Carlyle's Sturiale: cloud computing and startups

John Shinal · June 24, 2008 · Short URL:

Nick Sturiale was a partner with the venture capital firm Sevin Rosen Funds for eight years, until the high-profile split between that firm's two offices in Dallas and Palo Alto in January.

More on Sturiale's transition in our next post from this interview. 

Sturiale landed on his feet, and to the west a few miles. He's now "learning a new business" at the Carlyle Group, where he is part of a team based in Menlo Park and San Francisco evaluating growth company investment opportunities. 

Sturiale's new role means he's looking at companies much larger and older than those that interested him as a VC.

Yet he's still looking at a lot of the same technologies he's invested in for years -- SaaS, virtualization, cloud computing, security software. While at Sevin Rosen, Sturiale invested in XenSource, a virtualization company acquired last year by Citrix Systems for $500 million.

Sturiale thinks that the move to cloud computing will be good for the software business, while wreaking some major change on hardware makers. 

"Cloud computing is destroying an old market but replacing it with a new and larger market. I think any software startup that doesn't contemplate the cloud as a market is missing a huge opportunity," he says.

While Google, Amazon, IBM and EMC will have big positions in the cloud computing market, "they won't be the only game in town," which means there will be room for startup companies.

Microsoft is also likely to be a large player, thanks to recent efforts at virtualization and its Windows Live service.

"In 10 years, nearly every computer service you use will be delivered by a cloud service" provided either by a sole vendor or multiple vendors, predicts Sturiale.

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