The Forbes Cloud 100 returns for 2020

Nominations are now open for the fifth annual list of the best private cloud companies.

For five years, Bessemer Venture Partners has teamed up with Forbes and Salesforce Ventures to bring you the Forbes Cloud 100—the definitive list of the world’s top 100 private cloud companies—and the emerging cadre of 20 Rising Stars poised to join their ranks. Today, I am excited to announce that nominations are officially open for the 2020 Forbes Cloud 100 list.

Visit The Cloud 100 website to nominate a private cloud company.

As we shared in State of the Cloud 2020, it is already shaping up to be a milestone year for the cloud industry, as aggregate SaaS and IaaS run-rate revenue each crossed $100 billion, and the BVP Nasdaq Emerging Cloud Index (^EMCLOUD) market cap crossed $1 trillion in early February.

It was also an unprecedented year as a global public health crisis tore through our communities and the economy, making an indelible mark on entrepreneurs across industries who are navigating uncharted territory. We believe the cloud industry has been critical in enabling remote work and today’s shelter in place reality, plus many public cloud companies have been greatly tested and proven to be reliable investments.

Over the past decade, there’s been a massive market shift from on-premises to cloud, as 94% of enterprises use at least one cloud service today. 2020 is proving to be the watershed moment for the cloud as companies across industries and the globe have accelerated their digital transformation and adopted new cloud technologies faster than ever before.

The private cloud ecosystem has matured, making the competition to land one of the coveted spots on the 2020 list steeper than ever. Last year, the floor to even make the Cloud 100 was over $700 million, more than double what it was in 2016, and a record of more than 60 private cloud unicorns are recognized on the 2019 Cloud 100.

We’re truly living in a cloud-first world and that’s something to recognize and celebrate with Cloud 100 2020.

Where are they now?

Since the list was released in September 2019, two of these honorees—Datadog (#5) and Cloudflare (#11)—graduated from the list by going public.

Combined, these companies in our Cloud 100 2019 have created roughly $270 billion in market valuation.

Alex Konrad of Forbes leads a fireside chat with Melanie Perkins, CEO and co-founder of Canva at The 2019 Cloud 100 Celebration.

Other major exits from the 2019 Cloud 100 Honorees include Visa acquiring Plaid (#17) for $5.3 billion and PTC acquiring Onshape (#61) for $470 million.

Several 2019 Cloud 100 honorees raised massive funding rounds to build up their reserves and accelerate their growth, including Toast (#12), raising $400 million at a $4.9 billion valuation, HashiCorp (#4) raising $175 million at a $5 billion valuation, and Snowflake (#44) raising $479 million at a whopping $12.4 billion valuation.

Last year’s Rising Stars, 20 promising private cloud companies that have raised less than $25 million, featured an all-star lineup of companies with headquarters around the world ranging from San Francisco, and Israel, to The Netherlands. Including leading companies such as Notion, ManyChat, Alloy, Axonius, Cypress.io, Lattice, Traction Guest, and more, the 2019 Rising Stars are poised and have already proven to be the next big things in cloud technology.

How to apply

Private cloud companies are evaluated by their market leadership, people and culture, and operating metrics, including revenue, funding, and estimated valuation. The Cloud 100 Judges, made up of the leading public cloud company CEOs, will once again determine the Cloud 100 honorees. All our public CEO and CXO judges, including top leaders such as Scott Farquhar of Atlassian, Eric S. Yuan of Zoom, Jennifer Tejada of PagerDuty, and Jeff Lawson of Twilio, collectively represent $840 billion in market capitalization. The Cloud 100 Judges qualifications precede them.

Kurt Rathmann of ScaleFactor, Stephen Curry, Jennifer Tejada of PagerDuty, and Aisha Tyler compete in a friendly game of “Clash of Clouds”.

Nominations for the 2019 Cloud 100 are open at thecloud100.com and run through Tuesday, June 30 at 11:55 p.m. PT. In September, Forbes will announce the Cloud 100 and the 20 Rising Stars in Forbes Magazine and on Forbes.com. This year, due to public health concerns, Cloud 100 is launching a digital conference featuring the top CEOs and leaders that have paved the way for this industry.

Every year, these 120 companies represent the best cloud technology leaders of today and tomorrow. We are honored to celebrate their massive achievements once again.

Good luck!