Fusion-io Grabs $19M Funding

Startup announces Series A round, unveils new CEO, and prepares to launch its products

March 31, 2008

2 Min Read
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PCI Express (PCIe) startup Fusion-io has clinched $19 million in Series A funding, and also took the wraps off its new CEO today.

The round, which was led by New Enterprise Associates, is already earmarked for a sales and marketing push, according to the incoming CEO, Don Basile.

"We're going to use it to expand our adoption by our customer base -- it's primarily to drive sales," he says. "We're actually hiring in the sales area."

The startup, which has been largely in stealth mode since it was founded in 2006, has over 50 employees, although Basile says that this figure could reach 150 within the next 12 months.

The former IBM and AT&T Bell Labs exec takes the reins from Fusion-io co-founder Rick White, who becomes the startup's chief marketing officer."This was the plan all along," says David Flynn, the Fusion-io CTO, and another of the company's founders. "It was Rick's decision."

On a busy day for Fusion-io, the vendor also announced general availability of its ioDrive, a NAND-based PCIe card equipped with a technology called ioMemory (short for Indexed Object Memory), which will compete with Solid State Disks (SSDs).

The ioDrives, which will start shipping next week, plug directly into a server, and Fusion-io claims the ability to increase memory capacity and performance by 100 times. Each ioDrive is capable of delivering 87,000 IOPS (input/output operations per second) using random 8 kbyte packets, although this figure rises to 125,000 IOPs for 1 Kbyte packets.

Pricing for the 80 Gbyte ioDrive starts at $2,400, with 160 Gbyte and 320 Gbyte versions of the technology priced at $4,800 and $8,900, respectively.

A 640 Gbyte offering is also on the horizon, expected to ship later this year.With its products finally launched, Fusion-io will be on a partnership tear, according to the CEO.

"Over the next couple of months we will announce several large OEM partnerships, and we will be announcing several large customers in a variety of verticals, namely media, Internet, and financial services," he says.

Whether Fusion-io can claw market share from SSDs remains to be seen, particularly after EMC threw its not-inconsiderable weight behind SSD technology, which is becoming increasingly popular in military systems.

Undeterred, Basile told Byte and Switch that Fusion-io has already racked up more than 100 beta customers, although he would not reveal the identities of these users, nor the company's OEM partners.

Fusion-io is nonetheless listed on HP's BladeSystem Solution Builder portal among storage developers, and there are also rumors that the company will be a Dell developer.Have a comment on this story? Please click "Discuss" below. If you'd like to contact Byte and Switch's editors directly, send us a message.

  • Bell Labs

  • Dell Inc. (Nasdaq: DELL)

  • EMC Corp. (NYSE: EMC)

  • Hewlett-Packard Co. (NYSE: HPQ)

  • New Enterprise Associates (NEA)

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