apigee plays in a very geeky part of the enterprise world called the application programming interface. An API allows apps to talk to each other and it's a critical part of the cloud computing world.
Apigee's service is used by hundreds of companies including 25% of the Fortune 500, the company says, this includes companies like Walgreens, Bechtel, and eBay.
Apigee is home to two guys who are well-known in the developer world, its CEO, Chet Kapoor (previously CEO of Gluecode sold to IBM) and its VP of strategy, Sam Ramji (previously Microsoft's open-source guru).
Apigee raised $US107 million including a $US35 million round in 2013, with a stake held by SAP's investment arm, SAP Ventures.