Feeds

Can't get enough of flashy upstarts, can you, WD? Firm pays $685m for Virident

New CEO inks deal, hands it off to HGST

Top three mobile application threats

Western Digital has bought PCIe flash array supplier and startup Virident for $685m in cash and given it to its HGST subsidiary to add to its stable of flash businesses.

Virident got itself a new CEO, Mike Gustafson, on 19 September last year. From hire to sale in 12 months is pretty damn good. Virident's board and backers will be ecstatic at ex-BlueArc boss Mike Gustafson having done the business he was hired to do after a $26m funding round.

It was on Gustafson's watch at hardware-accelerated filer storage company BlueArc that Hitachi Data Systems bought the company. Gustafson will lead the Virident team inside WD, getting an SVP ranking and reporting to HGST president Mike Cordano, but El Reg's storage desk will surely expect him to move on in due course.

We understand Virident funding sequence looks this:

  • January 2013 - Virident received $40m in an E-round from Seagate which became a reseller
  • September 2012 - $26m D-round
  • November 2011 - $21m in a C-round
  • November 2010 - $10.2m in a B-round
  • February 2010 - $3.8m
  • May 2007 - $13.3m A-round

Total funding is $114.3m, so the $685m sale price represents a great sixfold pay-off for the investors and founders – and, no doubt, has suitably enriched Mike Gustafson and every Virident employee with stock or stock options. WD says Virident's net enterprise value is $645m after taking its cash balance into account.

Virident FlashMax

Virident FlashMAX II

WD is on a flash business buying binge, having bought Velobit and its caching software in July, and arranging to buy one-time enterprise SSD leader sTec for $340m in June. It also invested in flash array startup Skyera in March.

Virident gives HGST a viable FlashMAX II hardware and vFAS operating system, with a technology architecture said to be akin to that of Fusion-io, the PCIe flash card leader – think storage class flash memory treated as an adjunct to a server's main memory. There is also its FlashMAX Connect software-based PCIe flash card storage content caching, sharing and availability business.

WD points us to IDC research predicting that the PCIe market will grow from $1.06bn in 2013 to $2.4bn in 2016, and presumably lots more after that. WD, via HGST, is now going to try and get a lot of that by accelerating Virident's product development efforts and adding its sales channels to those that Virident has already.

The acquisition should close this quarter. It represents another step in the maturing flash storage industry with ongoing consolidation of startups by the major players.

As an aside, Seagate will profit from the WD purchase of Virident, having invested $40m in Virident in January and becoming a FlashMAX II reseller/OEM. WD has effectively scuppered that and El Reg's storage desk expects Seagate will now look for another PCIe flash card supplier. It surely won't want to be supplied by arch rival WD in the HDD business. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
This time it's 'Personal': new Office 365 sub covers just two devices
Redmond also brings Office into Google's back yard
Kingston DataTraveler MicroDuo: Turn your phone into a 72GB beast
USB-usiness in the front, micro-USB party in the back
Dropbox defends fantastically badly timed Condoleezza Rice appointment
'Nothing is going to change with Dr. Rice's appointment,' file sharer promises
Inside the Hekaton: SQL Server 2014's database engine deconstructed
Nadella's database sqares the circle of cheap memory vs speed
BOFH: Oh DO tell us what you think. *CLICK*
$%%&amp Oh dear, we've been cut *CLICK* Well hello *CLICK* You're breaking up...
Just what could be inside Dropbox's new 'Home For Life'?
Biz apps, messaging, photos, email, more storage – sorry, did you think there would be cake?
AMD's 'Seattle' 64-bit ARM server chips now sampling, set to launch in late 2014
But they won't appear in SeaMicro Fabric Compute Systems anytime soon
Amazon reveals its Google-killing 'R3' server instances
A mega-memory instance that never forgets
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.