With so much attention paid to consumer apps like Uber and Snapchat, it’s easy to forget that there’s another multi-trillion dollar market in enterprise technology — companies that sell technology to other companies.
Companies like Oracle, Salesforce, and Box are worth billions of dollars.
Pulled from our recently published Silicon Valley 100 list, meet the coolest enterprise tech leaders in Silicon Valley.
McKinnon is a Valley A-lister, a former star Salesforce engineer who launched his own company in 2009 without CEO and friend Benioff's blessing. His company has seen massive growth: By September 2014 it had raised $US155 million from top VCs. Okta is now valued at about $US600 million and is expected to go public by 2016.
McKinnon said there's tremendous value in working for a rapidly growing, successful company before pursuing other endeavours. He called his time at Salesforce a 'gift' that taught him what it means to win.
Founder, VP of product strategy, MuleSoft
MuleSoft is, to some, the definition of disruption. Two of its biggest legacy rivals, Tibco and Informatica, left the public markets in leveraged buyouts in 2014 and early 2015, which left room for founder Ross Mason to grow MuleSoft like crazy.
MuleSoft solves the hard problem of integrating cloud applications, especially with a company's existing apps. In 2014 it raised $US50 million at an $US800 million valuation, and just this past May MuleSoft raised a new $US128 million investment at a $US1.5 billion valuation. It seems it could be heading toward an IPO.
Rubin is the cofounder of Illumio, the buzzed-about startup that raised $US42.5 million from investors at hugely successful companies like Salesforce and Yahoo before it even came out of stealth mode. The company's product is called the Adaptive Security Platform -- cutting-edge security software designed for the cloud.
In April, Business Insider reported Illumio to be worth $US1 billion, a stunning number for a company that's six months old. Rubin has also been a seed investor in Powermat and Tory Burch for more than 10 years.
ZenPayroll CEO Josh Reeves believes it's easier than ever to be an entrepreneur. Whether or not that's true, it certainly seems easy for Reeves, whose payroll-processing startup raised a $US60 million series B round, led by Google Capital, in April.
The recently revealed laundry list of angel investors includes celebs like Ashton Kutcher and Jared Leto, former head of the US Small Business Administration Karen Mills, and a list of famed startup CEOs from Evernote, Eventbrite, Stripe, Constant Contact, SurveyMonkey, WordPress, and Instagram. Founders from PayPal, Yahoo, Reddit, Nest, Twitter, HubSpot, and Mint also contributed.
Founder, CTO, Docker
Docker is one of the most buzzed about things on the internet, and for good reason. The open-source software, developed by CTO Solomon Hykes, gives developers the tools to build and distribute apps so that they work across multiple platforms. This technology is revolutionising how companies view and build applications, and companies such as Yelp and eBay are adopting Docker at a fast pace.
In total, it has raised $US150 million through three rounds of funding, with investors including Insight Venture Partners, Greylock Partners, Lightspeed Venture Partners, and AME Cloud Ventures.
Ex-Googler Josh McFarland, who leads ad targeting company TellApart, sold his startup for more than half a billion dollars to Twitter.
Twitter CEO Dick Costolo was a personal investor in TellApart before his company paid $US532 million for it. TellApart boasted a $US100 million run rate a couple of years ago, and the program could be a big driver of revenue for Twitter.
Founder, CEO, Domo
Earlier this year, data-management startup Domo announced a $US200 million Series D round of financing led by BlackRock that brought its total funding up to $US450 million. It's now valued at about $US2 billion.
Founder Josh James held Domo in stealth mode for nearly five years to keep the competition at bay while he built a platform for collecting and visualising business data, making it easy for executives to skim and understand. Though Domo has only 1,000 customers compared to competitor Tableau Software's 23,000, he said that Domo 'makes a higher average revenue per customer than Tableau does' during Re/code's Code/Enterprise: San Francisco event.
Cloudera, a software company that launched in 2008 and aims to help businesses make sense of huge data sets, raised $US900 million in funding last March. Investors include Intel, Google Ventures, and MSD Capital. They also raised an undisclosed amount in another round later that year.
The company continues to grow, raking in over $US100 million in revenue last year, and some analysts believe it could be worth almost $US5 billion by the end of 2015. The startup even recruited Google exec Daniel Sturman to join as their vice president of engineering.
Cofounder, CEO, Nutanix
Enterprise virtualization and storage company Nutanix became of the first enterprise unicorns of 2014, with a valuation of $US2 billion. The company raised over $US141 million in 2014, and $US312 million to date from investors including Lightspeed Venture partners, Blumberg Capital, Khosla Ventures, and Goldman Sachs.
Nutanix has become so emblematic of successful enterprise hardware companies that, in Silicon Valley, other startups dream of becoming 'the Nutanix of' their markets. Nutanix also has plans to take down incumbent VMware. The two companies are intensely competitive.
CEO Chris Wanstrath is a self-taught coder who dropped out of college to pursue a career in software development. An active profile on GitHub -- his software-development tool that allows users to collaborate -- has become a popular destination for Valley programmers to work and get hired.
In mid-June, Bloomberg Business reported that GitHub was raising a $US200 million round at a valuation of about $US2 billion. GitHub has not put out a statement, but rumours suggest that the round is being led by Andreessen Horowitz, the same firm that led GitHub's first funding round back in 2012 when it raised $US100 million.
President, CEO, Flurry
Last summer, Yahoo purchased mobile-analytics company Flurry for a substantial $US200 million. Flurry's technology monitors mobile users' trends and analyses how people use applications, potentially giving Yahoo an edge in mobile going forward. Yahoo has already added support for the Apple Watch to Flurry's analytics, letting app developers monitor how apps fare on the watch.
Before the acquisition, Flurry raised $US73.3 million through eight rounds of funding.
Former CEO, now chairman and CTO; co-CEOs, Oracle
Oracle founder Larry Ellison stepped down from his CEO role in September and was succeeded by Hurd and Catz, who took over as co-CEOs. Ellison remains as chairman and CTO of the company; Catz, who was previously co-president and CFO, is now the world's highest-paid female executive; Hurd has been with Oracle since 2010 and was previously the CEO of HP.
Catz and Hurd have a big vision for the direction of the company, and their stepping up led to the stock hitting an all-time high. While Catz has said there would be 'no significant changes' in the company, Hurd points out that two CEOs are better than one as the company needs 'a lot of leadership.' Nonetheless, Ellison still quietly runs the show for the time being.
John Thompson had a huge comeback in 2014 when he was named chairman of Microsoft. Thompson led the Microsoft CEO search committee, ultimately hiring Satya Nadella last year. He has been a huge proponent of Nadella, encouraging him to roll out initiatives at Microsoft.
Thompson got started at IBM and later became CEO of Symantec. He grew Symantec from $US600 million to $US6 billion in revenue when he left in 2009. Thompson is also the CEO of a five-year-old startup called Virtual Instruments, which offers software that helps big companies keep their most important applications from crashing. VI is on track to hit $US100 million in revenue.
In June 2014, MobileIron became the third enterprise tech company in a month to successfully go public. MobileIron offers a product that helps enterprises manage their fleets of tablets and smartphones.
When it went public, MobileIron raised about $US100 million, selling 11.1 million shares for $US9. Investors liked the stock, which closed up 22% at $US11.02.
Rob Bearden's company, HortonWorks, went public in December. HortonWorks distributes and supports an open-source technology called Hadoop, which was invented at Yahoo to store and arrange huge amounts of web data on low-cost hardware.
Hortonworks priced at $US16 on its opening day and jumped almost 50% to over $US24. HortonWorks raised about $US100 million and was valued at about $US1 billion at the time it went public.
Cofounder/CEO; cofounder/chief product officer; cofounder/CTO, Zendesk
Mikkel Svane is the CEO of Zendesk, an enterprise cloud-based customer-service software company that handles businesses' technical and customer support. He took his company public in May 2014 despite early 2014's shaky SaaS market.
Zendesk ended up pricing its shares at $US9, much less than the $US12.50 per share it valued itself at just a couple months before. But Zendesk shares popped 49% on the day the company went public and have jumped nearly 150% so far. Zendesk is now worth roughly $US1.7 billion.
Cofounder/CEO, cofounder, Box
Box, which offers online storage and document collaboration tools for enterprises, went public in January, and investors ate up its stock. Box opened at $US20.20, up 44%. Its IPO was priced at $US14. On its first day, it closed at $US23.23, up 66%.
When Box released its prospectus last year, it shocked the tech community with its high burn rate. After delaying its IPO several times, it finally got out the door and went public this year. 'I'm living the life I dreamed of as a 12-year-old. I don't have hobbies. I want to build a big company, and this is it,' he told Forbes' Victoria Barret.
More than just a self-made billionaire CEO, Marc Benioff is a force for equal rights. Recently he made headlines for his plan to ensure equal pay for both men and women at Salesforce, through which the company will examine the salaries of all 16,000 employees. 'My job is to make sure that women are treated 100% equally at Salesforce in pay, opportunity, and advancement,' he said.
He also made waves when he threatened to reduce the company's investment in Indiana after the state passed a law that allowed business owners to refuse service to gay married couples. Pressure from Benioff and other business leaders eventually helped convince Indiana lawmakers to revise the law.
Benioff is regarded as a tech visionary, and his company continues to see record growth. Salesforce ended its last fiscal year with $US5.37 billion in revenue, a major milestone for a 100% cloud-computing company. He's also a major force in his home town of San Francisco: The Salesforce Tower is under construction and will be the tallest building in the city when done, and a childrens' hospital named after Benioff opened earlier this year.
Founder/CEO, Lending Club
Renaud Laplanche is the CEO of Lending Club, one of the world's biggest online lending marketplaces. Last year, Lending Club's IPO was the largest among all US tech companies. Laplanche founded Lending Club to let people provide low-cost financing to their peers. Now, it lets institutional investors do the same.
The online credit marketplace raised $US870 million in its IPO last December. Today, it's valued at $US6.5 billion.
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