Cloudera Scores Massive $65m Series E Funding – Can They Keep Soaring?

Cloudera, announced that they just closed $65 million series E financing.

Majority of the funding will be use to try to continue to expand their lead in the Hadoop market that they pioneered.   The working capital will be used to expand their sales and marketing capability and international footprint.  According to Cloudera they are expanding internationally as the big focus.

The new $65 million was led by Accel Partners, with support from Greylock Partners, Ignition Partners, In-Q-Tel, and Meritech Capital Partners.

“Big Data continues to fuel significant new business opportunities and revenue streams for our enterprise customers, spurring the need for new, large-scale data management solutions that can meet the needs of today’s demanding enterprise workloads,” said Mike Olson, CEO at Cloudera.

“This new investment will speed the expansion of our sales and support operations to meet increasing enterprise demand for our real-time, Hadoop-based platform, as we scale to address the enormity of this global market opportunity. At the same time, we remain unwavering in our commitment to the delivery of groundbreaking innovation across the Cloudera software platform and the open source Apache Hadoop stack. The way forward is clear and our mission is simple: we will shape and define the next generation of Big Data management solutions for the enterprise.”

Growth is Hard

Cloudera has been executing at an extremely high level for such a long time.  My question is can they continue.  Startups that experience rapid growth like Cloudera are at risk of “blowing up” from not using the “rocket fuel” properly.  Cloudera over the past year has seen a cast of new characters come in to the company.   Moreover, some of the early employees have recently left to go to startups which I don’t see as a red flag because it is natural for the startup guys who don’t like to be with structure.  Although turnover is happening Cloudera,  adding new employees fast at all level of the company presents a big danger.  Can the culture of the original Cloudera survive or do they turn into a big company too early.  With all the competition in big data for talent I’m sure this is a top priority for the management team at Cloudera.  The people side of the business is more important now than ever.

Rapid growth can kill a company or define it.  We will be watching and rooting for Cloudera, Hortonworks, and the other open source Hadoop companies.