Eynat Guez, co-founder and CEO at Papaya Global
For the last seven years, Forbes has published a list showcasing the 100 CEOs who are leading the world’s most successful privately owned cloud companies.
The Cloud 100 is a diverse list that is global in its scope and includes enterprises at all stages of growth, sales and valuation. It reflects the growing importance of cloud-based tech and is compiled using a variety of criteria, with a panel consisting of 26 assessors from within the sector and fellow CEOs.
A significant point that highlights the ever-increasing prominence of this sector is that the companies on the 2022 Cloud 100 list have a combined market capitalization of $100 billion greater than those in 2021.
One of the most significant features of the 2022 Cloud 100 list is that it features 8 women CEOs, up from 6 in 2021. It can of course be argued that women are still significantly underrepresented at the helm of tech companies, but the albeit small increase can nevertheless be seen as a positive, although there is still much more to do when it comes to women in executive leadership roles.
Below we look at the eight women who have crashed into the top 100, their achievements, their companies’ valuations, and what they have done to foster such significant growth and success.
Papaya Global founder Eynat Guez is ranked at 74 in the Cloud 100 list, and under her leadership the company is now valued at $3.7 billion, having raised $250 million in a Series D funding round in 2021.
The Israel-based global payroll provider is also leading the way when it comes to women in tech, with the workforce being more than 50% female. The company has built its success on supporting organizations of all sizes and across sectors to expand into new markets, hire freelancers, and manage payroll globally.
The eCommerce shipping platform Shippo is headed by co-founder Laura Behrens (no. 85), under whose stewardship the company raised $50 million in new funding in 2021. Now valued at more than $1 billion, Shippo has successfully expanded internationally into Germany, France, the UK, Canada and Australia, and is looking to go even further afield in the coming years.
One of the key reasons for Shippo’s success has been that it enables owners of eCommerce sites to use virtually any shipping provider globally via a single API.
Coming in at 39 in the Cloud 100 list, Algolia CEO Bernadette Nixon has seen the company’s valuation grow to $2.25 billion, thanks in part to a $150 million Series D funding round in 2021.
This is Nixon’s first appearance on the list, and her API search and discovery platform has significantly grown its global customer base to more than 17,000 users since its founding in 2012.
Intercom founder Karen Peacock is placed at 35 in the Cloud 100 list, and she has been at the helm as the company has raised over $240 million over 9 funding rounds.
Now valued at $1.25 billion, the Intercom communication platform supports companies in the management of their customer relations, and has more than 25,000 clients around the world, including major corporations such as Amazon, Webex, Meta and more.
LaunchDarkly CEO Edith Harbaugh is at number 34 on the Cloud 100 list, and under her leadership the California-based software feature management company is now valued at more than $3 billion.
Over eight rounds, LaunchDarkly raised $330 million in Series D funding in 2021, and now works with over 4,000 clients across a diverse range of industries, including Square, AMC, Intuit, Adidas and NBC.
Guild Education is a unique platform designed to make it easier for employers to enhance the range of economic and career opportunities it provides its employees, primarily through increasing access to education.
Co-founder and CEO Rachel Romer (no. 32 in the Cloud 100 list) has a number of industry awards to her name, and under her leadership the company is now valued at $3.75 billion, having raised over $634 million in a Series F funding round in 2022.
Australian entrepreneur Melanie Perkins is the highest ranked woman in the Cloud 100 list, coming in at number 3. Canva, the online graphic design platform that she co-founded in 2012, is now valued at $40 billion and has more than 3,000 employees worldwide, with around 45% of the workforce being women.
Canva has also made a number of acquisitions, and has been highly successful throughout its history at attracting major investors, such as Sequoia Capital, Felicis Ventures, Blackbird Ventures, and Tiger Global Management.
Number 100 on the Cloud 100 list is Mathilde Collin, CEO of Front, a business communication hub that personalises customer relationships and makes it easier to ‘humanise’ messaging and other interactions with customers.
Front offers plans and packages for enterprises of all sizes, and under Collin’s leadership, the US company is now valued at over $1.7 billion, on the back of a $65 million Series D funding round in 2022.