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OpenStack startup Mirantis gets $100 million in venture-capital funding

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October 22, 2014

We've learned this morning that three-year-old OpenStack startup Mirantis received $100 million in venture-capital funding.

The series-B cash investment came from Intel Capital, Ericsson and Sapphire Ventures (formerly SAP Ventures) and a few other seed investors.

Mirantis was founded in 2011, and until now, had $20 million in the bank from other venture capital deals.

Mirantis offers software, services, various testing, certification, training, and support services to enterprise customers running OpenStack.

Mirantis' flavor of the software is the basis of OpenStack Express, the firm’s hosted cloud service. The new company claims to have helped more than 130 customers implement OpenStack, from Ericsson, Expedia and PayPal to Huawei and NTT Docomo.

Increasingly, it’s the service-provider field where Mirantis has found a niche-- it claims to be the largest provider of OpenStack products and services for network carriers, such as Orange, Comcast and Tata Communications.

Meanwhile, Ericsson has a $30 million five-year deal with Mirantis to license the company’s software. Mirantis is one of the top-five contributors to the OpenStack project, and will use the new cash to double its engineering efforts.

And a hundred million dollars isn't too shabby for a series-B round. Venture-capital funding is edging up, with Alfresco and Xamarin taking about $50 million each this year.

Bagging double reveals that Mirantis's negotiation powers and/or the state of the OpenStack market is growing rapidly. Venture capital investors couldn’t be more optimistic about the cloud.

But the new money also tells another story-- it takes a lot of expensive work to develop, install and configure OpenStack clouds-– even seasoned IT veterans in the service-provider segment lack the skills needed to weave OpenStack, it would appear.

The software is well known in the IT industry for being very difficult to set up, run and maintain on a consistent basis. One telling comment in the announcement came from a real-world customer of Mirantis-- Home Depot.

Nicholas Summers, Home Depot's cloud architect called Mirantis's flavor of OpenStack the only “truly hardened and commercially-supported OpenStack distribution” that you can just download, install using an intuitive user interface, and be up and running in no time.

“With everyone else, you either get raw upstream code or need to engage in an elaborate sales discussion before even getting your hands on the commercial version,” he said.

Source: Mirantis Solutions.

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