Dark Clouds Be Gone: Apica Raises $5M From SEB, Others To Keep SaaS Services Running Without A Hitch

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Here’s a timely funding announcement: Apica, a company that offers a solution enterprises can use to keep their cloud-based apps running smoothly — even when there are problems in the clouds — has just raised $5 million to continue expanding its services. The news comes after a weekend that saw several popular services like Instagram and  Netflix collapse after a major storm knocked out one of Amazon’s major data centers in North Virginia.

The $5 million announced today will be used for product development, marketing and expanding particular services in the U.S. around server testing capacity for the company’s cloud and mobile testing and monitoring services. The Series C round was led by SEB Venture Capital, with existing investors Industrifonden, ALMI Invest, and KTH Chalmers Capital all participating.

It brings the total invested in the company, which has operations in Sweden as well as Palo Alto, to just over $11 million.

Since raising $2 million in July 2011, Apica has entered the U.S. market under the direction of Palak Patel, VP of U.S. sales. It has also created partnerships with cloud service providers RightScale, Rackspace, and Amazon Web Services to monitor and test cloud environments — that gives Apica the ability to sell to customers using those platforms. Apica’s load testing and performance monitoring solutions are also available within the Amazon Web Services Marketplace.

The events from over the weekend underscore why a company like this can be useful for companies: when I started to watch the events over the weekend (our stories on that here, here, and here), Apica reached out to me with very specific updates on downtimes for each of the popular apps that had stopped running when Amazon began to encounter problems. That was what they could offer with the sites already down, but with careful planning, you could use that kind of detail to also extend cloud capacity to other sites to better prepare for that kind of downtime.

As for customers: Apica says that it currently works with 50. Publicly-named ones are from Sweden and include the Swedish Emergency Management Agency (that country’s equivalent to FEMA in the U.S.) and Sergel, a financial services house. But most clients don’t want to talk: “In some cases Apica is brought in before problems occur. But in other cases the situation is sensitive; an acute capacity problem, server crash or similar, has occurred,” the company writes. “Not many businesses want to openly admit web performance problems.”