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PolyServe Lands $20M, Talks IPO

Storage clustering specialist PolyServe Inc.'s management has a dream of taking the company public in the next couple of years. But for now, more venture capital will do.

Specifically, the company has $20 million in new funding, led by Fidelity Ventures and existing investors, officials said today. "We're very pleased. We're building this thing for the long term," says Michael Stankey, chairman, CEO, and president.

PolyServe, based in Beaverton, Ore., sells a server-spanning file system that runs atop storage area networks. The product family, called Matrix, serves as an alternative way to administer large amounts of data storage, rather than just being used for availability and management benefits, which was the five-year-old company's original focus.

According to Stankey, PolyServe competes for Windows customers against traditional network-attached storage vendors like Network Appliance Inc. (Nasdaq: NTAP), and for Linux customers against Red Hat Inc. (Nasdaq: RHAT) and Veritas Software Corp. (Nasdaq: VRTS). It doesn't have a Unix product because Veritas already dominates in that sector, he says.

They'll use the cash influx to bolster operations. "Sales, marketing, and customer support are our three main areas," Stankey says, adding that the company hopes to be profitable by mid-2005, and that's when it will consider an IPO more seriously.

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