One of the biggest trends in the tech industry has been the rise of the “cloud,” or services delivered over the web.
But the latest data from Bessemer Venture Partners, the longest-standing VC in Silicon Valley and one of the most active cloud investors, shows there’s one big flaw in the hype around cloud: it’s still heavily concentrated in the US.
According to BVP’s data, released last week in time to commemorate its 100th cloud investment, 76 of the 100 startups it invested in were based in the US. Israel came in at second with 11 investments, followed by Canada with just 4.
The fact that less than a quarter of BVP’s cloud investments are in non-US startups shows the adoption of cloud technologies is lagging in the rest of the world. It’s also a reminder that, even after all these years of cloud hype, many countries are still concerned about some aspects of cloud technology.
“[The cloud] is starting to hit its stride but it’s taking a while,” BVP partner Byron Deeter told Business Insider. “We’ve been waiting for this for a long time. We’ve got 6 offices around the world, and it’s been somewhat frustrating.”
Deeter pointed to a couple reasons for the slow adoption of cloud in other parts of the world. First, it’s just the normal cycle of new technology. Most new technology gets created in the US, but it takes time to reach scale globally, Deeter said.
E-commerce, for example, was first big in the US but has grown exponentially worldwide in recent years. Likewise, cloud software and infrastructure technology have been available for over a decade, but it’s only started to see real growth in recent years, he said.
Another possible reason is data security. With the cloud, companies are storing sensitive data in places they may not have complete control over, and the recent news around NSA tracking others’ data only exacerbated those concerns, he said.
“The actions of the NSA certainly slowed down globalization of cloud for a while,” Deeter added.
But that may soon change as the cloud adoption rate has been growing fast in all parts of the world in recent years, Deeter stressed.
For example, the majority of BVP’s 24 non-US cloud investments came in the past 3 years. The market cap of companies included in Bessemer’s Cloud Index grew from $50 billion in 2011 to $200 billion this year, and is projected to reach $500 billion by 2020.
Plus, some of the fastest-growing tech companies are all cloud-based, including Salesforce, Workday, and LinkedIn. Although Salesforce generates nearly 75% of its revenue in the US, its CEO Marc Benioff is spending the majority of his time travelling, trying to ramp up its overseas sales. Even the more legacy vendors like Oracle and SAP are all stressing the importance of the cloud for their future growth.
“The cloud is winning, indisputably. So the future is very ‘cloud-y’ and it’s very clearly the case,” Deeter said. “The trend is irrefutable at this point and the momentum continues to build.”
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