Service Provider Cloud

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.

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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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Alison_ Diana 5/6/2016 | 9:05:31 AM
Extension of the Parrtnership Interesting to see Ford and MS extend their partnership, but unsurprising given the two companies' long-lived collaboration. It makes a lot of sense, especially in this beginning age of IoT and smart cars. Ford is wise to recognize it cannot (and should not) redevelop the cloud. By partnering with MS, it can use its internal resources much more wisely. I'd expect we'll see similar partnerships across a slew of verticals.
Mitch Wagner 5/6/2016 | 10:51:03 AM
Re: Extension of the Parrtnership Ford does seem to be a leading example of an old line industrial company pivoting (so to speak) to become a tech leader. 
Joe Stanganelli 5/9/2016 | 8:31:07 AM
Re: Extension of the Parrtnership > "Ford is wise to recognize it cannot (and should not) redevelop the cloud."

Indeed, why reinvent the wheel?



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