Cloud integrator Appirio is using today’s Salesforce.com Cloudforce conference here in San Francisco to announce the close of a $60 million round of Series D funding, led by General Atlantic with the participation of existing investors Sequoia Capital and GGV Capital. The money will go into new practice areas, new geographies and, yes, into acquisitions over the next several months. It’s all part of Appirio’s master plan to rule what it sees as the cloud-disrupted services market that’s coming.
I had the chance to talk with Appirio co-founder Navinder Singh ahead of this announcement, who highlighted the fact that no matter what else, the company is very much focusing on developing its integration technology. Part of that’s going to be organic, internal growth. Part of that is going to be the further maturation of and focus on its CloudSpokes developer competition community, to which Appirio routinely outsources interesting cloud challenges. And part of that is going to be snapping up other companies who are doing interesting things around the cloud and integration services.
As for new practice areas, Appirio says that it wants to expand its existing Salesforce.com, Google Apps and Workday partnerships to Amazon Web Services. Basically, Singh says that Appirio is already innovating around those cloud services, and it’s time to extend its approach to new business opportunities.
Meanwhile, as is customary with this kind of deal, General Atlantic operating partner (and former CIO of General Electric) Gary M. Reiner will be joining Appirio’s board of directors.
“Appirio is defining what a next-generation technology services provider will be in the era dominated by cloud solutions. The company’s unique combination of technology and crowdsourcing – along with their cloud focus and experienced team – has the potential to completely disrupt the $793 billion worldwide Global Systems Integrator market,” said Reiner in the press release.
I had to ask Singh his opinion on the merger between fellow cloud integrators Cloud Sherpas and GlobalOne earlier in March. In that light, Appirio’s plans to expand its business are well-timed, since the newly-formed Cloud Sherpas services titan will share its competencies in both Salesforce.com and Google Apps.
All the same, Singh says he’s excited for Cloud Sherpas’ move. Between Appirio raising $60 million and Cloud Sherpas growing even further, Singh says it’s a good time for the cloud services marketplace – and reiterated that it’s a bad time to be a global systems integrator.
“We’re as excited as we’ve ever been,” Singh says.