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SAP Takes Tiny Piece of Sistina

Sistina Software Inc. executives like to say they're in the eye of the perfect storm due to market conditions favorable to their clustered file system software. If that's true, it must be the kind of storm that rains money -- because the startup announced a $1.5 million investment from SAP AG (NYSE/Frankfurt: SAP) today (see SAP Invests in Sistina).

Now, $1.5 million isn't a huge amount for a 6-year-old startup that has raised $22 million. But this investment came when Sistina claims it wasn't even looking for money. SAP Ventures, the venture capital arm of the German enterprise applications vendor, wants to invest in companies that might enhance its overall software solutions business and identified Sistina as one.

Joaquin Ruiz, Sistina's VP of marketing, says his company will fold the $1.5 million into the $10 million Series B round of funding raised this past February (see Sistina Seeds Growth).

"This is a strategically important investment for us," he says. "SAP invested in us because we were winning accounts in the enterprise. SAP is placing bets, and we're a bet they placed."

Elizabeth Reeves, senior VP at SAP Ventures, says the company bet on Sistina because of its Linux capabilities. Sistina makes a clustered file system based on the open-source Linux kernel. Sistina's Logical Volume Manager (LVM) has been baked into the Linux kernel and has been distributed to tens of thousands of Linux users. Sistina also sells Global File System (GFS) software for Linux.

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