December was a strong month for venture capital activity, while M&A transactions were prominent among IT Security and Big Data companies. In the cybersecurity industry, the discovery of a massive cyberattack against large banks scheduled for spring 2013, called “Project Blitzkrieg,” made headlines; however, industry and government leaders are optimistic they have enough time to prepare for and mitigate the effects of such an attack.
In cloud computing, a Microsoft-sponsored IDC report painted a positive picture for the nascent industry, expecting seven million new cloud jobs to be created over the next three years. IDC predicted an equally encouraging outlook for Big Data, noting the volume of digital information is expected to grow at a 42% CAGR between now and 2020.
On the M&A front, Oracle made a bold addition to its cloud computing capabilities after acquiring Eloqua, Inc. for ~$871 million; IBM moved to augment its Big Data offerings by acquiring StoredIQ, Inc.; and Dell continued its interest in M&A with the acquisition of data security firm Credant Technologies. On the VC front, Cloud Sherpas, a provider of solutions for adopting and managing cloud solutions, raised $40 million in Series B funding, while Cloudera, a provider of an Apache Hadoop-based data analytics platform, raised $65 million in Series E funding.
Also, CipherCloud, a provider of cloud encryption and tokenization gateways, landed an initial funding round of $30 million. Finally, two VC firms announced they had raised new funds to focus on companies in the Cyber / Intel market. The Quantum Wave Fund announced it raised $30 million, with the potential to reach $100 million, to fund breakthrough companies that utilize quantum materials and technologies such as quantum encryption. Costanoa Venture Capital raised $100 million to invest in cloud-based technologies, social and mobile opportunities, and Big Data.