Mirantis, a startup driving VMware and Red Hat crazy, just bought a 30-person startup for $30 million

Mirantis CEO Alex Freedland
Mirantis CEO Alex Freedland Silicon Angle/screen capture

Cloud computing has vastly changed the $3 trillion enterprise computer industry and one of the most interesting technologies at the center of this trend is called OpenStack.

And one of the critical (and oddest) companies at the center of OpenStack is Mirantis.

On Thursday, Mirantis announced that it bought a startup in Prague called TCP Cloud.

Mirantis spent about $30 million for TCP Cloud, which employed 30 people, a person with knowledge of the situation told Business Insider.

The acquisition is interesting because it will allow Mirantis’ version of OpenStack to straddle the old software world, where companies buy and install software in their own data centres, and the new cloud computing software world, where companies rent computers and software in somebody else’s data center and access them over the internet.

TCP Cloud has a technology that allows software installed in a data center to be continuously updated with new features and whatnot, no fuss no muss, one of the big benefits of cloud computing.

With this tech, there’s no need for three-year enterprise contracts and massive upgrade projects for customers that have bought and installed Mirantis’ version of OpenStack, Mirantis says in its press release.

Battle of the titans

OpenStack is an operating system for clouds that allows companies to set up their own data centres as if they were a cloud, making their data centres faster and cheaper to run. They can then hire cloud computing services and move their apps and data between their own data centres as the cloud as they need to.

VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger
VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger VMware

OpenStack was developed by a consortium of IT vendors as a way to compete against Amazon’s cloud dominance.

There’s a big land grab among big IT vendors like Cisco and Red Hat to sell various versions of OpenStack to enterprises.

And Google has moved into the OpenStack world in a big way, too, as a public cloud provider. That’s why big OpenStack user PayPal is reportedly considering using Google’s cloud in addition to, or perhaps even instead of, Amazon Web Services.

Mirantis has had an odd love-hate relationship with some of the other biggest players in the tech world. It had a particularly testy relationship with Red Hat over the years. Red Hat was once an investor, but the two parted ways and had a public spat when they became competitors.

However, Mirantis’ main competitor is VMware. VMware is involved with the OpenStack community but it mostly wants to sell its own cloud operating system.

Mirantis has publicly won big deals, like Volkswagen and PayPal, out from its competitors’ noses, and has grown into a successful startup as the only company focused exclusively on OpenStack.

Mirantis has raised $220 million total between equity investments and a big joint project with Intel, at a valuation of just under $555 million, according to PitchBook. (Mirantis never publicly announced its current valuation.) Its backers include Goldman Sachs, August Capital, Insight Venture Partners, Ericsson, Sapphire Ventures (formerly the VC arm of SAP).

Back in 2014, Mirantis said it had revenue of $1 million a week, aka, $52 million a year, selling OpenStack and OpenStack consulting services.

A spokesperson for the company tells us that the company now employs over 900 people and has a revenue run rate of about $100 million a year.

NOW WATCH: A Silicon Valley startup is using robots to make pizza