Ericsson Acquires Majority Stake in Cloud Services Startup

Seeking to round out its cloud services offerings, Sweden's Ericsson is acquiring a majority stake in the U.S.-based, platform-as-a-service (PaaS) company Apcera. Further details of the all-cash deal, expected to close in the fourth quarter of this year, were not released.

Based in Stockholm, the information and communications technology manufacturer and service provider sees PaaS as the "key to success" in the cloud. Apcera's platform, Continuum, lets enterprise users deploy and manage diverse IT workloads either in the cloud, in their own facilities or via a hybrid approach.

Founded in 2012, Apcera is led by CEO Derek Collison, who was previously an executive with Google and VMware. While at VMware, Collison designed and built the PaaS platform Cloud Foundry. He went on to start Apcera with the goal of developing a platform that incorporated policy and security considerations for faster time-to-market apps development and orchestration.

'Enormous Opportunity'

Apcera officially launched Continuum on Monday, the same day that Ericsson announced its investment.

"Unlike traditional PaaS, Continuum is an enterprise-class IT platform that integrates policy to enable faster time-to-market without sacrificing crucial security requirements," Collison said in a post on his company's blog. "Ericsson and Apcera share the same vision -- to be a significant force for disruption in the enterprise IT market."

Ericsson's investment in Apcera marks one of the industry's largest to date in PaaS, Collison said.

"Ericsson's leadership team was willing to make a massive investment that allows Apcera to leapfrog the slow path of smaller traditional funding rounds and leverage our strong competitive position in this fast-growing market," he said. While benefiting from Ericsson's financial backing, Apcera will continue to operate as an independent, stand-alone company with Collison as CEO.

The new investment, Collison added, "will enable us to accelerate deployment and integration of Continuum across multiple industries."

"We knew we...

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