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Copan cops more funding

Becalmed MAID vendor swallows another $3m

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Struggling power-down array systems vendor Copan has raised another $3m; it wanted another $6.2m according to a techrockies report of a company filing in Colorado.

To recap: Copan is a start-up which sells Massive Array of Idle Disks (MAID) technology storage arrays, in which three-quarters of the drives are powered down, thus dramatically lowering the array's power needs and increasing its drive packing density. Copan says this is a good fit for long-term storage of persistent and relatively unchanging data.

It parted company with its CEO - Mark Ward - in mid-July. It has been quiet since then, saying neither that it is looking for a new CEO nor that it has appointed a temporary replacement. It appears to have retrenched its Ward-led sales office build-out, with offices in Europe and Asia out of action, as well as some sales offices in the USA. There has been no comment from the company about this.

The amount raised, $3m, is comparatively small. Copan's funding history is that, after being founded in 2002, it went through A-round funding raising $14m. A B-round brought in $25m in August 2004. Mark Ward became CEO in January 2006, and a C-round in March 2006 bought in another $17.5m, bringing the total to $56.5m. A D-round in September 2007 raised $32.4m making total funding $88.9m. That rose to $107.4 with an $18.5m round in February this year. This was Ward's last throw of the funding dice, with $67.4m raised during his tenure. He left five months later.

The presumption is that he left because the expanded sales office infrastructure he had instituted hadn't led to profitability, and the recession was dampening down hopes of achieving that happy state any time soon.

Now the company has raised another $3m, taking total funding to more than $110m. The reported filing doesn't say whether the money came from the existing investors or a new one. Nor does it say what the money will be used for. Without knowing Copan's cash burn rate we can't estimate how long the money will last, either. ®

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