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3PAR Picks Up $30M

Utility storage startup 3PAR revealed today that it has clinched $30 million in a mezzanine funding round, which will carry the firm towards profitability and a possible IPO, according to the vendor's CEO, David Scott.

"The goal of this [funding] is to strengthen our financial balance sheet before we turn profitable," he told Byte and Switch, adding that this is likely to happen sometime in 2006.

The round, which brings 3PAR's total funding to $183 million since its foundation in 1999, was led by Integral Capital Partners, AllianceBernstein, and Open Field Capital. Existing investors Mayfield Fund, Worldview Technology Partners, Menlo Ventures, and Van Wagoner Capital Management also took part.

But the move may seem strange to some, particularly given 3PAR's growing traction with end users, racking up 140 customers and shipping 270 of its InServ storage servers. (See Top Ten Private Companies: Spring 2006.) Recent wins include large online businesses such as MySpace.com, Shopzilla, and Claria Corp., which join other large online firms announced over the last two years, such as eHarmony, FreshDirect, and Priceline.com.

Scott says that today's funding round will lay the foundations for more of the same: "It's to make sure that our prospect base of very large service providers, very large enterprises, and fast growth Internet companies, have comfort that we're bound to stay."

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