Despite the tough economic times, flash storage drive vendor Fusion-io, which recently hired Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak as its chief scientist, has a received an additional $47.5 million in private funding.
In addition, technology industry veteran David Bradford was named chief executive, replacing Don Basile, who recently left the post. No reason has been given for Basile's departure and the company did not mention the former CEO in the release announcing the new funding and Bradford's appointment.
The second round of funding was led by new investor Lightspeed Venture Partners. The firm joins other Fusion-io investors New Enterprise Associates, Dell Ventures, and Sumitomo Ventures.
The additional funding indicates investor confidence in Fusion-io, despite the economic recession. Venture firms in general have been cautious in funding startups, and the first quarter of this year is expected to see a year-over-year drop in venture investment, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Fusion-io, founded three years ago, has developed a NAND flash memory card that plugs into a server's PCI-Express slot and acts as a large cache that sits between the system's main memory and storage disks. The technology dramatically improves data transfers, so, for example, a low-cost Web server can be transformed into a high-end storage area network.
On Monday, Fusion-io said its technology boosted the performance of a Hewlett-Packard ProLiant DL785 G5 server to exceed 1 million input/output operations per second and 8 GB per second sustained throughput. The standard system was running four quad-core Opteron processors from Advanced Micro Devices. HP offers a flash-memory based I/O storage accelerator based on Fusion-io's technology.
Wozniak was named chief scientist at Fusion-io in February. The company said Wozniak would act as a key technical adviser to the company's research and development group and would work closely with the executive team on business strategy.
New CEO Bradford is a 30-year veteran of the tech industry, including 15 years at networking company Novell, Fusion-io said. As a senior executive, he led Novell from startup status through a series of acquisitions, public offerings, and global business development. During his last three years at Novell, Bradford reported directly to chief executive Eric Schmidt, who is now CEO of Google.
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