Microsoft & Ford Fund Cloud Startup Pivotal

Ford is using Pivotal cloud software and services to extend into offering mobile services for transportation.

Mitch Wagner, Executive Editor, Light Reading

May 5, 2016

3 Min Read
Microsoft & Ford Fund Cloud Startup Pivotal

Microsoft and Ford are joining a $253 million Series C funding round for Pivotal, a startup building software development tools and methodologies for the cloud and big data.

Ford is leading the round, in conjunction with Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT), a new investor. Also joining the round are existing investors General Electric Co. (NYSE: GE), EMC Corp. (NYSE: EMC) and VMware Inc. (NYSE: VMW), Pivotal said in a statement.

Pivotal recently announced first-quarter 2016 revenues of $83 million, up 56% year-over-year, with annualized recurring revenue of $116 million effective March 31, more than double year-over-year for Pivotal subscription software products, Pivotal Cloud Foundry and Pivotal Big Data Suite.

Founded in 2013, Pivotal has more than 2,000 employees and 17 offices worldwide. Its pitch is that it can allow any company to run with the agility of Google (Nasdaq: GOOG), Uber or any venture-backed startup.

Pivotal's software and services are designed to help enterprises transform their businesses using cloud and agile development. Pivotal claims to work with seven of the top ten US banks, three of the top five global auto manufacturers and five of the top ten telecom companies. Pivotal says it works with one third of the Fortune 100 companies, including GE, Ford, Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ), Home Depot, Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK), Humana, Lockheed Martin Corp. and Allstate.

Ford is investing $182.2 million in Pivotal, and CIO Marcy Klevorn will join the Pivotal board.

The Ford investment is part of Ford's strategy to move beyond vehicle manufacture to also lead with Ford Smart Mobility -- connectivity, mobility, autonomous vehicles, the customer experience and data and analytics, the company said in a statement.

Want to know more about enterprise cloud? Visit the Light Reading Enterprise Cloud community.

For example, Ford used Pivotal to develop FordPass, a consumer cloud platform that will offer new services such as remote vehicular access through a smartphone app, and mobility services such as parking and car sharing.

Ford has been using Pivotal for its product development and IT teams.

Microsoft, meanwhile, is looking to run Java applications using Pivotal Cloud Foundry on Azure.

In March, Pivotal announced a partnership with Volkswagen AG, for joint development of software and mobility technology at Volkswagen's Berlin-based Digital Lab.

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— Mitch Wagner, Follow me on TwitterVisit my LinkedIn profile, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading.

About the Author(s)

Mitch Wagner

Executive Editor, Light Reading

San Diego-based Mitch Wagner is many things. As well as being "our guy" on the West Coast (of the US, not Scotland, or anywhere else with indifferent meteorological conditions), he's a husband (to his wife), dissatisfied Democrat, American (so he could be President some day), nonobservant Jew, and science fiction fan. Not necessarily in that order.

He's also one half of a special duo, along with Minnie, who is the co-habitor of the West Coast Bureau and Light Reading's primary chewer of sticks, though she is not the only one on the team who regularly munches on bark.

Wagner, whose previous positions include Editor-in-Chief at Internet Evolution and Executive Editor at InformationWeek, will be responsible for tracking and reporting on developments in Silicon Valley and other US West Coast hotspots of communications technology innovation.

Beats: Software-defined networking (SDN), network functions virtualization (NFV), IP networking, and colored foods (such as 'green rice').

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