Mirantis hopes massive $100M round will pave the road to IPO-ville

OpenStack cloud purveyor Mirantis has snagged an impressive $100 million in fresh Series B venture money to fuel its ambitions to go public. That brings total funding for the Mountain View, Calif.-based company to $120 million.

The goal is for [company]Mirantis[/company] to attain the customer base and consistency to have an IPO in 2016, CEO Adrian Ionel said in an interview. If that happens, Mirantis could be the first OpenStack-based public offering, aka the [company]Red Hat[/company] of OpenStack.

Founded four years ago as an OpenStack-oriented systems integrator,  Mirantis last year changed course and came out with its own OpenStack distribution. Ionel characterized what some would call a pivot to a natural evolution. “We never intended to be a service  provider but we knew we needed experience in big implementations so we went out and got them,” he said. Mirantis claims blue-chip customers including [company]Cisco[/company], [company]Comcast[/company], [company]DirectTV[/company], [company]Ericsson[/company], [company]Expedia[/company], [company]NASA[/company], [company]PayPal[/company] and [company]Workday[/company].

Mirantis CEO Adrian Ionel

Mirantis CEO Adrian Ionel

The company’s elevator pitch could be that it is one of the few OpenStack vendors without another agenda — in selling networking, compute or storage hardware — something that [company]HP[/company], [company]IBM[/company], [company]EMC[/company], [company]Cisco[/company] cannot claim.

When the company started out the idea was to devise an infrastructure that “would look a lot more like what Facebook, AWS and Google run, and a lot less like what Bank of America ran ten years ago,” Ionel said. “We wanted a scale-out commodity-based infrastructure where all the intelligence is in software running on uniform, cheap hardware.”

This round was led by [company]Insight Venture Partners[/company] with contributions from August Capital, Intel, WestSummit Capital, Ericsson and SAP. It comes atop a split $20 million Series A round from Dell, Intel, Red Hat, WestSummit, Ericsson and SAP.

Word on the street was that Red Hat has soured on Mirantis since it started competing with Red Hat for enterprise accounts. Last month, I reported  that Mirantis wanted to buy out Red Hat’s stake, something that apparently has not happened. However, Red Hat is not listed as one of the investors in this new round.