SugarCRM raises $40M and shows 30% growth

SugarCRM, the open source CRM company, announced 15 consecutive quarters of growth, and posting a 30% year-over-year increase in revenue. In related news, the company has announced the completion of a $40 million equity investment by Goldman Sachs.
SugarCRM recently previewed Sugar 7,  its next release, at the company’s annual SugarCon user conference, and in recent months the company has released a new HTML5-based mobile spp, and new fully private cloud instance, for companies who are skittish about multi-tenant security.
I can’t help but contrast the growth of companies like SugarCRM, Salesforce, and Amazon, that embraced the promise of cloud computing early, the recent spate of bad news from Cisco (see Cisco announces 4,000 to be laid off, and no mention of collaboration), Microsoft (see Microsoft sees worst stock drop since 2000: Welcome to the post-PC era), IBM (IBM’s future in doubt, according to Credit Suisse), and most recently, HP. This week Meg Whitman shuffled the executive ranks and posted disappointing numbers, but unsurprising to anyone connecting the dots in this industry.
At the most fundamental level, the larger and older companies have been caught wrong-footed by a tectonic change in the industry. The speed at which foreground and background computing scale is changing blindsided these dinosaurs like a climate-busting meteor. The rise of smartphones and tablets is hollowing out the PC business (foreground computing scale explosion in our proximal, “mobile” devices), and at the same time the shift to cloud computing is destroying the vanity server business that all the oldsters are fight over.
HP’s numbers, for example, were down in almost all areas — personal computers, printers, servers, data storage and networking — which sounds like a litany of woes as opposed to exciting lines of business. HP announced a partnership with Google called SMB in a Box in June, selling Android tablets integrated with Google Apps for Business and other HP software and hardware integrations (see Microsoft hedges its bets on Office 365 and Surface). But that’s a small initiative in the midst of other crumbling business lines.
“Revenue growth across the company has been very weak,” said Toni Sacconaghi, a Sanford C. Bernstein analyst, and HP’s stock is one of the lowest valued stocks in large American companies, and this  “appears to reflect a permanently declining business.”
Just as buoyant cloud players like SugarCRM rise, so it seems that the leaden and slow-footed players — those that believed the enterprise architecture of PC/Server/Data Center was going to last another decade — are surely and swiftly falling.
I believe that many of these companies — especially Microsoft (see Microsoft will rise from the ashes of Windows and Surface failures) and IBM — have the software chops to transition the new architecture, one based on proximal foreground computing (so-called “mobile”) and background cloud computing, and social throughout. HP, though, is a long shot at best, like Cisco.

Twilio raises a $70M Series D as it weighs going public

Twilio acts as universal translator between the arcane language of telecom networks and the new speak of the developer world. Apparently VCs are buying into the power of its APIs, and they’re investing accordingly.

This is what Apple does with all of that cash

There are a lot of advantages to keeping a hoard of $81 billion in cash on hand, as Apple does. One in particular allows Apple to set itself apart from its competitors in a very real and tangible way: by dominating the global electronics supply chain.

Oops! TouchTunes funding details leaked on Google+

Music streaming company TouchTunes is said to have secured $45 million in Series E funding at a $300 million valuation. Although those are some pretty impressive figures, the news is perhaps most notable for how it’s been made public — through an apparently accidental email address typo.

What should Apple do with all that cash?

Apple put away $10.4 billion in cash during the most recent quarter, bringing its total cash and securities to $76.2 billion. Apple is extremely conservative about what it does with its money, which has become a little controversial. Here’s what people are saying.

Today in Cloud

Robin Wauters reports that Pure Storage has closed a Series C investment round worth $28 Million. This follows Fusion IO’s IPO and a $40 Million Series C for Violin Memory, both of which were reported last week. The company’s solution is still in private beta, but they describe their proposition as “a new class of enterprise storage that has been designed from the ground up to take full advantage of flash memory.” It’s difficult to assess how this compares to the competition until more information emerges, but it’s yet another example of the enthusiasm that investors are showing to the emerging solid state storage market.

Today in Cloud

Two startups making waves in the solid state storage market are talking money today. As Dean Takahashi over at VentureBeat reports, Violin Memory has closed a Series C investment round for $40Million, valuing the company at $440Million. Elsewhere, Leena Rao at TechCrunch notes suggests that Fusion IO has upped their pre-IPO price from $16 to $18 per share; valuing the company at a notional $1.4Billion. When Fusion announced their IPO back in March, Stacey Higginbotham suggested that the company was fishing for a buyer, but no one seems to have jumped (in public, at least) yet. Time is running out, and the price would appear to be heading upward. As Arik Hesseldahl notes at AllThings D, although the two companies are involved with solid state storage, they’re tackling different problems; “Where Fusion-io sells flash-based cards that make servers run faster… Violin sells flash-based memory arrays that are intended to replace the hard disk-based memory arrays that make enterprise applications run faster.” Flash, it would appear, remains hot.