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Cloud and Video Storage Leads Q1 2012 Funding Roundup

First quarter 2012 funding pinpointed the action in storage startups. Most of the storage startups are focused on either cloud storage or streaming media archive storage. DCIG doesn’t find this to be surprising, just this week we shared our first ever cloud storage survey for an enterprise cloud storage Buyer’s Guide set for 2013.

Q1CY12 Funding Round Up

Starting off the year was $12 Million in funding to Accellion. Paula E. Skokowsk, Chief Marketing Officer at Accellion talked to DCIG about its recent $12 million in funding. Mrs. Skokowski said its file storage and share mobile client and enterprise server technology have been available since April of 2011. Moreover, the funding it received is largely targeted at marketing and sales efforts in 2012. Janine D. Kromhout, Senior Marketing Manager for Accellion said “Accellion was founded in 1999, this is the first round of funding we’ve taken since 2005 and it brings the total to approximately $45M.”

Accellion has recently delivered a fully hosted and on-premise supported file share and synchronization solution called kitedrive. By delivering this, Accellion is classified as the first CoIT oriented multi-tenant file-share and synchronization (FSS) product available in the market.

Along with Accellion, nScaled received $7 million in series A funding.  nScaled touts is expertise in hosting data centers along with a localized version of the software.  While nScaled offers storage, their target markert is the broader Infrastructure as a Service. We believe nScaled is one to watch as they work through their $7 million dollar investment in 2012.

nScaled is crowding the market for upstarts like Ctera. Ctera has been struggling for permanence and a place in cloud storage history since 2008. They have taken several rounds of funding, but only disclose the venture firms, not the amount. Their product offerings go head-to-head with mainstream players like Nirvanix. However, if you are a value added reseller Ctera may be one to consider because they only sell through the channel.

Symform added $2 million dollars to their coffers through series A funding. They are new and their product pricing is very attractive to a certain type of end buyer, from their website “Symform is a revolutionary cloud storage & backup service, providing up to 200GB free and unlimited online storage for a low flat fee.” Who doesn’t need free storage? However, the days of cheap storage are behind us, cloud storage for the foreseeable future is about mobile first application s and application development in cloud.

Rounding the funding for cloud storage is Code 42 Software. They took the lion’s share of funding for the first quarter – $52.5 million. That is twice as much as the four previous companies combined. The company has been around since 2001, but their claim to fame is the 2007 launch of CRASHPLAN™. Since then they introduced CRASHPLANPRO™ and CRASHPLANPROe™.  It’s the later that should have our readers wondering what impact they might have in a refresh of our Virtual Backup Software Buyers Guide. A cursory review of their software reveals they don’t have much support for VMware or Citrix. Based on their offering, we don’t expect companies like CommVault, EMC or Dell’s AppAssure to be concerned.

In addition to cloud storage, there were a handful of media storage and hosting companies announcing funding. At the top of my list of intriguing investments is Thought Equity Motion. They announced the most of amount of funding at $28 million in a series B funding. While they aren’t a producer of storage, they are a consumer of storage and tape.

Mark Lemmons, CTO of Thought Equity, said “Seamless interoperability was baked into the business and we threw it out like the trash,”. Moving away from tape has caused some consternation, because it is not dead. May marks tapes 60th anniversary and there is no end in sight for tape sales.  DCIG will be celebrating the 60th anniversary with a 2012 Big Data Tape Library Buyer’s Guide shipping in late April or early May.

Pivot3 accepted $23 million in series E or more, because they have receive serveral rounds of funding topping out the list with the most funding received at $100.48million. Their long history and funding made it challenging to ascertain the total amount, but CrunchBase provided a good starting point. As a self-proclaimed scale-out storage vendor, you can expect DCIG to engage this vendor when we refresh our Scale-Out Storage Buyer’s Guide.

Amplidata accepted $8M in series C funding round.  The company launched in February of 2010 as a big data object storage software and hardware storage company. As this company was getting started, NetApp was making big moves in the big data object storage market by preparing for the acquisition of Bycast, Inc. a Vancouver startup with similar technology. Amplidata will have big data competition with NetApp and EMC/Isilon as they move to grow their company.

Overall it was a good quarter for storage with cloud, scale-out, big data, media and tape storage making their presence in the IT segment of storage. Overall the ones to watch are Accellion and Thought Equity Motion.


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