A tech giant just crowned the latest tech unicorn. Salesforce Ventures led a round of financing that gives software business MuleSoft $128 million. The fresh cash sets MuleSoft's value at $1.5 billion. (Tweet This)
Salesforce Ventures is the investment arm of Saleforce.com; Sapphire Ventures, previously known as SAP Ventures, joined Cisco Investments in this seventh round of funding.
While Salesforce.com and SAP backing a competitor might seem strange, it marks another way enterprise software companies aim to capture the nearly $600 billion market that this sector of tech offers. Their basic business is to connect various data streams, making them talk to each other and the cloud.
MuleSoft CEO Greg Schott says everyone—from competitors, to the end user—is better off when companies avoid the headache of managing and building systems on their own.
"When companies are trying to get an application pushed out across the cloud and to devices, the more broadly and more quickly they can do that, everyone is better off," he told CNBC.
MuleSoft's extensive Anypoint Platform is the real star of the show. Its ability to integrate wide swaths of data has attracted big names such as Mastercard, Unilever and Tesla. Companywide, subscriptions in the first quarter rose 110 percent over last year.
Schott uses a case with Sutter Health as an example for MuleSoft's ability help clients manage their sprawling data. The Sacramento, California, hospital recently teamed with MuleSoft to build an iPad app to help clinicians treat patients with autoimmune disorders. Schott says that building a system to handle the administration systems and millions of data points would've taken the better part of a year, but MuleSoft got it done in three months for less money.
Business is booming. MuleSoft went from an $800 million valuation to $1.5 billion in a little over a year. Still, he defends the investment against bubble talk.
"It depends on where you look," Schott said. "I don't see the same frothiness I saw in 1999. Late-stage financings are earned at companies that are healthy and scaling."
If confidence from competitors is any indication, MuleSoft looks to be doing just fine.