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Blade server maker RLX Technologies defied the skeptics this week by securing millions more in funding.

ABS Capital Partners led a $12m round of financing for RLX. The money will be used to expand RLX's sales and marketing efforts here and abroad. Unsurprisingly, ABS partner Dean Goodermote gained a seat on RLX's board, which is already loaded with investors from firms such as Soros Private Equity Partners, Ignition Partners and Sternhill Partners.

"ABS Capital Partners has an outstanding track record of investing in growth companies, and we feel a vote of confidence from them represents a real validation of our strategy," said Doug Erwin, CEO of RLX.

Erwin is the fourth man to take the helm of RLX since it started in 2000. The company has blown through close to $110m in funding in that time.

Back in 2000, it was much easier to understand why investors would pour money into RLX. The company was paving the way in the blade market and had top talent from Compaq on board. RLX even enjoyed a two to three year run as the most successful blade vendor around, beating out HP and IBM.

The early lead, however, has disappeared with the Tier I vendors now dominating the blade server market. RLX still has solid product by most measures, but can't come close to matching the big boys in service, customer support and overall reach. RLX has tried to counter this pressure, in part, by focusing on narrow markets such as bio-tech and high performance computing. ®

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