A Truck Tracker, A Coder Toolbox, And A Unicorn From Down Under: Inside This Year’s Cloud 100

Illumio cofounder and CEO Patrick Rubin, Canva cofounder Melanie Perkins, Monday.com cofounder and CEO Roy Mann and GitLab CEO Sid Sijbrandij.

Illumio cofounder and CEO Andrew Rubin, Canva cofounder Melanie Perkins, Monday.com cofounder and CEO Roy Mann and GitLab CEO Sid Sijbrandij.

Patrick Welsh for Forbes

The flexibility of cloud-based computing has empowered entrepreneurs to remake industries, from shipping to how we communicate and our daily routine at the office. Among the 2019 Cloud 100 list honorees, here are seven shaking up the status quo.

KeepTruckin

New regulations forcing the $700 billion trucking industry to roll out electronic record keeping spelled opportunity for KeepTruckin cofounder and CEO Shoaib Makani. “There are so many blue-collar industries that have been ignored by tech entrepreneurs,” the former venture capitalist says.

He and his 1,350 employees built one of the largest networks of connected trucks in North America. Drivers of more than 250,000 vehicles use KeepTruckin software and hardware to help manage their rigs and cargo. A recent capital raising valued the San Francisco company at $1.4 billion. Up next: an open freight marketplace to help truckers get more business.

“Because we have a deep understanding of where the truck is and what the load is, we have the ability to match needs with jobs. We have the data," Makani says.

— Michael Nuñez

Read the entire Cloud 100 Package

GitLab

Technically, GitLab is based in San Francisco. Try and go to its address, however, and you’ll wind up at a UPS Store. That’s because GitLab is remote only and has employees in 58 countries, from Iceland to Peru to Mongolia.

By using modern tools like Zoom, Slack and its own software, which helps coders collaborate, GitLab ensures that its employees don’t have trouble communicating, says cofounder and CEO Sid Sijbrandij. “It turns out to be easier to manage because we’re really good at writing things down.” That includes a 3,000-page team handbook available to anyone; it sells an annual subscription of its software that helps coders collaborate to customers like Ticketmaster and Goldman Sachs. Backed by $158 million at what PitchBook estimates is a valuation of $1.1 billion, GitLab already knows when it wants to go public: November 18, 2020, says Sijbrandij.

Kenrick Cai

Canva

Professional designers have Adobe. The rest of the world has Canva, the Australian-based software startup valued at $2.5 billion. Founded by Melanie Perkins, her fiancé, Cliff Obrecht, and Cameron Adams, Canva has become the international design tool of choice for the 99%—used by over 18 million people monthly for everything from menus to Instagram campaigns, flyers to digital covers for online books. Don’t just take our word for it. In May, Perkins caught the eye of famed investor Mary Meeker, who made Canva the first bet out of her new fund.

Says Perkins: “The whole concept of Canva is enabling people to take an idea and turn it into a finished product—so you can design anything and publish anywhere.”

Alex Konrad

Monday.com

Walk into Monday.com’s Tel Aviv headquarters and you’ll be hard-pressed to find a bare wall. Hundreds of TV screens cover the white space, spurting out data like revenue (last year, it was $50 million) and monthly goals. “We really share everything here, except for private information like salaries,” said cofounder and CEO Roy Mann, whose company sells project management software.

Flames engulf one such screen if a customer ticket isn’t addressed fast enough—where rival software-as-a-service providers can take hours or days, Monday sets the benchmark at 10 minutes. This high a bar could decimate morale, but Mann says it’s working. He credits the collaborative atmosphere for spurring growth at Monday, which became Israel’s most valuable startup in July on the heels of a $150 million Series D funding round that valued it at $1.9 billion.

Kenrick Cai

Tanium

Cybersecurity firm Tanium reached a whopping $6.5 billion valuation by creating a more efficient process for big companies to manage threats to devices like servers and laptops. But it’s not the new kid on the block anymore, meaning it’s competing with a bevy of upstarts in the space.  Tanium’s co-CEO Orion Hindawi, who cofounded the Emeryville, California-based company 12 years ago with his father, David, thinks their lead will last. “We took about six years of core development to create this architecture. There are many VCs who are funding companies in security. Very few of them have the patience to wait six years for an architecture to be created,” Hindawi says. 

Some of those years have been rough. In 2017, current and former employees told Bloomberg that Orion Hindawi bullied employees and that Tanium’s culture was responsible for a C-Suite exodus. Hindawi denies these claims, but says the public relations flareup ultimately strengthened the company. “It was an opportunity for us to restate to our employees who we were and what we believed in,” he says. “It was a forcing function that allowed us to codify who we wanted to be when we grew up.”

Cathy Perloff

Illumio

Illumio cofounder and CEO Andrew Rubin is ready to predict a major shift in network security. Large corporations and government institutions have heavily relied on one tool to prevent data breaches and leaks in the past decade: firewalls. But as the number of connected devices (think smartphones) has skyrocketed, firewalls have sometimes failed.

“What we do is build a map that allows our customers to see and understand everything in their data center and cloud, and how all of those things are talking to each other,” Rubin says. “Inevitably they see that things are connected and talking to each other that don’t necessarily need to be.”

The process is called adaptive microsegmentation, and it means that IT professionals can have more control of their network. The Sunnyvale, California-based company, which has raised $332.5 million in funding, says customers shot up 80% in a year; Morgan Stanley, BNP Paribas and Salesforce are among them.

Michael Nuñez

Confluent

Confluent wants to be the tech equivalent of a central nervous system, says cofounder and CEO Jay Kreps. What three former LinkedIn engineers developed in a space rented from a dentist in Mountain View, California, is now the platform running behind some of the U.S.’s biggest companies, include Lyft, Capital One and Domino’s Pizza, helping them manage and access their data in event streams. Because the data flows in real time, instead of only in response to specific queries, apps can run faster and smarter.

Even with over $200 million in funding and a $2.5 billion valuation, Kreps knows that Confluent isn’t exactly a household name. “I think my mom still doesn't really know exactly what the company does,” he says.

Haley Kim

Corrections & Clarifications: An earlier version of this article stated that GitLab sells monthly subscriptions. GitLab only sells annual subscriptions—they are offered at a monthly price, but billed annually.

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The flexibility of cloud-based computing has empowered entrepreneurs to remake industries, from shipping to how we communicate and our daily routine at the office. Among the 2019 Cloud 100 list honorees, here are seven shaking up the status quo.

KeepTruckin

New regulations forcing the $700 billion trucking industry to roll out electronic record keeping spelled opportunity for KeepTruckin cofounder and CEO Shoaib Makani. “There are so many blue-collar industries that have been ignored by tech entrepreneurs,” the former venture capitalist says.

He and his 1,350 employees built one of the largest networks of connected trucks in North America. Drivers of more than 250,000 vehicles use KeepTruckin software and hardware to help manage their rigs and cargo. A recent capital raising valued the San Francisco company at $1.4 billion. Up next: an open freight marketplace to help truckers get more business.

“Because we have a deep understanding of where the truck is and what the load is, we have the ability to match needs with jobs. We have the data," Makani says.

— Michael Nuñez

Read the entire Cloud 100 Package

GitLab

Technically, GitLab is based in San Francisco. Try and go to its address, however, and you’ll wind up at a UPS Store. That’s because GitLab is remote only and has employees in 58 countries, from Iceland to Peru to Mongolia.

By using modern tools like Zoom, Slack and its own software, which helps coders collaborate, GitLab ensures that its employees don’t have trouble communicating, says cofounder and CEO Sid Sijbrandij. “It turns out to be easier to manage because we’re really good at writing things down.” That includes a 3,000-page team handbook available to anyone; it sells an annual subscription of its software that helps coders collaborate to customers like Ticketmaster and Goldman Sachs. Backed by $158 million at what PitchBook estimates is a valuation of $1.1 billion, GitLab already knows when it wants to go public: November 18, 2020, says Sijbrandij.

Kenrick Cai

Canva

Professional designers have Adobe. The rest of the world has Canva, the Australian-based software startup valued at $2.5 billion. Founded by Melanie Perkins, her fiancé, Cliff Obrecht, and Cameron Adams, Canva has become the international design tool of choice for the 99%—used by over 18 million people monthly for everything from menus to Instagram campaigns, flyers to digital covers for online books. Don’t just take our word for it. In May, Perkins caught the eye of famed investor Mary Meeker, who made Canva the first bet out of her new fund.

Says Perkins: “The whole concept of Canva is enabling people to take an idea and turn it into a finished product—so you can design anything and publish anywhere.”

Alex Konrad

Monday.com

Walk into Monday.com’s Tel Aviv headquarters and you’ll be hard-pressed to find a bare wall. Hundreds of TV screens cover the white space, spurting out data like revenue (last year, it was $50 million) and monthly goals. “We really share everything here, except for private information like salaries,” said cofounder and CEO Roy Mann, whose company sells project management software.

Flames engulf one such screen if a customer ticket isn’t addressed fast enough—where rival software-as-a-service providers can take hours or days, Monday sets the benchmark at 10 minutes. This high a bar could decimate morale, but Mann says it’s working. He credits the collaborative atmosphere for spurring growth at Monday, which became Israel’s most valuable startup in July on the heels of a $150 million Series D funding round that valued it at $1.9 billion.

Kenrick Cai

Tanium

Cybersecurity firm Tanium reached a whopping $6.5 billion valuation by creating a more efficient process for big companies to manage threats to devices like servers and laptops. But it’s not the new kid on the block anymore, meaning it’s competing with a bevy of upstarts in the space.  Tanium’s co-CEO Orion Hindawi, who cofounded the Emeryville, California-based company 12 years ago with his father, David, thinks their lead will last. “We took about six years of core development to create this architecture. There are many VCs who are funding companies in security. Very few of them have the patience to wait six years for an architecture to be created,” Hindawi says. 

Some of those years have been rough. In 2017, current and former employees told Bloomberg that Orion Hindawi bullied employees and that Tanium’s culture was responsible for a C-Suite exodus. Hindawi denies these claims, but says the public relations flareup ultimately strengthened the company. “It was an opportunity for us to restate to our employees who we were and what we believed in,” he says. “It was a forcing function that allowed us to codify who we wanted to be when we grew up.”

Cathy Perloff

Illumio

Illumio cofounder and CEO Andrew Rubin is ready to predict a major shift in network security. Large corporations and government institutions have heavily relied on one tool to prevent data breaches and leaks in the past decade: firewalls. But as the number of connected devices (think smartphones) has skyrocketed, firewalls have sometimes failed.

“What we do is build a map that allows our customers to see and understand everything in their data center and cloud, and how all of those things are talking to each other,” Rubin says. “Inevitably they see that things are connected and talking to each other that don’t necessarily need to be.”

The process is called adaptive microsegmentation, and it means that IT professionals can have more control of their network. The Sunnyvale, California-based company, which has raised $332.5 million in funding, says customers shot up 80% in a year; Morgan Stanley, BNP Paribas and Salesforce are among them.

Michael Nuñez

Confluent

Confluent wants to be the tech equivalent of a central nervous system, says cofounder and CEO Jay Kreps. What three former LinkedIn engineers developed in a space rented from a dentist in Mountain View, California, is now the platform running behind some of the U.S.’s biggest companies, include Lyft, Capital One and Domino’s Pizza, helping them manage and access their data in event streams. Because the data flows in real time, instead of only in response to specific queries, apps can run faster and smarter.

Even with over $200 million in funding and a $2.5 billion valuation, Kreps knows that Confluent isn’t exactly a household name. “I think my mom still doesn't really know exactly what the company does,” he says.

Haley Kim

Corrections & Clarifications: An earlier version of this article stated that GitLab sells monthly subscriptions. GitLab only sells annual subscriptions—they are offered at a monthly price, but billed annually.