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Incipient Inhales $20M

Incipient Inc., a maker of virtualization software for OEM use by intelligent storage switches, has gotten $20 million in new funding. The Series C round brings Incipient's total to $55 million.

Incipient, an 80-person (60-engineer) firm based in Waltham, Mass., will use the money to deliver its product to customers. Since Incipient's software is designed to work with intelligent storage switches, those customers include storage switchmakers and their allies -- period. "We have no direct sales model," says spokesman Robert Infantino.

Several OEMs are reportedly lined up for Incipient's product, but Infantino won't reveal their names. Still, the company previously announced a relationship with Brocade Communications Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: BRCD), and chipmaker Aarohi Inc. has named Incipient as a partner (see Incipient Demos Fabric-Based Storage and StorageTek Plans Virtualization Device).

Industry sources also say Storage Technology Corp. (StorageTek) (NYSE: STK) may be considering Incipient's software for use in a device aimed to compete with the storage router announced by EMC Corp. (NYSE: EMC). (See StorageTek Plans Virtualization Device.)

Much is still uncertain. Infantino acknowledges that Incipient hasn't shipped its product, and will say only "sometime this year" when pressed for a date.

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