Tech VCs keep flocking to flash storage startups.
SolidFire, a Boulder, Colo.-based provider of flash data storage systems, announced on October 7 that it had closed on a Series D round of funding worth $82 million. To date, the company has raised $150 million.
Investors are clearly in tune with the growing popularity of flash storage in the enterprise.
In April, rival Pure Storage raised $225 million, a figure that bumped the Mountain View, Calif.-based company’s valuation to a hefty $3 billion. But an IPO is not in the cards, at least not yet. “We remain convinced that Pure’s opportunity is to build the next great storage company, and staying private for now affords us the greatest flexibility in continuing to make the right long term investments and to fend off prospective acquirers,” blogged CEO Scott Dietzen at the time.
SolidFire, helmed by founder and CEO Dave Wright, specializes in enterprise storage arrays that leverage solid-state drives (SSDs) to give business applications and workloads a flash-enabled performance boost. Last year’s release of the SolidFire SF9010 array delivered 7.5 million IOPS and could scale to 3.4 petabytes (PB) of all-flash capacity.
In March, the company announced an update to the platform’s underlying storage software, Element OS v.6 (“Carbon”), which included built-in data replication capabilities. That same month, SolidFire added 16Gb Fibre Channel (FC) support for its arrays.
According to SolidFire, the approach appears to be paying off.
The company reported intense demand from enterprise and service provider customers over the last two quarters, resulting in a 50/50 split in revenues from both camps. SolidFire claims that sales skyrocketed 700 percent last year and that revenue has increased 50 percent quarter over quarter so far this year.
In prepared remarks, Wright commented that “SolidFire continues to disrupt the all-flash array market by delivering a storage platform that goes far beyond the basics of raw flash performance.” The funds will be used to “will deepen our sales, marketing and channel enablement to meet the growing global demand,” he added.
The latest funding round was led by Greenspring Associates “along with a major sovereign wealth fund,” said the company. The deal was also backed by NEA, Novak Biddle, Samsung Ventures and Valhalla Partners.
SolidFire marked the occasion by announcing two new third-generation storage nodes, the SF2405 and SF4805, with price tags of under $100,000. “This is a strategic move by SolidFire to expand its total addressable market (TAM) by dramatically decreasing the cost of entry for the industry’s only cloud-scale All-Flash Array,” stated a company spokesperson.