Why we’re doubling down on cloud investments right now

Why we’re doubling down on cloud investments right now thumbnail

Mary D’Onofrio

    Mary D'Onofrio is a software investor at Bessemer Venture Partners who joined to start the firm's growth practice; she's also an architect of ^EMCLOUD and authored the 10 Laws of Cloud and the State of the Cloud 2020.   

    Hansae Catlett

    Hansae Catlett is an investor for Bessemer Venture Partners where he primarily focuses on investments in cloud (enterprise and SMB), machine learning and consumer technologies; he's an author behind the State of the Cloud 2020. 

    Elliott Robinson

    Elliott Robinson is a partner for Bessemer Venture Partners, one of the authors behind the State of the Cloud 2020, and focuses primarily on growth investments in SaaS and cloud companies.

Years from now, people will look back on the COVID-19 pandemic as a watershed moment for society and the global economy.
Wearing a mask might be as common as owning a phone; telework, telemedicine and online education will be more of a norm than a backup plan; and for the global economy, the cloud will have transformed the underlying infrastructure of businesses and entire industries.
COVID-19 is a turning point for the cloud and cloud company founders. For its computing power and as a delivery model of software, the cloud has been embraced as a solution to many challenges that businesses face during today’s economic downturn and recovery. Not only is the cloud industry more resilient than other industries, but the cloud model offers businesses a promising future in the age of social distancing and beyond.
We believe that once founders find shelter in the cloud, they’ll never go back.
Cloud’s resiliency amid historic volatility
Over the past decade, there’s been a massive market shift from on-premises to cloud, as 94% of enterprises use at least one cloud service today. 2020 was already a milestone year for the cloud industry, as aggregate SaaS and IaaS run-rate revenue each crossed $100 billion, and the BVP Nasdaq Emerging Cloud Index (^EMCLOUD) market cap crossed $1 trillion in early February. Yet in a matter of days, as the COVID-19 pandemic spread, fear tore through financial markets.
In early March, public markets experienced the steepest crash in history with volatility we haven’t seen since the Great Recession. The cloud index market cap dropped to ~$750 million and cloud multiples returned close to their historical averages of ~7x while the VIX volatility index spiked to the mid-80s. Both at global highs in February 2020, the ^EMCLOUD and the S&P 500 traded off by roughly 35% by mid-March. Over the next two months, though, the ^EMCLOUD recouped those losses, charging to a new all-time high on May 7.
The cloud index has continued its rise since then, and as of the close on May 11 has a market cap above $1.2 trillion and has returned to the lofty 12x forward run rate revenue multiples from 2019. Similar to Adobe in 2012, we expect many enterprises to transition over to the cloud model, and the index will continue to expand. As we predicted in this year’s State of the Cloud 2020, by 2025 we expect the cloud to penetrate 50% of enterprise software. ,

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