Enterprise CTO’s have been selling the virtues of moving to the cloud for nearly a decade, but the process of making this transition a reality has always been more complicated than advertised. For starters, most businesses have invested piles of cash into on-site systems that they’re reluctant to put out to pasture. In many cases, various aspects of these systems are mission-critical and cannot be easily replaced or eliminated.
Enter SnapLogic, which is a widely-used solution for integrating legacy on-premise systems with modern cloud and SaaS solutions. The company does this, while also connecting different cloud services to each other, via standardized interactions which it calls “snaps.” Today, six year old SnapLogic closed a $20 million Series C round led by new investor Ignition Partners, with participation from Triangle Peak Partners, and existing investor Andreessen Horowitz.
“SnapLogic sits at the critical junction of two of the biggest trends in technology today: cloud computing and big data,” says Ignition Partners general partner Frank Artale. “No enterprise can fully harness big data without a scalable integration platform that combines data from both their cloud and on-premise applications.”
SnapLogic has often described itself as “the Switzerland of data,” acting as a conduit through which nearly any app can communicate uniformly. Among the hundreds of available snaps are those for Amazon EC2, Box.net, Oracle, Salesforce.com, SAP, Splunk, Shopify, and dozens of others, each priced from free to several thousand dollars. As Dhillon puts it, “The anchor tenants are there,” but the company aims to use the new funds get more granular and industry specific.
“This is a solution for enterprises heading to the cloud that has gone from nice to have to a must have,” says founder and CEO Gaurav Dhillon. “When companies were adding one cloud application, it was a nice. Now that they’re are adding multiple applications, it’s absolutely essential.”
There are a few analogs to SnapLogic in the consumer space as well, including most closely, IFTTT (If This Then That), which allows users to connect various cloud platforms like Facebook, Dropbox, Evernote, and Gmail to automate desired actions. SnapLogic takes an Apple-like approach, by allowing third-party developers to develop and list “snaps” for purchase its SnapStore. Users can also build their own proprietary connections and processes.
The company’s customers are primarily what it describes as Global 2000 companies, including the U.S. federal government, ING, Fox News, Pandora, Activision, and even Outback Steakhouse. While the initial audience within these organizations was the IT department, it’s quickly becoming HR, Marketing, Finance, and other business departments that simply need the information contained within corporate systems and need a straightforward way to get it out.
SnapLogic is not alone in the data integration industry, but its CEO calls the company the only independent, 100 percent focused participant. Competitors include Tibco, IBM and Oracle, as well as until recently smaller, mid-market-focused companies focused Boomi and Cast Iron, who are were acquired by Dell and IBM respectively.
This is not Dhillon’s first large startup success. The founder and CEO grew his previous venture Informatica from a garage project backed by a $75,000 small business grant from the federal Government to a publicly-traded company now valued at $5 billion – Dhillon left shortly after its 1999 IPO. Informatica succeeded by timing the move by large corporations away from mainframes towards PCs and distributed client server systems.
The inspiration for SnapLogic began similarly six years ago with belief that businesses would soon run on the light, flexible internet apps, rather than traditional, cumbersome enterprise software. With today’s newest round the company has raised a total of $34.8 million. Ask Dhillon, and this is little more than validation for its early success and the huge opportunity awaiting ahead.
Assuming he’s right, the visionary entrepreneur may be on his way to joining an elite list of founders who have created more than one billion dollar business. It seems that for Dhillon, lightning may, in fact, strike twice.