May 3, 2022

The Cloud 100 Rising Stars 2021: Meet Cloud Computing’s New Vanguard, From GlossGenius To TRM Labs

As companies big and small turn to the cloud to solve challenges facing an increasingly digital world, the up-and-comers of the Cloud 100 Rising Stars are ready to step up.

Rightfoot founders

As companies big and small turn to the cloud to solve challenges facing an increasingly digital world, the up-and-comers of the Cloud 100 Rising Stars are ready to step up. Produced in partnership with Bessemer Venture Partners and Salesforce Ventures, these 20 private companies, all of which have raised $25 million or less in total funding, were judged based on selection criteria including financials, marketing, leadership, people and culture. The result: an unranked group of promising cloud businesses who are leveraging the cloud for a wide range of impact.

To support small business owners in the beauty industry, Danielle Cohen-Shohet combined her experiences as a freelance beauty professional and a full stack engineering programmer to create GlossGenius, an appointment and scheduling management software for salons and spas. “I think the single biggest operational challenge we're solving is that small business owners wear a lot of different hats,” she says. “They have a lot of competing priorities.”

At Rightfoot, Standford graduate CEO Danielle Pensack and her cofounders are tackling the U.S. debt crisis with a streamlined debt payment API for developers to help repay student and credit card debts. And at Cocoon, Mahima Chawla and her team are automating every aspect of the employee leave process for their clients, which include members of this year’s Cloud 100 list like Benchling and Carta.

TRM Labs cofounders

Blockchain intelligence company TRM Labs, which monitors and detects crypto fraud and financial crime, has a core employee team that includes an FBI expert on nation-state cyber attacks, a crypto forensics expert from the Secret Service and the former senior adviser to the undersecretary of the Treasury Department. The company has been growing revenue 453% year-over-year, says CEO Esteban Castaño.

A number of Rising Stars companies are harnessing the power of cloud technology and AI to solve data-related problems. Transform CEO and co-founder Nick Handel, a Forbes 30 Under 30 alum, was inspired by his work as a data scientist on Airbnb’s early metrics store to build a company that provides tools for others to track and share their business metrics in one place. Collaborative notebook platform Noteable is on a mission to make working with data easier, too. One of eight women CEOs on the Rising Stars list, CEO Michelle Ufford brings her experience working with engineering teams at Netflix and GoDaddy to help reduce friction between analytics and data science teams.

While a majority of these cloud upstarts call San Francisco home, there are a few outliers. Malomo, a shipment tracking platform that helps e-commerce companies create branded marketing experiences for their customers, is based in Indianapolis. Tribe, which helps businesses create fully customizable customer communities, is headquartered in Toronto. And, Auckland, New Zealand-based Portainer helps companies save money on expensive hardware by managing cloud-native applications that allow programs to run virtually.

As they continue to innovate in their respective industries, the Rising Stars are on track to graduate to the six-year-old Cloud 100 List, a leap others have made before. Startups that have pushed through to the top spots on this year’s Cloud 100 List include design software Canva (No. 3), restaurant software Toast (No. 5), design tool Figma (No. 7) and service software ServiceTitan (No. 8). Other former Rising Stars on this year’s list include Zapier and Cloudinary (from 2017); Benchling, and Calendly (2018); and Notion (2019).

Read the full list of Rising Stars below. For the rest of the Cloud 100 package, see here.