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3PAR Pockets $32 Million

Armed with $32 million, from a fourth round of funding, and some sales momentum, executives of storage array startup 3PAR
say they can see a distant light of profitability at the end of a long tunnel.

3PARs first funding round in 31 months brings its total raised so far to $153 million. The fresh money is earmarked for building a direct sales force and investing in reseller deals in the U.K., Europe, and Asia. Menlo Ventures
led the financing round and was joined by previous investors, including VC firms Mayfield

and WorldView Technology Partners, and strategic investors Veritas Software Corp. (Nasdaq: VRTS), Sun Microsystems Inc. (Nasdaq: SUNW),
and Oracle Corp. (Nasdaq: ORCL). Menlo Ventures’ Mark Siegel joins 3PAR’s board of directors.

3PAR CFO Bill Kurtz says this is the last funding the Fremont, Calif.-based company will need. He says 3PAR sales doubled in six months after the company began offering what it calls "thin provisioning" software on its SAN systems last June, and half of its existing customers have made repeat purchases since it rolled out its original product in June 2002.

While it has yet to seriously threaten any of the established competitors and won’t disclose its total number of customers, 3PAR claims 17 Fortune/Global 1000 customers and substantial repeat business. Its customers include Merrill Lynch, American International Group (AIG), and American Management Systems. Kurtz says a typical 3PAR customer upgrades within six months and purchases a second system within a year.

If these trends continue, Kurtz says, 3PAR could achieve its goal of profitability within two years.

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