Good morning, Data Sheet readers. Steel yourself for another Apple product launch weekend frenzy, as the Apple Watch countdown winds down. The founder of Omniture just raised another $200 million for his latest startup, Domo. Hewlett-Packard will leave public cloud services to competitors. By the way, happy Internet of Things Day. (This is actually the fifth one!)
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TOP OF MIND
Andreessen talks bubble, diversity and bright spots. Wondering why more tech companies haven’t merged or gone public over the past few years? They don’t have the stomach for it. “We’re in this environment of extreme risk aversion, and people are worried about returning cash to investors,” venture capitalist Marc Andreessen told Fortune senior editor Dan Primack at Fortune’s Brainstorm Tech dinner last night in San Francisco. Here’s more from the interview.
This time, Hillary isn’t taking chances on tech. After the firestorm about her misguided email strategy, Reuters reports that the likely 2016 Democratic presidential candidate has hired one of Google’s civic computing specialists to work on her campaign.
Has HP given up on cloud computing? Not really, but the company apparently is done competing with Amazon, Google and Microsoft for share in public cloud services. “We thought people would rent or buy computing from us,” Bill Hilf, the head of Hewlett-Packard’s cloud business told the New York Times. “It turns out that it makes no sense for us to go head-to-head.”
No mere smack on the wrist. AT&T was fined $25 million over personal data stolen from call centers in Mexico, Colombia, and the Philippines. The FTC estimates approximately 280,000 records, including social security numbers and account-related data, were snatched and resold by at least two employees.
Cloud security specialist Palerra raises $17 million—and 'coolness'
Robert Hackett is Fortune’s correspondent for corporate and cyber security. Keep abreast of his coverage.
In addition to raising a $17 million Series B round of funding, the startup—formerly known as Apprity before leaving stealth in November—has gotten another feather in its cap. It has been named one of research firm Gartner’s “cool vendors in risk management,” along with two other firms: Australia-based Camms and CXOWARE in Spokane, Wash.
The Gartner tout is as much an endorsement of an emerging company’s technology as it is of its intangible aspects, like culture and success. “They’re a signal of what’s coming in the future,” says Gartner VP Michele Cantara in a video explaining the distinction.
Palerra’s product—a browser-based “software as a service” platform that detects threats and anomalies and automatically works to mitigate them—is called LORIC. The technology uses data modeling to help manage users’ access to cloud services such as Amazon and Microsoft Office 365. By learning employees’ behavior and setting privileges, it aims to quickly detect and respond to suspicious activity.
Palerra co-founder and CEO Rohit Gupta tells Fortune that the company’s cloud-based automation is the company’s key selling point. “Emergency responders to critical situations like cyclones and stuff have automated procedures that kickstart under certain conditions,” he said. “Security is no different.”
“When you deal with velocity of threat proliferation,” he said, “automation is a more elegant way to do it.”
The company’s latest funding round was led by August Capital, a new investor. Other participators in the funding round include current investors Norwest Venture Partners, Wing Venture Capital, and Engineering Capital.
August Capital general partner Vivek Mehra, who previously invested in the online fraud prevention platform ThreatMetrix among other security startups, has also joined Palerra’s board of directors. Mehra says he is impressed with both Palerra’s product and its founders: Gupta and CTO Ganesh Kirti. “We like the tech and the team,” he told Fortune. “They have deep experience based on what they had done at Oracle.”
Founded in summer 2013, the company now called Palerra has collectively raised $25 million so far. At the beginning of 2014, it received an $8 million Series A round of funding from investors including Promod Haque (at Norwest) and Gaurav Garg (at Wing Capital), who also notably funded the recently public security companies FireEye and MobileIron.
Gupta described the Series B injection and the Gartner recognition as “a great shot in arm for the company.” He added, “it allows us to continue investing in the sales and marketing side of things as we expand our customer base and the addressable market we’re going after and as we continue to innovate.”
Gupta says he plans to use the money to double the team’s headcount (currently it has around 60 employees) by the end of the year.
VENTURE CAPITAL DEALS GALORE
Omniture’s founder snags another $200 million for his latest venture, Domo. Josh James and company have been pretty quiet since raising $125 million early in 2014 under what can only be described as extreme circumstances.
Now, the business intelligence company has closed another $200 million led by BlackRock, boosting its valuation to $2 billion. The other investors in this round were Capital Group, Glynn Capital Management, and GGV Capital.
Domo’s mission: provide simple business analytics you don’t need to be a data scientist to decipher. It has already reached the 1,000-customer threshold, including SAB Miller, National Geographic, Sage, and eBay.
For this startup, security isn’t just black and white. The line between threats and acceptable activity is rarely clearly delineated. Niara has closed $20 million in Series B financing led by Venrock to help tell the difference.
Aviso wants to help your team “crush the quarter.” It uses predictive analytics to offer insight into operations and forecasts. The company’s $15 million Series B round was co-led by Scale Venture Partners and Next World Capital.
Marketo founder raises $10 million for B2B marketing startup. Engagio, which hasn’t even reached its beta stage of development, is building a platform for personalizing “account-based” outreach.
ALSO WORTH SHARING
Haven’t we already played this level? Zynga co-founder Marcus Pincus has deposed the successor he named to reenergize the struggling social gaming company less than two years ago. The company’s stock slid 31% over the past year. It lost more ground after the announcement.
Now fly this. DJI, the self-proclaimed (and currently de facto) market leader in hobbyist drones, just introduced a model capable of commercial applications. The giveaway? A camera that can capture high-end 4K video and still images as large as 12 megapixels.
Friendster founder back with news app. Jonathan Abrams introduced social networking before it was a “thing.” His latest platform, Nuzzel, curates article feeds based on your friend lists.
YouTube thinks you should be able to skip commercials, but only for a price.
Dell: Let’s give tablets another shot. Its latest product converts from personal to professional applications more seamlessly. Because, after all, “work and play aren’t separate anymore.”
Expect lower IT spending this year, but that’s mainly because of the strong dollar.
MY FORTUNE BOOKMARKS
Will appointing the first female ref help clean up the NFL’s reputation? by Kristen Bellstrom
This company just sold 2 million phones in half-a-day by Benjamin Snyder
How Fatherly plans to corner the market on millennial dads by Kristen Bellstrom
ONE MORE THING
For teens, it isn’t just about Instagram. New research from Pew suggests teenagers are using a larger variety of social media platforms than ever. Plus, Facebook is cool again.
MARK YOUR CALENDAR
Knowledge15: Automate IT services. (April 19 – 24; Las Vegas)
RSA Conference: The world talks security. (April 20 – 24; San Francisco)
Forrester’s Forum for Technology Leaders: Win in the age of the customer. (April 27 - 28; Orlando, Fla.)
MicrosoftIgnite: Business tech extravaganza. (May 4 – 8; Chicago)
NetSuite SuiteWorld: Cloud ERP strategy. (May 4 – 7; San Jose, California)
EMC World: Data strategy. (May 4 - 7; Las Vegas)
SAPPHIRE NOW: The SAP universe. (May 5 – 7; Orlando, Florida)
Gartner Digital Marketing Conference: Reach your destination faster. (May 5 – 7; San Diego)
Cornerstone Convergence: Connect, collaborate. (May 11 - 13; Los Angeles)
Cloud Foundry Summit: Open source development. (May 11 - 12; Santa Clara, California)
Annual Global Technology, Media and Telecom Conference: JP Morgan’s 43rd invite-only event. (May 18 - 20; Boston)
Signal: The modern communications conference. (May 19 - 20; San Francisco)
MuleSoft Connect: Tie together apps, data and devices. (May 27 - 29; San Francisco)
MongoDB World: Scale the universe. (June 1 - 2; New York)
HP Discover: Trends and technologies. (June 2 - 4; Las Vegas)
Hadoop Summit San Jose: Mainstreaming adoption. (June 9 - 11; San Jose, California)
Red Hat Summit: Energize your enterprise. (June 23 - 26; Boston)
Brainstorm Tech: Fortune’s invite-only gathering of thinkers, influencers and entrepreneurs. (July 13 - 15; Aspen, Colorado)
LinuxCon North America: All about open source. (Aug. 17 - 19; Seattle)
VMworld: The virtualization ecosystem. (Aug. 30 – Sept. 3, 2015; San Francisco)
Dreamforce: The Salesforce community. (Sept. 15 - 18; San Francisco)
BoxWorks 2015: Cloud collaboration solutions. (Sept. 28 - 30; San Francisco)
Workday Rising: Meet and share. (Sept. 28 - Oct. 1; Las Vegas)
HP Engage: Big data, big engagement. (Oct. 4 - 6; San Diego)
Gartner Symposium ITxpo: CIOs and senior IT executives. (Oct. 4 - 8; Orlando, Florida)
Oracle OpenWorld: Customer and partner conference. (Oct. 25 - 29; San Francisco)