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Cloudera Raises $900M Round

NEW YORK (The Deal) -- Cloudera, a startup that helps corporate customers sort and analyze massive amounts of data, has raised $900 million from a who's who list of names ahead of speculation the company could go public before year's end.

Palo Alto, Calif.-based Cloudera said that the round was led by Intel (INTC - Get Report), which invested more than $700 million in exchange for an 18% stake. Other investors include T. Rowe Price, the venture arm of Google (GOOG) and MSD Capital, the private investment arm of Michael Dell.

Cloudera is a distributor of Hadoop data management software. As part of the deal Intel will champion Cloudera's version of Hadoop instead of a version it has previously pushed for servers that use Intel chips. Cloudera management in a statement said that the massive round reflects the potential for Hadoop, and specifically their version of the software.

"Clearly demand is accelerating and the market is poised for growth - for all of the players in this space, and we believe Cloudera will be the company to lead this global shift in extracting value from data," CEO Tom Reilly said. "This position of strength and leadership is evidenced by the strong support of public market investors, large institutional investors and now key strategic investors including Intel, who've made sizable and significant contributions to cement our platform offering."

Cloudera has been considered by many a likely initial public offering candidate for later this year, and bringing in late-stage investors like T. Rowe will likely do little to stem that talk. The mutual fund operator took stakes in tech titans, including Facebook (FB - Get Report) and Twitter (TWTR - Get Report) not long before their IPOs.

Cloudera cited Gartner estimates that data management infrastructure will be a $74 billion market in 2014, growing to 
$94 billion by 2017. The company was an early champion of Hadoop since its founding in 2008, and has benefitted as others in the industry have embraced the standard.

The company said the new funds will be used to support its collaboration agreement with Intel and to push its wares in North America as well as expand in Europe and Asia. Cloudera said it expects new investors, in particular Intel, to help it to expand in China and elsewhere.

"Intel's sizable investment in Cloudera, alongside funding from institutional investors, Google Ventures and MSD Capital, are all indicative of both the very large market opportunity and the leadership position of Cloudera," company CFO Jim Frankola said. "These investments give us significant financial resources to accelerate growth and deliver long-term sustainable value to our customers and partners."

Dean Bradley Osborne Partners LLC and Allen & Co. served as financial advisers on the deal, which is expected to close during the second quarter.

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