Fruition Partners, a Chicago-based startup that helps enterprises get their under-the-hood, IT operations into the cloud, has picked up $12 million in funding from Trident Capital, the VC that has backed a range of tech companies ranging from consumer plays like Kayak to more enterprise-focused startups like Qualys.
The round is being termed a Series A, but Fruition’s CEO Marc Talluto tells me that it is in fact the first money it has raised, and that it has been bootstrapped since being founded in 2003. That’s impressive, considering that some of Fruition’s existing clients include Coca-Cola, General Electric (GE), Delphi, Fox, Target, Tiffany & Company, Viacom and Yale University.
The funds, Talluto says, will be used to further build out the business, and to possibly look ahead to some consolidation in the space with an acquisition.
Fruition Partners’ funding comes at an interesting juncture in enterprise IT. The growth of enterprise cloud services has had a number of boosts from the likes of Salesforce and Microsoft, who have promoted applications hosting and collaboration among front-line workers. But as the space continues to evolve, we’re now seeing more attention on now applying the same principles to the back office and specific areas like IT operations — areas that traditionally are seen to be too difficult and sensitive to be managed remotely.
That has been changing: Talluto says the company has been growing 100% year-on-year at the moment, as companies continue to look for ways of crunching their costs. “IT departments have been the last holdouts in many industries,” he says. “But cloud tools are very different now compared to where they’ve been.”
The approach that Fruition has taken, he says, has been to start as a consultancy and then take on more of the technology themselves — a “fruition” of different functions, as it were. “In the last five years you have seen technical specialists and process specialists, and more. In the past, clients needed to go to five different firms to implement a cloud-based IT solution. But we’ve seen an accelerating trend for companies to go to one firm to address all these areas.”
Michael Biggee, MD of Trident Capital, believes that Fruition is at the cusp of how enterprises are starting to think of IT as more of a cloud-based service. “As the cloud continues to penetrate the large enterprise segment, we are seeing needs becoming much more complex around a new generation of IT services,” he notes.