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Storage '06 Funding Down

Four months into 2006, two trends for VC funding of storage startups have emerged.

First, fewer startups have received funding this year than at the same point as last year, although those that have picked up money have been getting more. Second, companies with "silver" in their name have been getting gold.

Eleven startups have pulled in $171 million through the first four months of 2006, compared to 16 funding rounds worth $235.5 million for the same period last year. Among those 11 have been Silverback Systems, Silver Peak Systems, and SilverStorm Technologies. (See Silverback Hoists $16M, Silver Peak Secures $13M, and SilverStorm Gathers Cash.) While that may be purely a coincidence, we're waiting for a rush of new storage firms calling themselves Silver something.

If the timing of the rounds from last year is any indication, we won't see much of an uptick the rest of the way for other startups. Last year, roughly half of startup funding took place between January and April. If that holds true in 2006, there will be around 22 funding rounds worth $332 million compared to 31 rounds for $470 million last year.

The rounds have been a bit bigger this year, but not by much. Bolstered by 3PAR's $30 million haul, the average 2006 funding round has been $15.5 million, compared to just under $15 million over the first four months of 2005. (See 3PAR Picks Up $30M .)

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