YottaYotta's Gotta Lotta

Comes out of seclusion with $16 million funding round, but mum's the word on customers

March 2, 2004

2 Min Read
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When we last heard from YottaYotta Inc. in May 2003, CEO Bart Shigemura promised the company would keep a low profile until it could announce customers (see YottaYotta Notta Corpse Yet).

So far, he's delivered on the low profile -- YottaYotta's been pretty much mute on its activities for months. But the Edmonton, Alberta-based company is in the news today -- without any customers to announce.

Sources at YottaYotta say Shigemura's not to blame -- Canada is. Because the Canadian government announced that Technology Partnerships Canada (TPC) -- a government agency that provides companies with support for strategic research and development -- has invested $7.67 million Canadian (US$5.9 million) in YottaYotta, the company went ahead and disclosed its entire funding round of $21 million Canadian ($16 million).

CTO Wayne Karpoff says he’d rather announce customers for the company’s distributed SAN system, but he’s not quite ready to disclose any. “Clearly, a round like this is a vote of confidence from investors, but it’s not what we want to announce,” Karpoff says. “The only thing right now that counts is customers. We’re not ready to announce any yet, but watch this space. It’s coming soon.”

The company hasn't always been this cagey. When YottaYotta announced two paying customers in January 2003, then-CEO Steve Mattioli said he hoped to have two more customers by the end of that month (see YottaYotta Gotta Customer). Mattioli was gone the next month (see YottaYotta's Gotta Problem). But for what it’s worth, YottaYotta still has the original customers: Capital Health Authority, a chain of hospitals, and Internet2, a research consortium.Canadian VC firm TechnoCap Inc. led YottaYotta’s fourth funding round, which brings its total to $66 million. Joining TCP as other investors were Pryces (Barbados) Ltd., Regime des rentes du Mouvement des Caisses Desjardins, Bombardier Trust UK , Optical Capital Group LLC, The Grosvenor Funds, and Bank of America Investment Corp.

Karpoff says YottaYotta will use its new funding for marketing, but YottaYotta has no immediate plans to add staff. He says headcount is around 80, which is about where a 30 percent layoff left it last May. Although the startup had a tough time getting off the ground with layoffs and management changes, Karpoff says this funding round “will take us to profitability.” How long it will take, he won’t say. He's still working on those customers

— Dave Raffo, Senior Editor, Byte and Switch

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