Bessemer sees blockchain, serverless and APIs influencing the cloud arena in 2018

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.

Serverless computing, APIs and blockchain are all going to shape the cloud landscape in 2018 and beyond, according to the latest State of the Cloud report from Bessemer Venture Partners.

The influential annual report, the fourth of its kind, takes a look at the state of investments, IPOs and future trends in the cloud realm. The cloud IPO market recovered somewhat in 2017 compared to 2016’s slump, with Okta, Cloudera and MongoDB among the companies taking the plunge – yet still below historical averages, according to Bessemer.

The portents however are good for future entrants, as there are now almost as many private cloud unicorns – companies valued at more than $1 billion – as public. Private unicorns include Slack, DocuSign and Stripe – all companies who have scored highly on the Forbes 100 top private cloud companies ranking. Another traditionally high performer, Dropbox, has already confidentially filed for IPO this year – if reports are to be believed.

Regarding the rise of serverless computing, Bessemer argues it is being driven by three macro trends; Docker making containers more developer-friendly, more, scalable APIs, and open source becoming more available and accepted. As regular readers of this publication will note, containers have been frequently in the news this year already, from Cisco launching its Kubernetes package and Red Hat acquiring CoreOS.

As far as blockchain is concerned, Bessemer cites various examples of organisations in different industries using the technology. The food industry has participants in the shape of Unilever, Dole and Nestle, while aviation has Lufthansa, Airbus and AirFrance and retail Walmart and Alibaba.

The latter can be seen as focus for another trend the report covers; that of the cloud ‘being flat’. Alibaba – whom Synergy Research among others have placed among the leaders in cloud infrastructure – is cited alongside the likes of Huawei, Atlassian and Adyen as examples of companies outside the US pushing the envelope.

Ultimately, however, whatever technological trends 2018 will bring, it’s all about the balance sheet. As Byron Deeter, partner at Bessemer, explains, “the cloud computing revolution has changed the way we value companies and approach investment opportunities.” As the company said last year, it expects good companies to grow from $1 million to $10m in annual recurring revenue (ARR) in four years, but the best companies can do it in two years.

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