Category: Cloud

A final goodbye


This post is by Om Malik from On my Om


A week ago, when I sent this text message, little did I know that this would be the last text message I would ever send to someone who has been a constant in my life for around two decades. I knew his family was away in India, so he might be flying solo. And would be available. And he was! 

We went to San Ramon for dinner. On the way, we talked about everything. He regaled me with the story of a food adventure to the same place with his small, beautiful family. He had some classic dance music tunes mixed with Indian classics and 80s favorites. I told him that his favorite song, Donna Summers’ I Feel Love, was just named #1 on Rolling Stones’ top 200 dance tracks. 

“Obviously,” he said. And we cracked up. 

Then we got busy eating — the Indo-Chinese food was spicy. I said so.

“You are not really Indian, Om-jee.” And cracked up at his own joke. I joined in.

He was one of the few people I spoke to in Panjabi. As was usually the case, we jumped around topics. We discussed the merits of a new fountain pen paper, the movie called 1983, and networking and cloud technologies. He railed against crypto –even though I argued that skepticism shouldn’t cloud optimism. I didn’t win the argument. I never did — at least when it came to technology. 

We were driving back to San Francisco when his wife called from her home (Read more...)

AWS: Powering the Internet and Amazon’s Profits


This post is by Aran Ali from Visual Capitalist


This graphic shows the surge in AWS profits which now represent 74% of Amazon's total profits

The Briefing

  • Cloud computing has become a hugely important element of Amazon’s business
  • In 2021, AWS accounted for 13% of Amazon’s revenue, but clocks in nearly three-quarters of their operating profit

AWS: Powering the Internet and Amazon’s Profits

The Amazon growth story has been a remarkable one so far.

On the top line, the company has grown every single year since its inception. Even in going back to 2004, Amazon generated a much more modest $6.9 billion in revenue compared to the massive $469 billion for 2021.

Most of these sales come from their retail and ecommerce operations, which the company has come to be known for. However, on the bottom line, the source of profit paints a completely different picture. That’s because 74% of Amazon’s operating profit comes from Amazon Web Services (AWS).

Here’s a closer look at the financials around Amazon and AWS:

YearAWS Operating Profit ($B)Total Operating Profit ($B)AWS % of Operating ProfitRevenue ($B)
2021$18.5$24.874%$469.8
2020$13.5$22.959%$386.1
2019$9.2$14.563%$280.5
2018$7.2$12.458%$232.8

Ultimately, the data suggests that the cloud business has been, and possibly will always remain, a higher margin business and consistent profit center in comparison to ecommerce and the physical distribution of goods.

A Glance at AWS

AWS is Amazon’s cloud computing service that provides the critical infrastructure for an assortment of applications like data storage and networking. With this, they help fuel over a million organizations including (Read more...)

Supercloud: What is it?


This post is by Om Malik from On my Om


Charles Fitzgerald, a good friend, a skeptic of all cloud-hype writes about the cloud (and related technologies) on his blog, Platformonomics. Lately, there has been a lot of noise around something called the “supercloud.” I have been bemused by the whole debate around “supercloud.” Charles in a two-part series peels the onion and has come to an astute conclusion: “‘supercloud’ is still not a thing that you could pick out of a police lineup.”

FWIW, during my professional writing days, I simply hated jargon and worked hard to explain things in plain everyday English. Sadly, we don’t see that approach when it comes to technology these days.

Read article on Charles Fitzgerald/Platformonomics

Fivetran hauls in $565M on $5.6B valuation, acquires competitor HVR for $700M



Fivetran, the data connectivity startup, had a big day today. For starters it announced a $565 million investment on $5.6 billion valuation, but it didn’t stop there. It also announced its second acquisition this year, snagging HVR, a data integration competitor that had raised over $50M, for $700 million in cash and stock.

The company last raised a $100 million Series C on a $1.2 billion valuation, increasing the valuation by over 5x. As with that Series C, Andreessen Horowitz was back leading the round with participation from other double dippers General Catalyst, CEAS Investments, Matrix Partners and other unnamed firms or individuals. New investors ICONIQ Capital, D1 Capital Partners and YC Continuity also came along for the ride. The company reports it has now raised $730 million.

The HVR acquisition represents a hefty investment for the startup, grabbing a company for a price that is almost equal to all the money it has raised to date, but it provides a way to expand its market quickly by buying a competitor. Earlier this year Fivetran acquired Teleport Data as it continues to add functionality and customers via acquisition.

“The acquisition — a cash and stock deal valued at $700 million — strengthens Fivetran’s market position as one of the data integration leaders for all industries and all customer types,” the company said in a statement.

While that may smack of corporate marketing speak, there is some truth (Read more...)

Logistics startup Stord raises $90M in Kleiner Perkins-led round, becomes a unicorn and acquires a company



When Kleiner Perkins led Stord’s $12.4 million Series A in 2019, its founders were in their early 20s and so passionate about their startup that they each dropped out of their respective schools to focus on growing the business.

Fast-forward two years and Stord — an Atlanta-based company that has developed a cloud supply chain — is raising more capital in a round again led by Kleiner Perkins.

This time, Stord has raised $90 million in a Series D round of funding at a post-money valuation of $1.125 billion — more than double the $510 million that the company was valued at when raising $65 million in a Series C financing just six months ago.

In fact, today’s funding marks Stord’s third since early December of 2020, when it raised its Series B led by Peter Thiel’s Founders Fund, and brings the company’s total raised since its 2015 inception to $205 million.

Besides Kleiner Perkins, Lux Capital, D1 Capital, Palm Tree Crew, BOND, Dynamo Ventures, Founders Fund, Lineage Logistics and Susa Ventures also participated in the Series D financing. In addition, Michael Rubin, Fanatics founder and founder of GSI Commerce; Carlos Cashman, CEO of Thrasio; Max Mullen, co-founder of Instacart; and Will Gaybrick, CPO at Stripe, put money in the round.

Founders Sean Henry, 24, and Jacob Boudreau, 23, met while Henry was at Georgia Tech and Boudreau was in online classes at Arizona State (ASU) but running his own business, a software development firm, in Atlanta.

Over time, Stord has (Read more...)

DigitalOcean enhances serverless capabilities with Nimbella acquisition



As developers look for ways to simplify how they create software, serverless solutions, which enable them to write code without worrying about the underlying infrastructure required to run their applications, is becoming increasingly popular. DigitalOcean announced today that it is enhancing its existing offering in this area with the acquisition of serverless startup Nimbella. The companies did not share the terms of the deal.

With Nimbella, the company is getting a platform for building serverless applications that is built on the open source container orchestration platform, Kubernetes and Apache OpenWhisk, which is itself an open source serverless development platform.

DigitalOcean CEO Yancey Spruill, who took over two years ago, refers to Nimbella’s capabilities as Function as a Service with the goal being to simplify serverless development in an open source context for its target customers.”Serverless kinds of capabilities are taking a whole level of the infrastructure burden away from developers and businesses and we absorb that. We’ll allow our customers to have more configurability around the tools, which just removes burdens for them and allows them to go faster,” he said.

In practical terms, Nimbella CEO Anshu Agarwal says that means they are providing a specific set of tools to build sophisticated serverless applications and connect to other DigitalOcean services. “The capabilities that we will be adding to DigitalOcean portfolio are a fast solution, a function as a service solution that also integrates with the underlying DigitalOcean services [like] managed databases, storage and other services that make it (Read more...)

Extra Crunch roundup: Toast and Freshbook S-1s, pre-pitch tips, flexible funding lessons



The digital transformation currently sweeping society has likely reached your favorite local restaurant.

Since 2013, Boston-based Toast has offered bars and eateries a software platform that lets them manage orders, payments and deliveries.

Over the last year, its customers have processed more than $38 billion in gross payment volume, so Alex Wilhelm analyzed the company’s S-1 for The Exchange with great interest.

“Toast was last valued at just under $5 billion when it last raised, per Crunchbase data,” he writes. “And folks are saying that it could be worth $20 billion in its debut. Does that square with the numbers?”


Full Extra Crunch articles are only available to members.
Use discount code ECFriday to save 20% off a one- or two-year subscription.


Airbnb, DoorDash and Coinbase each debuted at past Y Combinator Demo Days; as of this writing, they employ a combined 10,000 people.

Today and tomorrow, TechCrunch reporters will cover the proceedings at YC’s Summer 20201 Demo Day. In addition to writing up founder pitches, they’ll also rank their favorites.

Even remotely, I can feel a palpable sense of excitement radiating from our team — anything can happen at YC Demo Day, so sign up for Extra Crunch to follow the action.

Thanks very much for reading; I hope you have an excellent week.

Walter Thompson
Senior Editor, TechCrunch
@yourprotagonist

How Amazon EC2 grew from a notion into a foundational element of cloud computing

Image Credits: Ron Miller/TechCrunch

In August 2006, AWS activated (Read more...)

Databricks raises $1.6B at $38B valuation as it blasts past $600M ARR



Databricks this morning confirmed earlier reports that it was raising new capital at a higher valuation. The data- and AI-focused company has secured a $1.6 billion round at a $38 billion valuation, it said. Bloomberg first reported last week that Databricks was pursuing new capital at that price.

The Series H was led by Counterpoint Global, a Morgan Stanley fund. Other new investors included Baillie Gifford, UC Investments and ClearBridge. A grip of prior investors also kicked in cash to the round.

The new funding brings Databricks’ total private funding raised to $3.5 billion. Notably, its latest raise comes just seven months after the late-stage startup raised $1 billion on a $28 billion valuation. Its new valuation represents paper value creation in excess of $1 billion per month.

The company, which makes open source and commercial products for processing structured and unstructured data in one location, views its market as a new technology category. Databricks calls the technology a data “lakehouse,” a mashup of data lake and data warehouse.

Databricks CEO and co-founder Ali Ghodsi believes that its new capital will help his company secure market leadership.

For context, since the 1980s, large companies have stored massive amounts of structured data in data warehouses. More recently, companies like Snowflake and Databricks have provided a similar solution for unstructured data called a data lake.

In Ghodsi’s view, combining structured and unstructured data in a single place with the ability for customers to execute data science and business-intelligence work (Read more...)

Adobe buying Frame.io in $1.28B deal



Adobe announced today it is acquiring Frame.io, a video review and collaboration platform used by over a million customers, for $1.275 billion in cash.

Founded in 2014 by post-production company owner Emery Wells and technologist John Traver, New York-based Frame.io was created to solve the workflows challenges filmmakers faced in their daily lives. 

Today, the Frame.io platform helps creative professionals streamline the video creation process by centralizing media assets, including dailies, scripts, storyboards, work-in-progress, and more, while also allowing for frame-accurate feedback and comments, annotations, and real-time approvals. The company additionally touts faster upload speeds than other cloud hosting services, like Vimeo, Box, Dropbox, and others.

Frame.io has raised $90 million in venture funding over its lifetime, and in November 2019, announced a $50 million Series C led by Insight Partners that included participation from Accel, FirstMark, SignalFire, and Shasta Ventures. Accel led the company’s seed and Series A rounds in 2015.

Adobe said the combination of its creative software, including Premiere Pro and After Effects video editing products, and Frame.io’s review and approval functionality would “deliver a collaboration platform that powers the video editing process.” The Frame.io web platform was designed to be a part of its customer’s existing processes, by integrating with non-linear editing systems (NLEs) such as like Adobe Premiere Pro. Such integrations allow editors to upload directly to Frame.io, then organize and share their products both internally and with external clients.

“Whether it’s the (Read more...)