The Forbes cloud 100: Slack, Dropbox, and DocuSign rated top three private cloud firms

James has more than a decade of experience as a tech journalist, writer and editor, and served as Editor in Chief of TechForge Media between 2017 and 2021. James was named as one of the top 20 UK technology influencers by Tyto, and has also been cited by Onalytica, Feedspot and Zsah as an influential cloud computing writer.


Slack has been ranked as the number one private company leading cloud computing in 2016, according to research conducted by Forbes.

The messaging app provider, which was noted by Netskope in recent research to be among the top 20 cloud apps used by businesses for the first time, finished ahead of cloud storage firm Dropbox (#2) and electronic signature provider DocuSign (#3). Payments infrastructure company Stripe and data management platform provider Cloudera rounded off the top five.

The research was produced alongside Bessemer Venture Partners and Salesforce Ventures, which aims to ‘recognise cloud companies for the financial health and growth of their business’. The hundreds of submissions were presented to 27 public cloud CEO judges who made their verdict for the inaugural report.

Naturally, plenty of companies have been putting forward their acknowledgement of being placed in the top 100. Zuora, a subscription billing and commerce provider, issued a statement arguing the importance of this validation not just for the company but for the market in general.

“As the standard subscription finance platform for the cloud computing industry, we’re honoured to be included,” said CEO Tien Tzuo. “It’s a huge validation for Zuora, as well as the subscription economy. While we have lots of clients on this list, we’re looking forward to helping many more amazing cloud companies turn their customers into subscribers.”

Fuze – formerly ThinkingPhones – finished just inside the top 20, and was recently named as a leader in the Gartner unified communications as a service (UCaaS) Magic Quadrant. “On behalf of Fuzers worldwide, we are thrilled to be named to the inaugural Forbes 2016 Cloud 100,” said Steve Kokinos, Fuze CEO in a statement. “Our mobile-first user experience is designed to delight today’s digitally empowered workforce, while our powerful suite of business analytics integrates with other cloud services to make our solution an indispensable tool for business and technology leaders.”

“The Forbes Cloud 100 companies represent the very best private companies in cloud computing,” said Byron Deeter, partner at Bessemer Venture Partners. “We will see big IPOs and category killers emerge from this list as cloud computing continues to propel the trillion-dollar software industry.”

This report represents an interesting examination of which privately held cloud companies are leading the charge in their respective fields; yet related research from Glassdoor and Battery Ventures released last month paints a different picture. Taking into account employees’ verdicts on their CEO, as well as a ‘positive business outlook’, seven companies came out on top, including Chef Software, which scored 100% in both categories, and Asana, a productivity app led by Facebook co-founder Dustin Moskowitz.

Of the companies which led the way in the Forbes research, Dropbox and Zuora only scored 71% and 77% respectively in terms of business outlook, while DocuSign fared a little better, with 90% positive outlook rating and 97% approval for CEO Keith Krach.

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