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Cloud computing: Can start-up trump Amazon in the cloud?

Cloud computing start-up Joyent has $85 million in venture funding and a new deal with Telefónica to compete with Amazon in cloud computing services.

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This screen shot shows a page from the Amazon Cloud Player, which offers up to 5 gigabytes of storage for free. Joyent, a cloud computing start-up, intends to go head to head with Amazon.com in providing cloud computing services.

Amazon.com/AP/File

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Cloud computing startup Joyent has raised a humongous $85 million round of funding, which will help the company with its plan of out-innovating Amazon in cloud computing technology.

Joyent provides infrastructure cloud computing services for customers like LinkedIn, THQ, Gilt Groupe and Kabam. The company’s core offering will now be enhanced with a wide-ranging partnership with Telefónica Digital, the global business division of London-based telecommunications company Telefónica. With the new partnership, Joyent will be able to bring its services to more countries thanks to Telefónica data centers throughout Europe and Latin America.

Joyent CEO David Young enjoys colorfully differentiating his company from his largest competitor Amazon, by far the largest provider of cloud computing services in the world. Young describes Amazon’s cloud computing technology as a “junk yard” where all sorts of technologies have been “taped together.”

“Amazon is the Kodak of the cloud,” Young told VentureBeat. “I don’t want to dump on Amazon, but I just don’t think you can look to a book seller and grocery store for cloud innovation. On the other hand, we’re building a cloud alliance around the globe.”

The new massive round was led by Weather Investment II Group, with Telefónica Digital, El Dorado Ventures, Epic Ventures, Greycroft Partners, Intel Capital, and Liberty Global also participating. Joyent’s last funding round occurred in Sept. 2010 and totaled $15 million. In its history, the company has raised around $115 million.

San Francisco-based Joyent was founded in 2004 and has about 150 employees. It also has offices in Vancouver, Singapore and Geneva. The company plans to announce other “exciting” partnerships in the near future that will enable the company’s services in even more countries.

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