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​Winning a Tech Trailblazers “Cloud innovation” award is a strong indicator of future business success, analysis shows

Press release   •   Mar 12, 2020 10:59 UTC

Winning a Tech Trailblazers “Cloud innovation” award is a strong indicator of future business success, analysis shows

Cloud Expo Europe, London, UK – 12th March 2020 – Winning an innovation award is no guarantee of subsequent business success for early-stage, technology startups, and especially in the broad, yet still crowded ‘cloud’ category. But, analysis shows, no fewer than seven former winners or runners-up in the Cloud category of the Tech Trailblazer Awards have already been acquired since the awards began in 2012.

By another measure of success – investment – Tech Trailblazer cloud category winners and runners-up are also succeeding, having raised over US$882m between them. Two runners-up in the most recent awards [2019] have raised a further US$57m since entering.

Tech Trailblazer ‘Cloud’ category award winners and runners-up that have already proceeded to exit through acquisition are:

  • SaaSID, winner in 2012, was acquired by Intermedia in September 2013 for an undisclosed sum
  • Perspecsys, a runner-up in 2014, was acquired by Bluecoat in July 2015 for an undisclosed sum
  • CloudLock, a runner-up in 2012, was acquired by Cisco in June 2016 for US$293m
  • SimpliVity, winner in 2014, was acquired by HP Enterprise in January 2017 for US$650m
  • Racemi, a runner-up in 2013, was acquired by DXC Technology in November 2017 for an undisclosed sum
  • goBalto, also a runner-up in 2015, was acquired by Oracle in October 2018, for an undisclosed sum

In addition, Nutanix, Cloud Trailblazer winner in 2013, IPO’d in August 2016 raising US$230m with a valuation of US$2.3 billion. The IPO came just weeks after it acquired PernixData, the Storage Trailblazer winner in the same year as Nutanix raised its Trailblazers crown.

A total of 32 investors have invested in 115 funding rounds in Tech Trailblazer Cloud Award winners and runners-up. Measured by number of companies and then by number of rounds, the five most-active investors are:

  • Kleiner Perkins: 10 funding rounds in three cloud companies (Apcera, Ripcord, SimpliVity)
  • .406 Ventures: six rounds in two companies (Fauna, SimpliVity)
  • Telstra Ventures: five rounds in two companies (Ripcord, NS1)
  • Foundation Capital: four rounds in two companies (Cloudknox, Zerostack)
  • GV: also four rounds in two companies (Fauna, Ripcord)

Rose Ross, founder of the Tech Trailblazers Awards said: “Judging startup companies for their innovations is a difficult, almost invidious task; since ‘Betamax versus VHS’ there have been plenty of examples of the better technology subsequently losing out to rivals. So it’s important to know that the combination of our international panel of expert judges with the public vote really does a great job of spotting business winners as well as award winners. We continue to focus on making sure we identify “long term” winners in all our categories, and that we never have our heads turned simply by the shiniest innovation of the year.”

The Tech Trailblazers Awards was the first independent awards program dedicated to enterprise information technology startups. Every year since 2012, it has identified the most innovative entrants and concepts in enterprise technology: startups are invited to nominate themselves, with shortlists for each category chosen by the Tech Trailblazers Awards’ panel of leading IT industry experts. Winners are identified by a combination of judging panel opinions and public vote.

For the first four years of the Tech Trailblazers Awards, the Cloud category attracted more entries than any other category. For the last three years, it has attracted the second-most number entries for the third year running. The Security category attracted most entries, also for the third consecutive year.

The Tech Trailblazers Awards is supported by sponsors and industry partners including AfriLabs, Amoo Venture Capital Advisory, beSUCCESS, bnetTV, BigDataStartups, China AXLR8R, the Cloud Security Alliance, Computing, ExecEvent, GFT, GoMoNews, The Green Grid, GSMA, The Icehouse, Innovation Warehouse, Internet of Things Events, IP EXPO Europe, Launchpad Europe, L’Informaticien, Lissted, MIT/Stanford Venture Lab, The Next Silicon Valley, Outsource, Prezi, The Register, Silicon Cape Initiative, Skolkovo, StarTau, Startup America, Storage Networking Industry Association (SNIA), Tech in Asia, TechNode, TiE Silicon Valley, Wazoku, Ventureburn and VMware.


Media contact for Tech Trailblazers AwardsVicki Porter, Omarketing, +44 20 8255 5225,

About the Tech Trailblazers AwardsRecognising startup innovation since 2012, Tech Trailblazers is designed explicitly for smaller businesses and startups less than six years old and at C-series funding or below. Early stage startups (2 years or less, without VC funding) are able to apply for a chosen tech category free of charge via the new Firestarter bursary and are automatically submitted for the Firestarter award. In 2016, the Tech Trailblazers Awards introduced the Female and Male Tech Trailblazers of the Year categories to celebrate individual success within senior members of enterprise tech startups. For more information, visit or follow @techtrailblaze.

About the Tech Trailblazers Awards

Tech Trailblazers is a new concept in awards, designed explicitly for smaller businesses and startups that are five years old or less and at C-series funding or below. The awards have low barriers to entry and prizes that not only recognize startup innovation, but also proactively help startups grow their businesses with access to exclusive coaching, mentoring and development and prizes from a prize fund worth an estimated $1m+. The awards include the following categories:

·  Big Data Trailblazers

·  Cloud Trailblazers

·  Emerging Markets Trailblazers

·  Mobile Trailblazers

·  Networking Trailblazers

·  Security Trailblazers

·  Storage Trailblazers

·  Sustainable IT Trailblazers

·  Virtualization Trailblazers

In addition to the above categories, all entrants are automatically entered into the Regional Trailblazers Cup competition free of charge. The Regional Cups include:

·  African and Middle East Trailblazers Cup

·  Asian-Pacific Trailblazers Cup

·  European Trailblazers Cup

·  Latin American Trailblazers Cup

·  North American Trailblazers Cup

For more information, please email us at, follow us on Twitter @techtrailblaze or via the hashtag  #TTAwards, visit the website at, or visit us on LinkedIn at