The Top 10 Hottest Cloud Computing Startup Companies Of 2021

The list includes startups like data catalog software company Alation, cloud application delivery automation company Oatfin and cloud-based material management operating system provider Livegistics.

A developer of data catalog software used in cloud migration, the maker of a cloud-based material management operating system for construction projects and the creator of software that connect APIs and microservices natively across and within clouds all made CRN’s list of top cloud computing startups this year.

The startups come from the traditional tech hubs of the San Francisco Bay Area and the Boston area, but also emerging places for innovation in the cloud, including Miami and Detroit.

The list includes more seasoned startups like Alation, which approaches its 10th birthday, and Oatfin, founded last year and among the startups selected for the $5 million Google for Startups Black Founders Fund.

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A recent report from venture capital firm Battery Ventures sums up the growth of cloud computing during the pandemic and its ever-increasing potential: Eleven IPOs of large infrastructure-software companies since COVID-19 started, representing $236 billion in value; software companies raising about $300 billion so far in 2021, almost twice the $164 billion raised in 2019; and a collective annualized revenue run rate of $100 billion for the largest public cloud companies: Amazon, Microsoft and Google.

Battery puts cloud computing spend in 2025 at an estimated $848 billion, more than double the $320 billion of 2020. That 2025 amount represents only 16 percent penetration, according to the report.

And IBM CEO Arvind Krishna likes to call the hybrid cloud market -- just one section of cloud -- a $1 trillion total addressable market.

See the newest entry: The 10 Hottest Cloud Computing Startups Of 2022

Here’s CRN’s list of 10 cloud computing startups to watch so far in 2021.


CEO: Satyen Sangani

Headquarters: Redwood City, Calif.

Alation develops data catalog software and tools for data governance and data search and discovery – all under the “data intelligence” description – that businesses and organizations use to identify and manage their data assets for business intelligence, AI and machine learning tasks and for meeting data regulatory and governance requirements.

Data governance and compliance have historically been the biggest use cases for Alation’s software but demand is also driven by the need for trusted data for AI and machine learning tasks for data cloud migration.

Founded in 2012, Alation has strategic alliances with data cloud service provider Snowflake and cloud application vendor Salesforce. Its customers include Fifth Third Bank, the state of Tennessee, Salesforce and AutoZone, according to the company.

A relationship with Capgemini, an earlier investor in Alation, has led to the company’s software being used in a number of the system integrator’s data migration and digital transformation projects.

Alation raised $110 million in a Series D round of funding this year that boosted the company’s market valuation to $1.2 billion. CRN also ranked the company on its list of “the coolest data management and integration software companies of the 2021 Big Data 100.”

Alation will apply some of the new funding to research and development efforts for its products, including developing connections to additional data sources, and extending its software to the cloud: The company began offering the Alation Cloud Service in April.

Company CEO Satyen Sangani previously worked at Oracle for more than nine years. He left the company in 2012 with the title of vice president of financial services analytical applications, according to his LinkedIn.

Cast AI

CEO: Yuri Frayman

Headquarters: Miami

Cast AI offers a platform for users to connect existing clusters and get a savings report and improve performance of users’ cloud environments. The platform’s autonomous Kubernetes optimization capabilities supports AWS, Google Cloud and Microsoft Azure.

In October, Cast AI raised $10 million in a Series A round led by Cota Capital, with Samsung Next and other investors participating, according to the company. The company has also received funding from Florida Funders and DNX Ventures. Customers include Snow Commerce, La Fourche.

It was founded in 2018 and has raised $18 million in total funding, according to Crunchbase.

CEO and founder Yuri Frayman’s resume includes founding facial recognition company Viewdle, acquired by Google in 2012. He also founded Zenedge, a security startup bought by Oracle in 2018, and network intelligence software company Cujo AI, according to his LinkedIn.


CEO: Girish Jashnani

Headquarters: San Ramon, Calif.

Flosum offers a development operations solution for Salesforce that provides users release management and version control. The solution includes built-in merge tools, continuous deployments, static code analysis, user story management and regression testing tools.

This year, Flosum received a Salesforce Partner Innovation Award. Flosum was founded in 2013. The company has partnerships with Azure DevOps, ServiceNow, Atlassian, GitLab, AWS CodeCommit and Carahsoft. Customers include Turnitin, The Hotels Network and Valpak.

Company CEO and founder Girish Jashnani previously worked at Salesforce and Oracle, according to his LinkedIn. He left Salesforce in 2014 with the title of enterprise architect. He worked at Salesforce for about three years.

Jashnani left Oracle in 2011 after about 13 years with the company, according to his LinkedIn. He left with the title of sales consultant.


CEO: Christine Yen

Headquarters: San Francisco

Honeycomb offers an observability platform for engineering teams to visualize, analyze and improve cloud application quality and performance.

Its tool uses machine analysis, a query engine and integrated distributed tracing to allow users the ability to compare billions of rows of data about their systems and find patterns, according to the company.

In October, the company closed a $50 million Series C round of funding led by Insight Partners with participation from existing investors Scale Venture Partners, Headline, Storm Ventures, Industry Ventures and NextWorld Capital. This brought the company’s total funding raised to $96.9 million.

The company will use the money toward international expansion and its partner ecosystem. HoneyComb is available on AWS and has partnerships with Cloudflare, CircleCI and other vendors. Customers include Fender, Intercom and Optimizely, according to the company.

Honeycomb was founded in 2016, according to Crunchbase.

Before co-founding Honeycomb, CEO Christine Yen worked as an engineer at Parse, according to her LinkedIn account. Parse was acquired by Facebook in 2013 for $85 million, according to multiple media reports.


CEO: Aghi Marietti

Headquarters: San Francisco

Cloud connectivity company Kong creates software and managed services that connect APIs and microservices natively across and within clouds, Kubernetes, data centers and more using intelligent automation.

The Kong Konnect service connectivity platform for cloud-native applications delivers end-to-end connectivity and visibility for services in multi-cloud environments. It became generally available in May, allowing users to design, deploy and optimize APIs with collaborative tools and granular analytics; build global service catalogs to simplify discovery, re-use and governance of enterprise services; and provision and manage high-performance runtimes in the environments of their choice.

In February, Kong announced $100 million raised in Series D funding led by New York’s Tiger Global Management, bringing its total funding to $171 million and tripling its valuation to $1.4 billion since its Series C funding round in March 2019. Kong planned to use the funding to scale its go-to-market operations, add engineering and customer experience talent, and accelerate cloud connectivity with Kong Konnect.

Kong ranked in CRN’s mid-year “10 hottest cloud computing startups of 2021” list as well. CEO, President and co-founder Augusto “Aghi” Marietti previously founded a startup called Mashape API Marketplace. It was acquired by RapidAPI in 2017, according to his LinkedIn account.


CEO: Justin Turk

Headquarters: Detroit

Livegistics offers a cloud-based material management operating system that connects all construction project stakeholders in a real-time, GPS-tracked mapping network of digital information.

The company’s goal is to turn paper truck tickets into a continuous flow of information, data and metrics for civil, demolition and trucking companies to better control cash flow and future planning, saving companies months of auditing.

This year, Livegistics won singer Pharrell Williams’ $1 million “Black Ambition” competition for Black and Latin startup leaders, according to a company statement. Livegistics was founded in 2017.

Before co-founding the company, CEO Justin Turk worked for Blaze Contracting for more than 17 years, according to his LinkedIn. He left in January with the title of vice president of estimating.


CEO: Peter Thompson

Headquarters: San Francisco

LucidLink is the developer of the Filespaces general-purpose cloud file technology that allows cloud storage to be used with any shared workloads. The company has helped users with video creation and remote collaboration.

This year, the company raised a $12 million Series A funding round that included an investment from Adobe. LucidLink sales come via the indirect channel, and the company prefers to work with channel partners even when customers want to do deals directly.

Customers include Netflix, WebMD, Shell, MTV and J.P. Morgan, according to the company.

LucidLink was founded in 2016. Before co-founding the company, CEO Peter Thompson spent more than 14 years with DataCore Software. He left DataCore in 2014 with the title of vice president of emerging and developing markets.


CEO: Jay Paulynice

Headquarters: Boston

Oatfin aims to help speed up cloud application delivery through self-service automation, according to the company website. Oatfin’s app checks code repositories such as GitHub and Gitlab, creates build artifacts such as Kubernetes and load balanced instances and pushes a user’s app to the cloud.

Oatfin is among the startups selected for the $5 million Google for Startups Black Founders Fund, which gives startups with Black leaders non-dilutive cash.

CEO Jay Paulynice co-founded the company in 2020. He previously held senior software engineer jobs at appraisal workflow technology company Reggora and autonomous personal finance management company Cinch Financial.

CEO: Idit Levine

Headquarters: Cambridge, Mass. is the maker of Gloo tools to help businesses coordinate configurations, load balance and accomplish other advanced traffic management needs that come from complex hybrid and multi-cloud environments.

Founded in 2017, offers tools that run in Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud, among other cloud vendors’ offerings.

In October, raised $135 million in Series C funding at a valuation of $1 billion, according to a company statement. The round was led by Altimeter Capital with participation from existing investors Redpoint Ventures and True Ventures. The round brought the company’s total funding raised to $171.5 million.

Founder and CEO Idit Levine previously worked at Dell EMC for more than two years. She left the company in 2017 with the title of chief technology officer for EMC’s cloud management division.


CEO: Kishore Gopalakrishna

Headquarters: Mountain View, Calif.

StarTree offers a fully managed cloud service for Apache Pinot that aims to deliver analytics insights. The company is working on adding anomaly detections and currently offer out-of-the-box identity and access management integration, self-service onboarding of streaming and batch data and other capabilities.

StarTree landed a $24 million Series A funding round this year to commercialize its cloud analytics-as-a-service platform built around Apache Pinot, a real-time distributed online analytical processing (OLAP) data store designed to answer OLAP queries with low latency.

The company’s founders are the creators of Apache Pinot who built and operated the platform at LinkedIn — where it powers more than 50 products — and Uber. The company was founded in 2018, according to Crunchbase.

StarTree ranked in CRN’s mid-year “10 hottest cloud computing startups of 2021” list as well.

CEO and co-founder Kishore Gopalakrishna previously worked at LinkedIn for more than eight years, according to his LinkedIn account. Gopalakrishna left LinkedIn in 2019 with the title of senior staff engineer.