Cloudability, which helps customers track public cloud costs across service providers, has announced the close of an $8.7 million round of Series A funding, led by the Foundry Group. Other participants in this round include 500 Startups, Trinity Ventures and advertising firm Wieden + Kennedy.
Mat Ellis, CEO and co-founder of Cloudability, refers to his company’s offering as the Google Analytics of cloud service spending. In short, Cloudability offers free, pro, and enterprise tiers for cloud usage monitoring across over 100 SaaS, PaaS and IaaS vendors, including Amazon Web Services, Rackspace Hosting, Zendesk, Google Apps, Heroku and Akamai.
The funding is going to go into expanding Cloudability’s team, continue to offer a free version, and grow its list of compatible vendors. In late 2011, Cloudability raised $1.1 million in seed funding, bringing its total funding to just shy of $10 million.
For the CFO, it’s a potentially vital tool in the age of cloud transformation. The problem – from a financial standpoint – with the cloud is that since usage is generally elastic and billing is generally use-based, it’s easy to accidentally overrun your budget if you’re not careful. Cloudability’s deep drilling capabilities into costs and cloud accounts can give IT a way for the CFO to keep track and have some assurance that budgets are being kept, removing a slowdown point for cloud adoption.
The metaphor Ellis uses is one of power. Specifically, just as large utility companies supplanted in-house generators and power plants as the primary source of electricity around the turn of the century, large cloud service providers are offering a more efficient, more flexible, cheaper and usage-billed model for IT. And in the year 2012, IT is just as vital to a business as electricity.
And to hear Ellis tell it, the private cloud vs. public cloud debate is a red herring. Some enterprises are always going to want to keep some of their IT assets behind their own firewall.
But at the same time, Ellis says, the cloud enables a new kind of business agility. Silicon Valley poster children Instagram and Pinterest couldn’t possibly have existed before the advent of scalable cloud infrastructure. And it’s time that enterprises bring some of that back home.
“The cloud makes for better business,” Ellis says.
And Cloudability is designed to help put a dollar value on the transformation to a better business. Ellis sees every cloud-friendly customer as having an Amazon Web Services account, a Cloudability account, and any number of associated cloud services, all of which use Cloudability’s portal as a single point of insight into cost and expense management.
Overall, this round of funding speaks to a growing need for more insight into the cloud transformative process – and the need for IT to know everything about how services are getting consumed on their end.
Over at TechCrunch, SiliconANGLE alumni and former enterprise writer Alex Williams has some interesting insight on what this funding round means for Portland’s tech scene.