Auckland software startup Portainer has a Forbes' ranking of the hottest cloud companies.
The Hobsonville Pt firm was named as one of 20 Rising Stars in cloud software - an adjunct to the iconic American business title's annual "The Cloud 100" list of the top privately-held companies in internet-based software.
Forbes says its top 100 list was ranked by growth, sales, valuation and culture criteria, plus a reputation score derived in consultation with 34 CEO judges and executives from their public-cloud-company peers.
The Rising Stars were defined as a weight-class as cloud software companies that had raised less than US$25 million.
Online payments platform Stripe is at No 1 on the 100 list - and is also the highest-valued startup in the US full-stop with its worth of some US$95 billion, Forbes says. No 2, Databricks, is valued at US$28b, which would place it about halfway down the S&P 500 if it were public.
No 3 is Australian online content creation firm Canva - one of only six companies of the 100 run by a woman). One of Canva's key backers, Sydney-based Blackbird Ventures, now has an office in New Zealand, and an NZ-focused fund backed by a $21.5m million contribution from Crown agency NZ Growth Capital Partners.
Canva's private-equity valuation has grown from US$6b to US$15b over the past year.
Portainer - at a much earlier stage of its life - has yet to reach those kinds of dizzying heights - but did recently raise $10m in a round led by Silicon Valley venture capital firm Bessemer Venture Partners (best known in NZ has an early supporter of Rocket Lab) and supported by local VC outfit Movac.
The young firm, founded by Neil Cresswell, makes "container" software that allows an app to be developed once, then ran anywhere, from a desktop to a server hosted in the cloud.
Cresswell earmarked funds from the raise, in part, for expanding staff from 30 to 50. Highly-skilled Kiwis returning home amid the pandemic are one of his key targets (read more about Portainer here).
Meanwhile, Bessemer now has its hands in another Kiwi pie. A firm backed by the Silicon Valley VC firm, DroneDeploy, revealed today it has taken over Auckland robotics specialist Rocos.