art_blog_v4As you’ve probably already seen, we announced a $30M round of funding yesterday. The funding process was a great opportunity to really sharpen how we think and talk about our goals as a business, and I wanted to share some of those ideas here.

First, a quick recap on what the $30M means from a financial standpoint. This round brings our total capital raised to $67M. That’s enough to scale a company, if used wisely, while ensuring meaningful returns for our employees and investors. At the same time, as Silicon Valley Business Journal wrote:

When it raised its $30 million Series B round a year ago, the nearly sevenfold increase in its valuation was one of the biggest step-ups of the year. This year’s round isn’t that big of a jump, but it is up about 70 percent and gives the company a $245 million valuation. It’s definitely not one of the “down rounds” talked about so much lately.

I think it’s interesting to look at who participated with us, too. Our existing investors–Sutter Hill, Index Ventures and Intel Capital–continue to support us, which is a great sign as they know what is really going on inside the company.  At this stage of a company you often can choose between the more traditional venture capital community or look for investors that have more direct selling and delivery interaction with customers.

We decided on a bit of a hybrid.  Our two lead investors this round were Google Ventures, now known as GV, and Cisco. Google is known for placing long-term bets in all kinds of revolutionary segments, and they have deep expertise in both public and private cloud. Cisco has their finger on the pulse of the needs and pains of the enterprise IT market like few other companies. Our other investors, Thomvest Ventures, Northgate Capital and InstantScale, each represent the interests of other segments of the IT buying community, including finance, telcos and the channel. We felt that this group of investors would provide us a really strong sounding board and network as we grow our business, while also lending a powerful validation of our approach to customers we were trying to reach.

And that’s really what this round is about for Skyport: we’re investing some of it in R&D, but a lot of is going into building out our Go-To-Market and importantly, our Customer Support resources and talent. The large customers we have in production have legitimately high expectations of us–they’re hosting some of their most important applications on SkySecure. We intend to make sure that they, and new customers joining them, experience excellence from our first engagements onward.

-Art Gilliland