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Santa's Early for SAN Startups

How's this for holiday cheer: Within the last month, almost $130 million has been invested in technology startups targeting the storage networking sector. Thats on top of the $2.4 billion already invested in over one hundred companies now jostling for position in this marketplace (see Venture Capital Survey).

Have the VCs lost the plot completely? Or are there still sectors of this market that are worth sinking more investment into?

Table 1: SAN startups funded - 11/20/01 - 12/20/01

Company Market sector Amount funded Date
Aristos Logic SAN processors $15.5m 12/19/2001
Exanet Clustering software $17m 12/4/2001
Lane15 InfiniBand software $12m 12/11/2001
Maranti SAN switch $25m 12/14/2001
NextGig SAN processors $15m 11/23/2001
Nishan IP SAN router $10m credit line 12/12/2001
Storigen SAN cache $15m 12/12/2001
Z-force SAN switch $16m 12/13/2001
Total Funding:   $125.5m  

”Where there is significant customer pain, that’s where the investment should go. [That pain] is still very evident in storage,” says Jo Tango, a VC at Highland Capital Partners.

However, he notes that there is a “major disconnect” between the types of companies the VCs and entrepreneurs are creating and what end users will actually buy. “Customers tell us that much of what is being developed today they won’t need for several years.” Case in point: 10-Gbit/s iSCSI chips, he says (see Siliquent Secures $10M for 10-Gig Silicon ).

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