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Cloud upstart Apprenda plots Euro invasion with sugar daddies' $16m pot

Hey, Pivotal, Red Hat, you wanna take this outside, huh, punks?

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Platform-as-a-service minnow Apprenda has raised $16m in filthy valley lucre – to help it expand overseas and compete with rivals Pivotal and Red Hat.

The funding was announced on Wednesday at a time when competition in the platform-as-a-service (PaaS) market is growing, as companies blow millions of dollars on what they reckon will be lucrative flypaper to catch customers.

PaaS outfits got their start in the late-2000s when Google launched its App Engine service, Microsoft launched the first incarnation of Azure, and Heroku started offering services.

This first generation of PaaS was widely tipped to become a major component of the IT ecosystem, but this didn't happen, rather it turned out developers wanted the type of fine, granular control that an infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) provided.

For this reason Amazon Web Services came to dominate the cloud, and both Microsoft and Google revamped their products to begin offering IaaS again.

Now, the pendulum is swinging back as companies – having got used to IaaS – want to delegate more control to technology and deal with a runtime engine for specific languages. They also want to be able to deploy systems on premises, which is something the IaaS clouds refuse to offer.

Apprenda's technology is capable of shifting Java and .NET applications from single to multi-tenancy, the company says, though in doing so it creates a "drastically different" database table structure. This means that the platform locks your applications in through this black box single-to-multi transform tech.

The company claims significant deployments with JP Morgan, Dell, Honeywell and claims interest from other banks and healthcare firms.

With the series-C funding round led by "Safeguard Scientifics", the upstart has now taken in $32m in total. It plans to use the cash to expand in Europe, and hire more people.

But how big the technology can get remains to be seen as it faces strong competition from EMC-spinoff Pivotal, which is building a Cloud-Foundry-based platform service, and Red Hat which is throwing resources into OpenShift. ®

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