The Forbes Cloud 100 represents a who’s who of the biggest and best private companies in the cloud, but it doesn’t tell the whole story. Right behind this year’s winners is a new crop of underdogs, breakout up-and-comers in cloud computing who are looking to follow in their footsteps—or even come for their laurels. These are the Cloud 100 Rising Stars, 20 of the fastest-growing cloud companies that are still too small or too young for the main list, but not for long.
The up-and-coming startups on this year’s list averaged nearly $19 million in funding (well shy of the $380 million average of those dominating the top spots on the Cloud 100), with headquarters in places ranging from Israel to Atlanta. Armed with abundant talent and building up buzz, these companies are poised to be the next big things in cloud. They won’t be the first, as their Rising Stars predecessors have already started to join the main ranks. From 2017’s list, workplace automator Zapier and image service Cloudinary both broke into the big leagues this year, joining previous Rising Star alumni including Algolia, Canvaand Outreach.
Several of this year’s Rising Stars batch are familiar faces to Forbes. Sajith Wickramasekara of Benchling, a 30 Under 30 Healthcare list alum from 2016, is working to streamline research and development work for biotech companies. At Deputy, Forbes contributor Ashik Ahmed is creating a set of tools that can make workforce management easier than ever.
Don’t mistake small size for small ambition. Gong.io uses AI-based speech analysis software to help sales teams optimize their pitches. And AppZen,is employing AI, too, this time to automatically process the most dreaded of forms: the expense report. At Socure, CEO Tom Thimot and cofounders Sunil Madhu and Jonny Ayers are using identity-verification software to create new opportunities for “credit invisible” people such as immigrants and young adults.
Whether it’s in large numbers of users such as at Calendly, a bootstrapped scheduling wizard with two million monthly users, or in data like at Scalyr, which is crunching mountains of server log data to keep IT operations flowing smoothly, the 2018 Rising Stars are already punching above their weight. Keep an eye on these companies for a glimpse of the Cloud 100 leaders of coming years.
See the full Rising Stars list below. Check out the rest of the Cloud 100 package here.
by: Christian Kreznar, Forbes staff