Feeds

Investors fight off rivals to stuff money in Nexenta's pockets

SDN is H.O.T.: 9 VCs join oversubscribed $24m funding round

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

It seems software-defined storage is the storage world's "cloud", and Nexenta is bang on trend. The ZFS storage array software firm's CEO, Evan Powell, is now stepping aside to become chief strategy officer in the wake of a fourth funding round of $24m, and investors must be hoping the appointment of a seasoned CEO will take the company forward to the hoped-for IPO.

Nexenta supplies NexentaStor, ZFS-based storage array software used to create enterprise class storage arrays from low-cost commodity elements by a raft of partners. These can use disk drives or solid state drives. Indeed Nexenta has just certified SMART Storage's Optimus line of SAS interface SSDs for NexentaStor.

Powell says that the percentage of the storage market taken by the major array vendors is shrinking as open or software-defined storage products, like Nexenta's, take a larger share. And this is what is exciting the venture capitalists.

The company has just received $24m in a D-round of funding. Back in January 2012 it picked up $21m in a C-round, taking total funding to somewhere between an estimated $37.5m to $47.5m. With the D-round that goes up to $61.5m to $71.5m.

Has growth slowed? In January 2012, Nexenta said it had experienced three years of growth exceeding 400 per cent year-over-year, driven $300m of hardware sales through its channel in 2011, supplied more than 4,000 customers, and tripled its workforce. It would have us understand that its growth has not slackened, not at all. In fact:

  • In 2012 revenue grew 100 per cent over 2011, and Nexenta has grown in triple digits for three consecutive years
  • The total customer count exceeded 5,000 and repeat sales to existing customers grew 475 per cent
  • Nexenta has enabled an estimated $400 million in hardware storage sales for its reseller partners.

The D-round was over-subscribed and led by new investor Four Rivers Group, with participation from existing Nexenta investors Menlo Ventures, TransLink Capital, Javelin Ventures, Sierra Ventures, Razor’s Edge, and West Summit Capital. In addition to Four Rivers, two other new investors Presidio Ventures and UMC Capital participated. Seems like there was a rush to join in with nine venture capital funds scenting gold at the end of Nexenta's rainbow. Evan Powell, the CEO for the past five years, is taking a quarter-step back to become the chief strategy officer.

Mark Lockareff is the incoming CEO and Nexenta says his background includes leading or investing "in a number of enterprise infrastructure, software and internet companies during their key growth stages including: ParAccel, Agiliance, Softricity, Model N, Riverbed, Acopia, ProofPoint, and Facebook."

Bridget Warwick becomes Nexenta's chief marketing officer. She comes to the role from the Microsoft-acquired StorSimple, which she joined from HDS, which she joined when it acquired hardware-assisted filer supplier BlueArc. Her job is to get Nexenta's global brand awareness up, always a problem when your software runs on someone else's hardware.

Outgoing CEO Powell said: "Our task at Nexenta is simple: we must build a company that is up to meeting the enormous opportunity of leading the transformation of the storage industry." Gee, don't think small Evan.

Nexenta sees itself as changing from noisy and disruptive classroom genius to a trusted enterprise partner, kind of, we think, like Red Hat is today. The penguin's progress is probably an inspiration to this wannabee Red Hat of storage. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Bladerunner sequel might actually be good. Harrison Ford is in it
Go ahead, you're all clear, kid... Sorry, wrong film
Euro Parliament VOTES to BREAK UP GOOGLE. Er, OK then
It CANNA do it, captain.They DON'T have the POWER!
Musicians sue UK.gov over 'zero pay' copyright fix
Everyone else in Europe compensates us - why can't you?
I'll be back (and forward): Hollywood's time travel tribulations
Quick, call the Time Cops to sort out this paradox!
Megaupload overlord Kim Dotcom: The US HAS RADICALISED ME!
Now my lawyers have bailed 'cos I'm 'OFFICIALLY' BROKE
Forget Hillary, HP's ex CARLY FIORINA 'wants to be next US Prez'
Former CEO has political ambitions again, according to Washington DC sources
prev story

Whitepapers

10 ways wire data helps conquer IT complexity
IT teams can automatically detect problems across the IT environment, spot data theft, select unique pieces of transaction payloads to send to a data source, and more.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
How to determine if cloud backup is right for your servers
Two key factors, technical feasibility and TCO economics, that backup and IT operations managers should consider when assessing cloud backup.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Mitigating web security risk with SSL certificates
Web-based systems are essential tools for running business processes and delivering services to customers.