Here's $20m, Portworx: Make us some pretty container storage SW

GE Digital and Lufthansa see startup

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Software startup Portworx, which is building storage for containers, has scored $20m in B-round funding.

Total funding for the startup, which was founded in 2015 when it received an $8.5m A-round, is now $28.5m. The B-round was led by Sapphire Ventures, with contributions from new investor GE Ventures, and existing A-round VCs, including Mayfield. Sapphire Ventures’ managing director Jai Das is joining the Portworx board as is Abhishek Shukla, a GE Ventures director – no surprises there.

Das talks of Portworx having breakthrough technology and says it is paving the way in data management for the new container infrastructure stack. Portworx CEO and co-founder Murli Thirumale says: “Stateful container deployments will continue to accelerate and grow in enterprises.”

Portworx has signed up some large customers: GE Digital, Lufthansa Systems, the University of Toronto and TGen, which must have inspired confidence in its VCs. GE is using Portworx software in its Predix Internet of Things product.

GE Digital head of cloud engineering Darren Haas provided a quote for Portworx: “Portworx provides infrastructure-agnostic features such as volume persistence, high availability, data security and automation that are valuable to a business like GE Digital.”

The cash will be used to build up Portworx’s enterprise sales capability and develop its product, adding encryption and access controls, hybrid and multi-cloud data management, and stronger integration with container schedulers such as Kubernetes, Docker Swarm and Mesosphere.

Container storage is a green field area with no incumbents having any dominating role. There is a rising tide and it’s lifting all boats with no clear winners and losers yet. A $20m cash round is a nice vote of confidence as are customers like GE Digital and Lufthansa.

Ocarina, an earlier Thirumale startup in the deduplication field, was acquired by Dell, which must be a another confidence-inspiring fact for Portworx’s VCs. So it’s all onwards and upwards. Good luck, guys. ®

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